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Our Training Challenges

Last month was National Train Your Dog month and Pamela from Something Wagging This Way Comes issued a dog training challenge which I belatedly took up.  I’ve cheated a bit as I’ve been working on a couple of things with Frankie and Beryl since mid December which they both needed work with.  So here is my blog post entry for Pamela’s challenge.

Beryl’s training challenge was more of a trust thing.  A bit of background.  A couple of months ago I traded my almost 20 years old little car in on a lovely 5 year old 4WD SUV.  Why?  Well, so I can drive along the beach to a dog/people free spot:)  And it’s got a tow bar and is bigger and is being very useful with all the shifting of stuff I’ve had to do and still have to do at John’s place.  One thing I didn’t consider when doing my research is how much higher it is off the ground than our old wheels.  It took Beryl a few days to work out how to hop into it gracefully rather than do an undignified scramble:)  But jumping out was easy, except she started to limp on a front leg not long after I got the SUV and I’m sure it was caused by having to jump so far.  I decided I’d lift her out but she wasn’t at all happy about that.  Yes, it would have been easier if she was in the back of the car instead of having the back seat to lay on in regal splendour, but she is a Princess after all!  It probably took about 3 weeks before she trusted me enough to not back away when I went to lift her out but she’s all good now:)  The side doors don’t open very wide so I have to lift her out carefully so I don’t wack her on the door but I’ve managed to avoid doing that so far.  Her limp disappeared about a week after I started lifting her out:)

Frankie’s training challenge has to do with the car too.  He has no impulse control and has always been inclined to charge out of the car and strangle himself in his desire to get to the nearest smell.  I decided that had to stop.  So we’ve been working on him waiting in the car until I tell him it’s OK to get out.  The improvement has been slow but sure and today, for the first time, he actually checked himself and sat back down without being told to ‘wait’ and was totally relaxed about it.  When we got home he didn’t move until I told him he could, YAY Frankie!  He will still need reminding when we arrive at the beach no doubt.  That’s just way too exciting a place to get to yet.  But I think he’s made a lot of progress in the past 6 weeks or so considering he only gets to practice about once most days.  We are still working on him not charging off as soon as his feet hit the ground but he is improving in that regard too, albeit the improvement is much slower!

Pamela suggested we train our animals (the challenge wasn’t restricted to dogs!) to do something that would enhance our bond with them and I’d say we’ve been successful in that:)  Frankie seems more attentive to me and it’s great to know that Beryl now trusts me to carry her out of an awkward place safely.  So, many thanks, Pamela, for the challenge.  I might not have persevered with Frankie if it hadn’t been for your challenge but it’s been well worth it.


I have two tired dogs tonight but not because we went to the beach!  We went to a local dog obedience/rally competition just to spectate but Beryl and I ended up entering 2 classes, Rally Zoom and Handy Dog.  Frankie got to hang around and socialise and I took him through the Handy Dog course after the competition was finished.  We’d been there for about 3 hours by then and he’d lost a bit of his ginger:)

Yes, there are photos!

Emma and Cobby

Cobby has recently been adopted by Fatima and Rachel.  Their friend, Emma, took him around the Handy Dog course.  Do you have Handy Dog in other countries?  It’s very new here.  The dogs have to go through a few obstacles, sometimes heel on the right as well as the left so some funny turns are required!  Here Cobby is sitting while Emma moves behind him so he is on her left again.

Emma and Cobby relaxing after the course

Who does Cobby remind you of … hmmm, Deccy?  Beryl and I think of you every time we see him:)

Rachel and Lucy going through the Labyrinth

This obstacle requires a pause before you make a turn, there isn’t much room with a bigger dog!

Rachel and Lucy finishing the backward sits

I knew Beryl wouldn’t be impressed with this course as it had 5 sits in it, which is 4 more than she’ll do without getting a treat!!  But that’s no reason to not have a go.

Waiting to go in the ring, she's very relaxed, lol
Beryl heeling on the right
This is the ladder, Beryl, but you only have to step through it, not up it!

This was done while she is on my right.  We’d only ever done it a couple of times at class oh, maybe 9 months ago.  Which was probably the last time we had done any training of anything!

She did very well only walking out of the ladder at the end
Going through the labyrinth
Hehe, you don't really think I'm doing to sit 3 times at the next station do you?

She was right, she didn’t!  It’s quite a difficult station for a Greyhound in that it involves the handler stopping, calling the dog to the front, dog sitting, handler takes 1 step back, dogs moves towards handler and sits again, handler then takes 2 steps back, dog walks towards the handler and sits in front again, handler takes 3 steps back, dog walks towards handler and sits again.  I knew I didn’t have a chance of Beryl doing it and so did she, lol!

Psst ... now Mum's lost!

After we’d done the Handy Dog course we did the Rally Zoom course which is great for Greyhounds as there are no sits or downs.  And I made it to the third station before I stuffed up turning the spiral into a serpentine, duh!  I redid it as it only costs 3 point off.  I don’t know if we ended up with a merit certificate for the Zoom course as we left soon after that.

And for Frankie’s friends … Rachel had a play with him before we left

Look at that focus, cheese helps;)

Right, we’re off to read the other entries into the training challenge blog hop.  Hope everyone had a great weekend.


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25 Responses

  1. Declan
    | Reply

    Well i’m very impressed with all three of you! It took me ages to jump in the car by myself, but now you can’t keep me out. Good job; Mum was developing a hernia! Cobby is practically my double isn’t he?! I do hope Beryl likes him…. ;-) Deccy x
    Declan recently posted..The Politics of Teddies…..

    • Greyhounds CAN Sit
      | Reply

      Yes, Deccy, Beryl likes all the Greyhounds she meets, but there are a few handsome boy blogging Greyhounds she hasn’t met in real life that she would like to;)

  2. Astrid Sanschagrin
    | Reply

    It is nice that your dog went through the training very well. I was amused with the picture about dealing with the ladder. I wish I could be able to train my dog. But I am skeptic if my dog will respond to the dog training since he is only a small dog. Anyway, thanks for the photographs.
    Astrid Sanschagrin recently posted..Achat banc de musculation

  3. Karen Friesecke
    | Reply

    Since I haven’t done agility with my dogs, I’m not sure about the “handy dog” class in the US or Canada. Beryl looks like she did a super job on the course!
    Karen Friesecke recently posted..Daily DIY Pet Pattern – Make Fortune Cookie Dog Treats

  4. Robin Eichert
    | Reply

    What a great report of all the progress, accomplishments, and fun you’ve had of late. Very impressive. Love the photos of your day. I haven’t heard of any Handy Dog courses here in the New England area, but it looks a bit like a rally-type event I’ve seen here. I’m not up on all the options, so probably not the best gauge. But I enjoyed seeing you all in action!
    Robin Eichert recently posted..Get the right people together and good things happen

  5. Sue
    | Reply

    Looks like everyone was having fun.

    Love Frankie’s smile:)

  6. rottrover
    | Reply

    That looks like SO much fun!! It’s all stuff one could do on one’s own, but the fact that it’s all set up AND you get to socialize with other dogs and people is great! We love how Beryl is gazing up at you in the third photo from the bottom!

    -Bart and Ruby
    rottrover recently posted..Not Really Wordless Wednesday…

  7. Fatima
    | Reply

    Yes, Beryl did get a Merit in Rally Zoom Novice yey! (71/100) I have your certificate here :)
    Fatima recently posted..Update from Linford (Aleiron)

  8. houndstooth
    | Reply

    You’ve done some great training with both of them! You and Beryl look fantastic going through your paces. I’d really like to do some Rally with Bunny, but I have a feeling that if I do any training in the near future, it will have to be with Morgan. She needs the time and attention so badly, and hubby is busy with his puppy.
    houndstooth recently posted..Some Things Don’t Go As Planned

  9. genjiscorner
    | Reply

    My kids are ok with jumping out of the Subie’s, but as they age, might have to have a car ramp, which will help with jumping out too. That course looks like fun for both, and great bonding experience.
    genjiscorner recently posted..Little Bit of Snow

    • Greyhounds CAN Sit
      | Reply

      I did buy Beryl a ramp, Gyeong, but it was just a fraction too wide for the door opening. So it’s gathering dust:)

  10. Trude
    | Reply

    That looks like so much fun! It looks like they both did great. And the training you did with them both in the car sounds like the kind of real-world stuff I prefer to do with Dante. :) Now if only there was a stop-whining seminar… ;) (P.S. Thank you so much for all your sweet comments! I apologize for any lost sleep.) xo
    Trude recently posted..February Desktop Background

  11. 24 Paws of Love
    | Reply

    I really enjoyed hearing about what you did with Beryl and Frankie and the car. I know we have a few issues with the dogs getting in our truck because it is higher than the van and it scares some of the dogs. This challenge has been pretty cool. :) So glad to hear that it worked for you too. :)
    24 Paws of Love recently posted..Monday Memories-Would you do it?

  12. Georgia Little Pea
    | Reply

    Good job on the car training! The Other Half used to lift Rufus in and out of our 4WD too! And waiting in the car for the release is something that Georgia is perfecting. I always worry that she’ll jump down to run after one of the street cats. But, like Beryl, she’s getting better.

    Love that last picture of Beryl looking up at you :)
    Georgia Little Pea recently posted..Love, ingenuity and a lost dog.

  13. Kirsten
    | Reply

    That’s very cool that you spontaneously entered two classes! Rally zoom sounds like a dog’s dream.
    Kirsten recently posted..Healing

  14. Amy@GoPetFriendly
    | Reply

    Handy Dog looks like a lot of fun, but I’ve never heard of that here in the States. Beryl did so good and who can blame her for not sitting – she was clearly born to run!
    Amy@GoPetFriendly recently posted..Pet Travel To The UK Gets Easier

  15. Kristine
    | Reply

    Congratulations on your training success! I’d imagine the feeling of being lifted is not a comfortable one for a greyhound so it really speaks volumes of your relationship with Beryl that she handles it with grace.

    I haven’t heard of Handy Dog before. It looks like it’d be tremendously difficult! My only saving grace would be that you are allowed to perform the course on -leash. All that healing would blow my dog’s brain. I am sure Beryl and Frankie both had a great time, no matter how well they did. Good on you for getting up the nerve to enter. Thanks for sharing the photos!
    Kristine recently posted..Something Wagging’s Train Your Dog (And Cat) Month Challenge – All is Revealed

  16. Honey the Great Dane
    | Reply

    First, congrats on your training challenge. I think it’s great that you’ve taught Frankie the importance of “Wait” until he gets permission to jump out – coz it can literally save his life. IN fact, we had a blog friend very sadly tell us recently that their dog jumped out of their car without warning and got hit by a car passing…awful.

    Oh – and that was so interesting about your Rally Zoom & Handy Dog courses! I’m not sure I understand though – how are they different to Rally-O? That’s the term I’m more familiar with. I tried that when we were in Brisbane – it sounds more similar to the Handy Dog course and boy, did Honey HATE the Downs!! I would LOVE to do a Rally Zoom course if it has no Sits & Downs…what a great idea when you have a big, slow dog that takes ages to Sit & lie Down – and get up! :-) Wish there was that here in Australia…so far, I’ve only seen Rally-O mentioned. Also, from your pictures, it looks like your course is much bigger and better spaced out. When we did it in Brisbane, it was really tough with Honey coz the course was very cramped and the cones placed really close together – and you know how hard it can be to do tight turns with a big, long dog! :-)

    Honey the Great Dane recently posted..Moonlight Cinema, Lizard Rehab & Important Domestic Rituals…

  17. Pamela
    | Reply

    I’ll start with my apologies for being AWOL. I’ve been down with a bad virus and today’s the first day I had the concentration to read all these great challenge posts.

    It sounds like you came up with a great challenge to work on with Beryl and Frankie. And one that’s helping you enjoy your new car all the more. Terrific job. And just the kind of thing I was hoping the challenge would inspire.

    I’ll be choosing the random winner of the donation tomorrow morning. Good luck!
    Pamela recently posted..Something Wagging Train Your Dog Challenge – The Big Reveals

  18. Trina
    | Reply

    Great job! Sounds similar to Cali’s stringent therapy dog test! She grows weary of sitting too.
    Trina recently posted..Pawsome

  19. [...] to some hard work, Frankie and Beryl of Greyhounds Can Sit are safely entering and exiting their new adventure [...]

  20. Caron
    | Reply

    Wow, it looks like you all have been having lots of fun too! I don’t think we have Handy Dogs in the U.S. It sounds kind of like a mix of our CGC test and Rally. The 1, 2, 3 steps back or forward is one of the hardest for us. Someday I’m going to have to get a new bigger car and I’ve worried about the height for them getting in and out too. Thanks for you nice comments on Astro’s Rally success!
    Caron recently posted..Astro’s 1st Rally Trial

  21. Never Say Never Greyhounds
    | Reply

    I’ve never heard of a handy course before. Not sure whe have it in the US. Kind of looks like Rally.

    When Riley had the fracture, she also learned to be good about letting me put her down out of the van. She’d just lean into me.
    Never Say Never Greyhounds recently posted..The Strategy

  22. Helen/Aragon greyhounds
    | Reply

    No Handy Dog class but sounds a bit like Rally over here in the states. Yes the multiple sits can be a challenge for the greyhounds-but with lots of rewards they learn to like it. Well sort of.

  23. Michelle
    | Reply

    You guys look like pros out there! What fun and so rewarding. :)

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