Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spring Fever- Squirrels Abound

Refreshing that off  leash recall with a lot of fun.  Will be hot and cold running squirrels soon and I'd hate to have to leash him up for no good reason.

Friday, March 9, 2018

I wasn't born in Canada -- I am an awesome dog

 Just a shout out to international dogs--Sonic's rockin' the snow.
He came from the Dominican Republic until his owners, from Haiti, got deported back.  Very good people where already helping them care for their pets, and when they were deported, their abandoned pets were fostered, vetted, and placed in appropriate homes.  Sonic was listed as "border collie mix for physically active couple"--yup.
And that's how Sonic showed up at my door.

ps.  video is Sonic & me playing fetch & tug at sunset.  not sure why the thumbnail sucks.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week Six, Agility

Wow am I pumped.
Way too pumped,
This is week six in agility. Boy am I excited.  Need to TURN IT DOWN, will be practicing my inside voice for next time.

Good Tree Hunting-Sonic picks a christmas tree.

Good Tree Hunting, Sonic's 1st Xmas (not a gsd)

I like to make fun of folks that call themselves dog parents, but, ack, here I am all excited about Sonic's 1st Christmas. And we took him to the Tree Farm to help us pick up a tree.
I was hoping for a cheerier shot, but my two guys are taking tree hunting very seriously.

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

And hey, OTHER THAN A BORDER COLLIE, what else do you see in him? I mean, I see an island dog (just google 'coconut hound', imagine him tan and flat coated and you'll see what I mean), but I will be forever curious.

Sonic was a VERY GOOD DOG at the tree farm, nice leash manners!

I'll get some Christmas pics with the decorated tree (and maybe decorated he), because this year I am going to be a besotted Dog MOM. Yes, SONIC, You WILL be forced into wearing red ribbons.

October training diary

Oops, this should have backdated to October.  I am tardy with my training diary.

Oh boy, this past week, where to start.
Jumping over arms, yep, he's doin' it.
Tall (stand on two legs) 'almost' gettin' it on the verbal.
Ditto for Spin (best) and Twist.
This due to me finally learning to stand still, speak 1st, then hand signal, then mark & treat.

Had a really good, right off the start, train/play session in the local parkette, even with swans nearby (which were slightly distracting to him, and really distracting to me--trumpeter swans, so beautiful)

Started 'go out's' to a target (a tiny ball on stick), and realized I was slowing him down with, you guessed it, too much movement. He didn't want to go out because my body language was ultra distracting/interesting. Again, me learning to 'stand still' with arms at sides, in this case, wait for him to touch the ball (still in the shaping stage), mark & treat. He's learning to move away from me independent, not looking for visual cues.

re: jumping over arms, and & 'tall', I over did/over-trained on Friday. He just wasn't all that 'into it' in the afternoon--note to self, don't be such a 'tiger mom'.

On the practical front, had him off-leash for the whole 90 minutes of a forest walk without me going nuts, AND he actually played tug & fetch (with a leather & fur tug-n-treat toy) in the forest. That was like pulling teeth with coaxing, etc... but a start. A good start. Lovely to see him free run for such a long time.

He met my in-laws puppy in their 5 acre unfenced yard. Sonic is acting pure bc in that context, stuck around, zero interest in wandering away, played a bit with puppy, then ignored, or bugged me, mildly friendly with folks to aloof once 'hello's' were done.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

training diary

Cat feeding all good.
Now doing nice leave it's. Practiced with tossing treats (which are always 'his' as I used tossed treats due to early hand-shy issue issues), so now teaching some are his (take it. get it), some are not (leave it) and some are the cats (cat's name). He obviously understands the concept of name = possession, which is bizarre but seems true, maybe it's eye contact & body language (with said cat). BUT all this equaled, once, tossed a treat for him and Simba raced for it, and Sonic looked at ME (yay, good dog, here's a different treat). Nice choice on his part. (Simba didn't want it anyway--so Sonic got to have it later)

Off leash: taking him to the dog forest more often as there are less and less dogs outside now. Lots of dogs on Sunday, and again Tuesday. Watching him to see how he handles off-lead dogs. With very rare exception, does not play with dogs--does a polite greeting, sniff and move on. If the dogs are over bearing, too much energy, will do a fun imitation of speedy gonzales, but doesn't come back for more except with less energy, as in, darts away at 100 mph, comes back with less rpm, by that time, other dog is thinking Whoah, you are too fast for me, and not much more happens. Sometimes I slow up to join with folks with dogs, and Sonic will either ignore & move on (greetings done, you are boring, behaviour), sometimes engage in mutual sniff & pee session then move on to explore the woods, or just run ahead, or, if I stand around long enough say, hey, can I earn a treat here? He's just not all that into dogs.
He's has twice really liked a dog. Once, a female pug, mutual chase, then he kept trying to entice her to chase game, and circle round to come and get her (pugs just can't go that fast), and last week a goofy lab, he actually played some mutual chase and stuck around for peeing games & more chase. I walked with the owner. But that's it, mostly neutral, occasionally wary, definitely willing to stick up for himself, and communicates that with upright body language & look aways (hey, I'll stick up for myself if I have to, but I'd rather not have to). This works with any well socialized dog. He will respond to a cheerful 'let's go' if I think tension is building, or it's one of those bully dogs that will push his buttons instead of letting him move on un-molested (he does not like contact sports).

Petsmart: will go on Sunday afternoons only. There are actually dogs there on Sunday, dogs plural, lots of dogs, dogs in store and and dogs in class, barking puppies. So there's something to work with, and when there's something to work with, he learns and does well. Even with surprise dog in face-->he looked at me. Had a conversation with a lady in the parking lot. She had a gorgeous white shepherd pup who got bored and lay down. Had him on a loose leash while dogs went in and out. Worked him on his traffic lead indoors, he's good, getting more relaxed, interested in treats, not doing any 'training' right now, no commands etc he's on a leash, looking at just getting him comfy with the idea that dog over there doesn't equal dog in face, and he's starting to understand that--ie, he looks at a dog without expecting to have to deal with it. Take him out in the parking lot for breaks, and play & train there, and he's playing.

Agility: he's now looking forward to playing frisbee/tug in the parking lot at the END of his off-lead forest walk! Whoot. So, took along a pole (to practice wraps) and a mat (in lieu of table) and put all three things together. He liked it! So another place to train, my yard is too small