Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Flying Pit Bulls and Candadian Dogs

The doggies and I had an awesome trip to Canada last week. We have a cabin on a lake in Ontario that we visit every summer and it is doggy heaven. I was really excited to see if Goose would jump off the dock and swim. The first day we were there he was all about it, but the second day he was not so much. I think all the diving overwhelmed him. His technique at jumping off the dock for a toy is pretty bad. He usually doesn't want to jump unless the stick or toy is so close to the dock that he can grab it as he lands. This results in his head being submerged under the water, which scares him, yet he still does it. He hasn't quite realized that there are other more enjoyable ways of doing it. It was so funny because after the first day any time I got a toy he would get really excited and run to the area that he was jumping from and then when I'd throw it he'd just go to the edge and stare at it. A few times I picked him up and placed him in the water, which I think he actually liked. If he didn't I don't think he would stand at the edge and allow me to do it. Plus he got to get the toy with out going under or choking on water. Win-Win! Billy had a blast as always jumping into the water. He likes to chase balls and toys but LOVES to chase sticks. Especially BIG sticks. The bigger the stick the more excited he gets about going after it. The dogs really have a blast there. I even got to take Billy on a run off leash through a trail, which was the first time we have done that. After running with him off leash though, it makes running with him on leash seem just cruel. He had so much fun and actually got to go at a comfortable pace for his Husky self and not at my super slow pace. He also recalled nicely for the reward of being able to continue exploring so that was also really good. Goose was too little to come for a big boy run so he took a nappy during that time.

I got to work on some stuff with the dogs while I was there too. Billy is learning to paint and I have been working a lot on Gooses heel. I used a pedestal to teach Goose a contact heel. I believe its Siliva Trkman's method or at least that's where I saw it on youtube as someone who attended her class made a video of using it to teach her own puppy. Goose finds heel position on the left and right so well now. He is getting better at adjusting his position when I move as well. The biggest issue is that he's trying to make contact with my leg with his bum more than his shoulder, since that he where he had been bumping me on the pedestal. I've just been rewarding the shoulder contact a ton and hes really getting it. Its so cute and fun to train! Billy picked up targeting with something in his mouth really quickly. We started with him holding a pen and targeting my hand then I shaped a nose touch to a board then a nose touch to the board with a pen in his mouth. Finally, I added the paint brush and he can now target the board while holding the paint brush. We are working on him not letting go of the paint brush until I mark as he is dropping it the moment it touches. I never thought I'd be able to do this trick with Billy because I really never thought I'd be able to teach him to hold things but we finally got a hold and so many other tricks have come from it.

So the latest fiasco was the flying Pit Bull at the vet today. Goose was going in for his last round of shots and Billy has been chewing on his backend so I took them both. I brought them in separately as the last time they were at the vet together was a disaster. So I left the car on with Billy inside and took Goose in to get his shots. He barked on the way in and in the lobby so I'm thinking he remembers the last time when he and Billy had a bark fest or else he was just having a nervous day and there was a dog barking at him from behind a door. After that he was fine though and walking out he was fine too. I'm still trying to figure out what types of things make him nervous. Anyway, the appointment was really quick and I ran out so that I could trade Goose and Billy really quick. I put Goose in the car and grabbed Billy and literally the second the door shut a black dog came flying at us from an open window of a truck. The dog went toward Billy and I'm not sure what exactly her intent was because I grabbed her before she could really get to him. I had the dog which was a black female Pit in one hand and a growling Billy in the other. Luckily her owner got out quickly and ran over and took her from me. He apologized profusely saying that that has never happened before. I asked him if she was dog aggressive and he game me a sideways answer that made me think that she was. Plus the fact that she flung herself out of a moving car to get to Billy completely ignoring me and the noises she was making at the same dog that was barking at Goose were just wild. I'm so thankful that it didn't happen two seconds earlier or it could have been Goose she went after. He is much less intimidating looking than Billy and since he is already a bit worried about other dogs, one flying out of a window after him would not have helped.

Goose had agility class tonight and it went so well. No one was there for some reason so I basically had a private class. Goose did great on get outs and recalling past food. I learned a lot about handling which is what I really want to learn at this point. I need to know what I'm doing so that I don't end up having to train them all over again in the future. Plus, there's only so much you can do when you don't know what your doing.

Goose Dock "diving"
Go Billy GO!

Head first!
In heaven

Go Gooey Go!
We put a life jacket on Goose for a canoe ride. He didn't seem to mind.
Best Skies here!
Another cool sky!
Boatin' Dogs
Boatin' Bill

He's so cute! and somewhat growing into his body
Licking the boat
And howling!

Billy loves the one ear up one ear down look. Does that mean anything?
Sailor puppy!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you had a great vacation to Canada! We do love it up here but also enjoy heading south to the States for visits too.
    I wanted to let you know we love following your blog and we have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award http://urbancanines.blogspot.com/2010/08/versatile-blogger-award-thanks-murphy.html . See our post today for details and thank you for posting such wonderful blog entries.