Monday, May 18, 2009

The Busy Season

As most dog owners will tell you, this time of year is always the busiest, and it's no different in this house. The warmer weather and longer days means that we get to venture out to different places, see some shows, meet up with fellow dog-owners, and train new behaviours. It also means that, in our case, we get more dogs coming to stay as people go away on their annual holidays. Shown in the picture to the left, is our most recent visitor, Sally.
At Bourne Woods
We also met with John, Sandy, and their dog, Barney a few weeks ago. We took our dogs around the local Bourne Woods. Now, usually, I'd publish dozens upon dozens of photos from such places, wouldn't I? So why not this time? Numpty that I am, I forgot to switch on the anti-shake system on my camera. When I got home, I noticed that all of the photos were quite blurred. It still didn't occur to me what had happened, and I just presumed that, as I'd been running quite a bit, that perhaps my breathing was making more movement in the camera than usual.
The next day, the same thing happened, only that time I hadn't been doing any running. I was actually starting to question whether I was starting to get shaky hands in my old age! It was then that I noticed I hadn't turned on the anti-shake system. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Sorry John and Sandi, and of course, to Barney who did his best to show us all that he is over his fear of water.

Regardless, it was great to catch up with them. We've home-boarded Barney before. To this day, he's still the only dog that has managed to get Ellie to cave in and play with him! That's quite an achievement I can tell you!
In other news, we had to home-board Ellie over the weekend, as we went away to Jan's Mum and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary. It is the first time that she has been away from me overnight. In fact, the longest she has ever been away from me is about five hours I think. All in all, she did very well I'm told. A bit 'stressy', watching at the door but overall she coped well. When we were reunited, the first thing she did was thrust a tennis ball into my hand. I get the feeling I am little more than her personal ball-launcher. :)

This coming weekend we have two dogs being home-boarded. This will be the first time that Ellie has had to cope with two dogs. They are both JRTs, comically nicknamed 'the Doodles'. They seemed to get along on the initial visit and so it should be fine. In fact, May is pretty much fully booked with dogs! And let's not forget, it's Ellie's second birthday this month too! Wow, that has come around quickly!

In training terms, I'm currently working on the Silvia Trkman Heel method with Ellie. We're at the very first stage. She is now going around and getting clicked when she touches my leg. Though I don't yet see that she has put the two together. It seems to me that she hasn't quite registered it's the touching of my leg that is bringing the reward, not the moving around. She's also much better at going one way than the other. But we'll get there. This was always going to be a hard one to teach as Ellie gets very nervous and timid in a heel position. We've no idea why, but think it's my height. It will probably, therefore, do her good to be receiving frequent treats to be touching my leg.


Owner of Storm and Jackal said...

Sally is a cutie! Good luck with your heeling training with Ellie. She'll figure it out. She's a smart dog.

George's owner said...

Ellie was a pleasure to have in my home and is welcome any time. Keep me informed about the heel work I'm very interested.

Greet said...

can you help me with the silvia Trkman heeling methode?
How can I teach my dog to pivot keeping its front paws on the object? Do you know of a video showing explaining this step of the methode?