Sunday, 20 February 2022

Brodie is 15!!! And some puppy thoughts

 My special Mr Toad has turned 15 this month! 💙 I feel so lucky to have him in my life and what adventures we have had together!! He is the sweetest boy, so good with dogs and people and such a pleasure to take anywhere. Rather than put old pictures on here I thought I make a montage of what Toad has got up to over the last month 😍 He still loves his walks and goes out for a couple of 20 min walks a day usually although we did 40 mins this morning and he bounced along quite happily!

All the lovely weather we have had over the last month (very dry and quite warm...notice the dogs not wearing coats sometimes in Toads video!) has rapidly gone downhill. We had a lot of rain last weekend and then Storm Dudley followed by Storm Eunice a couple of days later. Unfortunately the garden is now like a bog, my agility field is like a swamp and we lost five fence panels! 

Branston is now 7.5 months and had a busy week last week! I taught a puppy workshop at his breeders and he came in at the end and did some proprioception work and recalls which was testing as he was sooo excited 😂 He also had a trick training workshop where he learnt cross paws, hid leg lifts and reversing round me. He loves trick training so much and I'm a bit biased but he is a smart cookie! Pickle also had a rally class, an Agility Workshop and a Hoopers class during the week. I don't usually do so much in one go but as they were all groups of 6 dogs he didn't get too tired in any of the groups. In fact it was the tricks that wore him out the most as we worked at the same time quite a lot.

For me it is the bits between the exercises that I'm just as interested in with a young dog as the actual exercises. I want them to be quiet and settled between turns...something that I failed with massively with Sparkle and I didn't realise how much it would impact on her future agility career. The sight of another dog running would send her into a screaming lunging lunatic and then she would be unable to think straight when it was her turn! Queuing at shows has never been easy and although she has got better I can never relax when I'm holding her. Branston has either been in a crate or a raised bed at classes/workshops so far. I have used the crate if its a class of dogs I don't know and there will be dogs running off lead (I don't trust other teenage dogs not to run over and I want to keep him safe) At rally and 1-1 lessons he has been on a raised bed in between turns as I don't feel there is the same risk factor. I might sound over the top but Brooke got attacked at his age and she has never got over it...its just not worth the risk! Anyway as usual I'm going off on a tangent! So apart from settling between turns (so far so good but will keep rewarding him for being quiet!) I'm also looking for him to

- be restrained happily by anyone (this is a work in progress but he is getting really happy with it)
- play with the trainer (absolutely fine with a long tuggy so far)
- ignore the other dogs while he is working (so far so good but aware hormones may change this!)
- allow me to clip his lead on at the end of his go (ok so far)
- send back to his bed/crate if I'm not putting his lead on (prefers this to the lead as it involves running!)
- swap between toys and food happily (I have worked hard on this at home and it has transferred well)
- retrieve a toy (it doesn't have to be a perfect retrieve but not to bog off with his toy!)

When I'm teaching workshops I often feel that these are just as important as the actual agility work, not to have them as perfect skills but to be aware of them and continue rewarding them making the right choices. Most teenage dogs want to join in with other dogs running, don't want to wait their turn, be put back on lead, bring a toy back and many are hitting a second fear period so playing with a trainer can be too much for them. At the moment I have upped Branston Pickles rewards to fridge raiders and stinky sausage for workshops! We have a grid workshop this week which will be a good test of all of the above as Dan and his puppy Nerd are in my group and Branston loves them both! 

Anyway enough rambling from me! Here is the latest Pickle video ❤

Brooke bean got to play hoopers this week as well, she absolutely aced the course that Jo-Ann had set! It was nice to work her as the weather has not been on our side, even for working in the garden! Her distance work is coming on so nicely, we have a competition soon so hopefully she will remember how to send out! 💚

No comments:

Post a Comment