May is usually my extremely busy flyball month, so of course this year I forgot to get my act in gear and actually enter any agility shows. I’m taking Dylan to UKA Dig It this weekend, mainly to support some of our newbie competitors from training, but also to get Ri measured.
Dylan is working really well in training with the dogwalk, so I’m hoping that will continue to this weekend (where we’ll be doing lots of NFC runs!). I’ve done every confidence-boosting training method I can think of, including component parts and restrained recalls. There’s a good chance it will all fall apart when faced with a strange dogwalk, but at least I’ll be able to see where we’re at.
Rio is back on walks now with the rest of the gang, although I’m deliberately walking in the woodland to try and reduce the amount of head-to-head racing she and Dylan usually do. They can’t resist the siren call of a beautifully trimmed golfing green! I’ve been working on her core strength as well, and she’s not yet allowed back on the road-walks that Dylan goes on.
Rio starts flyball training again on May 18th, although it’s just target work and recalls, but in a class setting which will be useful for her! Especially because she’s had two bad experiences in the past few weeks, both due to other people being totally irresponsible. In the first case, somebody left their dog in their garden whilst they went out, and the dog escaped into our garden. The dog made it’s own way out the first time, but the second time was rampaging around, so my dad opened our door to try and help it escape, at which time it ran into our house and attacked Rio. Unfortunately I wasn’t home at the time but Rio wasn’t injured and my parents were able to kick the dog out and then corral it and return it to it’s original garden (leaving a note for the owner, which they obviously haven’t responded to).
Second incident was when I took Ri and Dyl out to Digley for their first swim of the season. A huge Lab appeared from where multiple families were picnicking and attempted to flatten Rio – not maliciously, but just out of control. Rio hightailed it out of there, and eventually managed to circle back and hide between my legs, where I could bodyblock the Lab from getting to her. Eventually it got bored and bulldozed another dog in the distance. Again, nobody claimed responsibility for that dog either.
Thankfully Dylan at least wasn’t subjected to either dog – he was out with me for the first incident, and for the second, he did me proud by choosing to circle away to keep his distance. He was wary and clearly uncomfortable but chose to react by sniffing and moving away, not by defensive behaviour.