I don’t think I’ve ever gone a whole month without blogging before. Technically, I still haven’t, since I blog for The Phantoms and for North K9 as well, but I haven’t blogged here. My thoughts, my dogs, my blog.
I spent 12 days dog- and house-sitting in Cambridge for some flyballing friends whilst they were away in Canada. It was fun, I learned a lot, and I missed my dogs.
Dylan has Wilmslow this weekend and is appallingly unfit, I’m not sure I should even run him. He hasn’t trained anything beyond some single jump work, and 6 weaves, for 6 weeks. We’ll see. He has been tracking a few more times and he loves it. I do not love it, tracking is boring and it involves a lot of preparation work from me before Dylan can actually do anything. He is very good at tracking, he is methodical and accurate, and he can do corners and indicate articles. I never thought I’d get to the point of giving up whole days to stand in a field and shuffle around laying tracks just to make my dog happy, but apparently that’s where I am in my life now.
Rio continues to be wonderful in every way. Almost every way; she’s naughty about chasing squirrels, and she really HATES people visiting the house. We open the door to greet people and Rio goes INTRUDER ALERT ALARM BARK THESE ARE MY HACKLES INTRUDER BACK AWAY INTRUDER EVERYONE BACK AWAY IMMEDIATELY INTRUDER RARRRRRRR. I despair, and then she does something like her happy a-roooo and I forgive her. I could write essays about this dog and how much I love her. Every week she improves at agility, not just in focus but in skill. We need to work a little more on working at Large height, her take off points are a bit close. I remember Jet doing the same thing when she was younger, and Rio does the same things with her weaves that Jet did too (ie. hitting too hard, uncontrolled weave enthusiasm LOVE). If Rio ends up anywhere as good as Jet, I’ll be thrilled.
Daisy is being “managed” around the other dogs at the moment. She needs more consistent management and training from all family members to overcome her issues, but unfortunately that isn’t happening. I’m frustrated about that, because her issues are “fixable”, especially at her age and at this stage. She gets overexcited (over threshold, reactive, whatever word works to describe best) when the other dogs get overexcited, and she tries to shut them down/control the situation. Dylan and Rio ignore her, or get worried and offer lots of calming signals. Their reactions are appropriate (ie. socially acceptable) but I don’t like them to be put in a situation where they feel that way. Kim overreacts, but because of her age I think it’s easier to try and change Daisy than Kim. To be honest, part of this problem is due to the approach taken in her first 8months, which was just to stick a tennis ball in her mouth. It’s why her tennis ball obsession is so strong, as the tennis ball was a calming mechanism when she got over threshold, and has become (what I assume to be a) a rewarding behaviour on a chemical/hormone release level. A chew has the same kind of effect on her – give Angry Daisy a chew and it’s like flipping a switch to instantaneous nom-nom-nom relaxed Daisy.
She’s a case study. Maybe I should write her up for my KCAI. Worth mentioning that she is also cute and funny and fast, she has discovered the TV and takes it very seriously, and she loves playing with Dylan. He told her off for biting his ruff so now she asks him to play by hurling her whole body at his head and then bouncing off, accompanied by vocal persuasion. He always gives in.