Sunday, December 5, 2010

Brief Training Update

Hello Readers,

I don't update this blog as much as I used to, mostly because I spend most of my writing efforts on or, but I thought I would post a quick and brief update on both Duke and Petey.

Update on Duke:

Duke finished his beginner's agility class in the summer. He did fairly well in it but most importantly got calmer and got used to working around dogs again. Unfortunately he did get really snarky on one particular dog in class for which we were quite embarrassed about but fortunately nothing bad happened out of it except for a lot of howling. Duke now has a really, really nice Sit Pretty and Play Bow and did a few jumps, coaxed through tunnels, etc.

A very exciting update in the last month or so is we switched Duke to a raw diet (raw with vegetables, and supplements, not prey model). This topic deserves a full blog post later.

Last brief update is our incorporating Behavior Adjustment Training into Duke's mix has been tremendously beneficial.

Update on Petey:

From February till late May, we had a third Beagle houseguest - Cooper, and what I realized after he left was that Cooper's presence was really stressing Petey out. He didn't do that great on the 4th Karen Pryor Academy workshop and during the spring he had lost focus and drive to work. Back then I was perplexed as to why my super drivey happy to work dog had become easily distracted and uninterested in work. Even Steve Benjamin (my instructor with KPA) noticed that Petey was not his usual motivated self.

Well, a few months after Cooper left, I noticed an improvement in Petey. It wasn't coincidental. His motivation to work, focus, and drive went right back to where it was before.

Moral of the story is... if you want the best from your dog, you need to focus on all aspects of a dog's health. Good diet, sufficient peace and quiet (he did NOT have this with Cooper around), physical exercise, mental stimulation, and good health. Cooper's constant howling and barking, and his usurping of a sleeping spot on the dog couch meant that Petey was always on edge, and therefore unable to focus.

So Petey's back! Here's a little video taken last week of Petey working on Finish. The tappy toes and waggy tail that he is known for is in full effect.