I am continuing to pick away at some socialization items that I missed earlier. Have a few more on my hit list I would like to do soon, but time keeps sailing by.
I enjoyed taking the dogs to Wet Noses last Saturday to play off leash. So far I have only taken them out together on leash, which is a bit of a gong show for all involved! So I wanted them to have a chance off leash to figure things out on their own. Mostly Tess ignored Riggs and enjoyed trying to catch gophers. Riggs tried to chase her and play a bit at first, but then got hot and tired and settled for exploring within about a 5 foot radius of me. All in all it was a great walk and they did better in the car together than I expected. Nice to get good surprises!
Sunday I took Riggs to check out the lagoon area of Bowness park; I had Tess there last weekend – I think – and it seemed like there was lots of people and the train had started up for the season. So I thought it would be good exposure for Riggs. He did pretty well; great with the people and dogs. It’s still a bit of a struggle with the dogs, I don’t particularly want him to visit other dogs while on leash (just my preference after dealing with some issues with Tess), but I also want to be mindful of not causing him frustration because I do want to encourage him to be friendly and enjoy their company. So it’s a bit of a balance on my part to encourage him to look at – and be friendly towards – the other dogs, but also teach him to focus on me when around them. More work to do on my part! We are also working on sitting when people or bikes go by us. He’s not too focused right now, but is getting better and better. He struggled a bit with the weird train thing at Bowness, I should have had a little more distance from it to start. It came at us side on, and he was a little scared of the noise it made. He seemed to warm up to it a bit and didn’t mind following it from a distance, so we’ll work on that a bit more.
I’ll do anything for treats mom!
I have no idea what we got up to Monday night, but I’m continuing to try to take Riggs to new places, just to experience different locations and the weird things people do. Sometime this week I took him to the east side of Confederation Park. He got to see some skateboarders, more than I would have liked and closer and noisy-er. But he handled it really well. More work on sitting while people pass, and focusing on me when dogs go by. We also had a fun game of tug back at the car!
Tuesday Riggs had another Show Confidence handling class. He did pretty well. There were a lot more dogs than the last drop in class we attended, so that was good for him to experience. It was hotter than heck in the room so all the dogs got pretty tired and lazy as class went on. He’s such a goofball when doing his jog around the ring!
Wednesday I took the afternoon off so I could attend an evening mountain biking course, so I took advantage of the time to book another nail trim with Riggs. Originally Tess was supposed to go for a haircut, but her allergies have been very bad lately and I didn’t want to introduce anything new, or stress her any further than she already was. So Riggs took over. He was very good for them. They are slowly starting to do a little more, trimmed his nails, worked a little with getting him used to the sound of the clippers (which I have been working on as well), trimmed the hair under this feet, and just having different people handle him. He was a champ! Tess got a good walk in as well, can’t remember where we went either!
Thursday was Tess’ flyball class, we had a great time! Love our trainer! Tess is doing pretty well at all the pieces individually, but we are still struggling putting them all together; so we’re just plugging away at it.
For the summer work gives us Friday afternoons off, which is so nice to have! Some of my coworkers arranged a mountain biking trip, so it was a spoil ME day! Took Tess for a walk around the neighbourhood since it was a little late after I made Tess’ dinner and my own. I took Riggs to a new park, Canmore park, which can be a great place to train. But last night we just did the quick (15/20 minute) loop walk and headed home. I’m really happy with how his leash walking is (when he’s by himself), it’s certainly not a formal heel and still requires my full attention…making sure I don’t let him pull me, don’t trip on him, give him time to stop and sniff if he wants to. We also walked right next to a busy-ish road, which is the closest he’s been to traffic. He was a little unsure about a few of the cars whizzing by but got more comfortable as time went on.
This morning Riggs got to attend his first day care visit. The girls said he did very well, looks like he got two individual play sessions with different dogs, and was in a bigger play group with the little dogs when I picked him up. They had glowing reports on how well he did so I was pretty pleased with that! Since Tess isn’t too thrilled to play with him yet (I think she will come around more once he stops hanging off her neck and jumping on her head) it was nice for him to get a chance to play with some dogs who have good doggie manners and who want to play with him. All in all a good day for him, I’ll have to book some more. I think the morning was a good test and good length of time for him, I’ll probably do a few more half days before sending him for the full day. Tess got a manicure at home after I dropped Riggs off at daycare, then we headed off to check out a new walk at Glenmore park. Really enjoyed some of the dirt trails in the Weaselhead, definitely have to go back! Hope to take the dogs out to a lake to swim tonight; hoping it’ll be a little less busy this evening, and give me a chance to get a few things done at home first!
At this point most of my training seems to be on walks, or when I visit them at lunch during the work week. We work on little things during everyday life – like sitting before exiting the car – but really I’m not doing too much with him training wise. Still trying to take him new places and work on things in many different environments. Nothing earth shattering training wise, just simple things like sit, touch, down, hand targeting, OFF, or leave it.
I think Riggs is ready to take his novice trick dog test, so I might see if I can get my sister to test us this week. Fingers crossed it goes well!