Sunday, 3 November 2013

Time flies

It's a whole week since my last post. I don't know where the time goes. Overall it's been a decent week. Ruby went to her first training class at Calverley Dog Training Club on Wednesday evening and did ok. There were only 3 other dogs there so we got plenty of attention. Ted the brown spaniel, lulu the beagle and a titchy little squashed faced mop of a dog. No memory of what it was called and not sure what breed it was. No doubt I'll get to know it better over the coming weeks.

You are a leaf and you will do as I command - Or I will
stare at you until you obey.
For a first lesson it wasn't bad. Ruby wanted to play with the other dogs and to start with she kept letting a bit of wee out whenever she met a new dog or owner. In terms of the training we had to stand in a square and take it in turns to walk our dog around all the others, trying to keep the dog focused on walking with us and NOT getting distracted by the other dogs. The first time it didn't go too well. But on the second attempt I put plenty of energy and effort into keeping Ruby on task and she did really well.

Local walks each day are becoming a bit stressful at the moment. Ruby pulls frantically on her lead, to the point where she is on her back legs and almost choking herself. However many times I stop, tell her to wait, and then try again, she immediately goes back to frantic pulling. She is not so bad when away from the roads so I think it might have something to do with traffic. However, the roads on the estate aren't that busy and even when there are no cars driving by, she still pulls like mad. 

She is much better with a harness but there are two issues here. First, I WANT to train her to walk with a collar/lead without pulling. Second, she has slipped the harness a few times. She seems to 'back out' of it somehow. It's never happened on the roadside as she is too busy forging ahead. But when we get to the farmer's field and start to go through the gate, she turns to face us, pulls backwards, and if we are not careful, she is out of the harness. 

For the time being, I think I'm going to go back to the harness as at least she isn't putting pressure on her throat. It also pulls her up much better and she seems a lot calmer when walking on the roadside. I just need to watch her like a hawk in case she tries to get out of it. She would definitely chase passing cars and it would not end well.

Does my bum look big in this?
We went back to the park today. Ruby does like going there. She met loads of dogs, saw a football match, distracted one of the players who was trying to warm up, and tried her best to chase after the footballs.

There are certainly no worries around her socialising with other dogs or people. She behaves really well, loves meeting people and getting strokes, and always seems to act appropriately with other dogs.

Later, when I took her for a teatime stroll around the estate, she did a big poop on a patch of grass en route. Not a particularly interesting fact I grant you. But actually it is a bit of a milestone. Up until that point, she had never done a wee or a poop while out. She has always held it in until we got home, then rushed to the back garden to 'evacuate'. So squatting down and firing out a huge poop on today's walk was an achievement. 

Well done Ruby. And well done me for cleaning it all up and disposing properly; not leaving it there just because nobody was looking. It riles me when people do that. Nothing worse than going about your business and having to dodge piles of dog mess left there by ignorant owners who are too lazy/selfish to take it away.