Thursday, July 15, 2010

Obedience School

Well, I have found an obedience class that is offered indoors on private property with a trainer who has sighthound experience. She is going to ring me sometime this week to organise our initial consultation to make sure that Barbie will fit in with the class. The maximum class size is 6 dogs, so it should be a good number for her to deal with in terms of distraction. The class is being offered at Billy's Daycare for Dogs, and I'm hoping to build on my relationship with the owner of the business, because maybe she would be interested in holding agility type classes as well.

The challenge of owning a greyhound in Perth is that there are a very limited number of fully fenced dog parks available. Barbie & I are urbanites, we live in a villa with a 150sqm backyard so there is no room for agility equipment and not enough room for Barbie to get up to full pace. I'm very aware of the fact that Barbie needs to run. She loves to get up to top speed and she is also little more than a pup. If I can get her one or two free running sessions a week, she is happy. She is pretty good with other dogs, even if she does chase them she is not as rough as she used to be, and shows some sense of fairness, slowing down for other dogs so they think they can catch her before sprinting off. We frequent the dog park at Whiteman Park most often, and we sometimes go to the dog park in Ellenbrook. These places are preferred because Bender is welcome. Sometimes we go to the Greyhounds as Pets organised playgroups but mostly they are a long drive, and Bender, being a non-greyhound, is not allowed to come.

Then we do our daily 30 minute walk, and it seems to keep her wonderful muscles in good condition. When I get back running, Barbie will be my running companion 3 times a week. Bender is less focussed and does a lot of hard starts and stops so I'm not sure how often he will get to run with us. I think Barbie could be a very good jumper. She may even be willing to tackle agility obstacles if there is enough food involved. The only obstacle is finding somewhere to train safely while her recall is not yet 100%. She has to earn my trust and there is going to have to be a lot of training and proofing before that happens.


Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Have you seen this blog - They are in Victoria. She is working with her ex-racer in obedience and agility.

houndstooth said...

I have had great fun with our Greyhounds in obedience class! I hope it works out for you!

jet said...

Jen - already following whygreyhounds :) it's a pity Vic is so far away.... her boy sounds like a very different type to Barbie (willing to walk on the leash for *an hour*) ... loved her homemade tunnel. The tunnel is something I have space to do. Heh.

Houndstooth - I'm sure Barbie will love it... she is an incredibly bright little girl, but a low tolerance for repetition, so she's very different to any other dog I've had. :)

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