Thursday, November 4, 2010

The peril of treats in your pocket....

It was 37 degrees in Perth yesterday. I left the dogs inside with all of the curtains closed, and Bender did not approve. I don't think he appreciated the fact that the house was only about 30 degrees inside when I got home, and the tiled floor was nice and cool. When I got home and let them out to go to the toilet, Bender refused to come back inside.

When N got home at about 6 we took the dogs down to the river for a romp. As soon as we got there, a big Whippet who was almost the size of Barbie came to say hello. He didn't want to run so Barbie was not that interested in him. I think he was interested in the treats in my pocket though, he attempted to put his little Whippet nose in to help himself! Wise to this move (Barbie tries it out on me occasionally), I just moved away at the right time so he did not score any goodies. Other dogs noticed that I had treats too, and before long I felt like the Pied Piper with all the dogs following me around. I let Barbie offleash and she had learned from last time where she is not allowed to go. We have a clearly defined boundary where she is allowed to run. She was polite to all the other dogs and ran big wide laps around the perimeter of her 'allowed' zone (where I can see her at all times). There isn't much danger around the place, but at her pace she can easily find herself in the 'no dogs off leash' area and then we'd be in trouble. Then she ran down to the water (where I was) and lied down in it so that her head was poking out like a little crocodile.

As always people were impressed with Barbie's speed & her recall. She is funny in that she doesn't have to be running after anything in particular. I think she conjures up an imaginary bunny to chase, or imaginary greyhounds chasing her. A lady on a bench tried to converse with me, and said that I 'did the right thing by her'. What that means.... I'm not sure. She is probably one of the smartest, quietest and most low maintenance dogs I've owned. Aside from some toilet training hiccups she has been an angel. Even when she steals things she isn't particularly destructive. I've always wanted a greyhound and the fact that she has been 'rescued' is a bonus. I think I like the term 'redeployed' better than 'retired' or 'rescued' or... 'failed racer' (Nic likes to say she is a failed greyhound). I attempted to get her to chase me by running past her but I don't think I can run fast enough to be of interest. She is more interested in running with me when I am on my bike. I really need to start bike-training her because if she is going to be babysat next year, I want the housesitter to be able to run her on leash. I don't think it will take much, just encouragement so that she doesn't cross behind the bike really. Once I get her trained up I'll get a walkydog or a springer and attach it to one of the bikes. Probably will have to be the CRX as it's the most uncustomised and is more likely to fit whoever ends up housesitting. My Long Haul Trucker is likely not to be there cos I'll be taking it touring, and the xtracycle will probably be too much for some people to handle.

I had to clip on her lead to retrieve her from the water - the sun was going down and I didn't want a wet dog stinking up the house all night. Barbie is a real water baby though I haven't seen her swim yet. The intention is to take her down to a shallow, calm beach like Esperance and teach her to swim there. If she wants to. The only problem with Esperance is the 4x4s on the beach. I have a golden rule to always keep Barbie away from motorized traffic. Once I had her out of the water, I asked a guy if he minded if I talked to his teeny blue heeler puppy. I wanted to see if Barbie would say hello to her. She did seem a little too small to be out and about in public though, since her vaccinations were probably not finished :P I gave her a piece of polony because she sat her little puppy butt on the ground when I asked. She still had little needle puppy teeth. I tried to get Barbie to say hi but she wasn't particularly interested in the little pup. I think in her experience puppies are just rude little dogs which don't deserve much attention.

Bender as usual spent the 45 minutes fetching his ball. He had a gang of dogs trailing in after him.

When we got home last night I did the written component of the Canine Good Citizen test. I have to get 90% to pass, so I made sure I checked some of the facts before I wrote my answers. I am going to make it look a bit nicer because the Word document had some formatting issues and give it to Desma on Saturday. Our course is almost over and the test looks like it's going to be on the 28 of November. It's going to be a special time for Barbie because the 29 November is her GOTCHA DAY! :) I have also made a bit of progress with targetting. I can now get Barbie to jump onto the couch to touch my hand with her nose. I can't reliably get her to jump up on her back legs to touch my hand but I think we will get there. She is a little uncoordinated, so when I got her to do it yesterday, she kicked me in the chest once, and kicked me in the mouth once. I should probably start using a target stick for this kind of thing but I think she will get more coordinated. Anyway I may be able to get her riled up by targetting for the 'jazz up, settle down' part of the test. She enjoys targetting, as she enjoys 'commando'. She doesn't enjoy stay like she enjoys moving :)
Related Posts with Thumbnails