My sponsored DSC1 and route to stalking PLUS puppy diary
Puppy diary, volume 9
by, 09-08-2014 at 06:47 (2151 Views)
I haven't done a puppy diary for a while now, so this is just a quick update really. We're at the stage now where it's mostly just building on things already learnt, she's still too young for anything advanced and although she's mastering the basics well I'd like to get this stuff nailed before moving on.
So, it's been more of the same. Now that she's big enough for a walk down to the local playing fields I've been taking her down there a few times a week (nice early starts before the world and his dog turns up to distract her and annoy me) and basically re-teaching her all stuff she was already good at in the house and garden.
At first she wouldn't even retrieve her toys from the field, but that didn't take long to cure, I just held her still one day and wound her up until the was going nuts, then threw it all of 3 feet and made a huge fuss when she grabbed it. Since then she's been fine, although I've been working hard on ironing out her newfound tendency to swerve around me rather than retrieve properly. I just second guess her and steer her back with my arm, then make a bug fuss of her. I'd say she only tries it one time in five or six now.
She's also got the sit and stay very well. I can sit her down, tell her "stay" with an accompanying point at the spot where I want her and she'll quite happily sit there while I walk off with a toy/treat and then either call/whilstle her to me or just go back to her so she doesn't anticipate always being called and start to just follow me. I can walk in a circle around her and she shuffles around on her backside to watch me, but doesn't move. I've yet to try any distractions, although when I'm next to her I can throw a toy and she'll usually stay as long as she isn't already wound up. Annoyingly, when I first started teaching the stay she would often lie down, which I praised her for, thinking that was a better trait in a deer dog to lie rather than sit. But she's stopped now and I can't seem to find a way of getting her down.
She heels fairly well on the lead, although that sseems to depend somewhat on her mood. Some days she walks right where she's been taught, just in front and to my left, slack lead, adapting to my pace as I deliberately slow down or speed up. Other times she just wants to race off and I have to constantly check her. She's overall much better on the lead than she was though, I'm sure it'll come.
The next stage really for all of the above is to work in the distractions, I suppose. I'm just loathe to do it because I know there's a strong chance I'll end up being completely ignored for something more interesting like children or someone's dog. Or in the case of last weekend an old man with a pocket full of dog biscuits!
In terms of her deer work, I haven't had much chance to get her on scents, but the few we've done have been reasonably successful. She gets SO excited at the smell of deer it's unbelievable. It's her favourite thing, if I handle skin she goes nuts for the smell on my hands. If I put some down for a minute and remove it she'll find where it was and go crazy.
The only thing she's completely failed to impress on is water. She won't swim, and I've so far failed to find a stream shallow enough for her to paddle through but wife enough to stop her jumping it. If I pick her up and try to put her in water she climbs up me like she's on a sinki'ng ship! I even tried filling a big mixing tray with water and putting it in the way of the back door, but in the end I had to move it and let her in because I was worried the neighbours would complain about her barking. Every other pup I've known has just gone straight in. Any ideas?!
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the latest installment. I'm off to the field with her now, because she's biting me...