Sunday, 24 June 2012

Training fun

Not much has happened over the last couple of weeks, hence why there has been no post.

However, I don't want to get out of the habit of posting so here goes with a new post.

A couple of weeks ago, Pepper went to the groomers to get clipped. With it coming into summer (even though it hasn't acted like it), we decided it was time to get her coat cut short again to keep her cool (also to keep her cleaner when she goes swimming/rolling around). I couldn't take Pepper to the groomer this time as the only appointment we could get was for 4pm and I don't get home from work early enough. So my mam took her, and I made the mistake of not telling her exactly what to say. Normally I don't get the hair off the top of Pepper's head shaved, her ears don't get cut as short and neither does her tail. However, this time she came out looking like a completely different dog! It's a good thing hair grows lol.


So, onto today. We went for a walk this morning, just up to the school running track so that Ellie and Oscar could chase their tennis balls. After running around non-stop for a while, both dogs got tired and lost interest in the chase. So we headed home. It had rained a little bit, but not as bad as it's rained for the last few of weeks. 

This afternoon, Ellie and I did a bit of training. Nothing major, and probably not things that we should have really worked on, but it was fun. I made a little video of the things we did, but as I'm not used to filming things, it's not particularly well done! I'll show you it anyway though. 

The tricks she's doing are things she's been learning in her training classes each week. They are sit, down, stand and watch me, along with twist/spin and 'both'. 'Both' consists of putting both front feet on an object. We only learnt this on Wednesday so it still needs work. We used a cardboard box and a sponge mat in training class to try and generalise the command/behaviour. Today I used an empty Celebrations tub (with a 2.5kg weight in to stop it tipping). I'm going to try different objects once she's completely comfortable with doing it. She still occasionally has issues with putting her feet on the tub as I think you see in the video. 

I also let Ellie play with her interactive paw toy today. I would have let Pepper, but she doesn't get a look in when Ellie's around. 

Next time, I may get some videos of Pepper doing something. For now, have a picture of her looking a bit odd. 

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Doggy obstacle course

Yesterday, we took the dogs to Coatham Woods for a nice evening walk. We haven't been for quite a while, so we knew they'd enjoy themselves.

First up, was the ramp/tunnels. Both dogs were happy to run through the tunnels first go, but the ramps were a different story at first. They did go up eventually though.

After the ramps, it's a fairly lengthy walk to the next obstacle, through a lot of long grass that both dogs enjoyed running through and sniffing about. On the way, we saw two deer run across ahead of us. Luckily the dogs did not. We've never seen deer there before, although we knew that they were there as we've seen resting places in the grass. 

The next obstacle we came to was the weaving poles. Neither dog particularly wanted to attempt these as they were too busy sniffing! But they both managed a small portion of them (no pictures of them actually weaving I'm afraid). 

The next obstacle was the box jumps, after another fairly lengthy walk. It's easy to think you've got lost between obstacles due to the distance, but if you stick to the paths made in the grass, you do eventually come to them. Ellie is more than capable of jumping, but is never inclined to when we try. Pepper is less likely to jump and nearly necked herself when she slipped on the grass yesterday (oops - she was fine though). You can only see two jumps here, but there are four and they were rather overgrown, probably due to the rain and sun we've had recently.

The next obstacle is just round the corner, but still a decent walk. 

Pepper was happy enough to walk along it for once. Ellie however...

Easily distracted by flies is the phrase, I think...
She did it eventually
After the plank, it was over the bridge and up the hill.

To the table top. Pepper was happier to pose than Ellie was. 

Next obstacle is Pepper's favourite. See if you can guess what it is. 

The water splash. I think the idea is that the dogs can cool down after running around like loonies. Ellie doesn't like to swim. However, one moment she was casually watching Pepper swim...

The next...

All we can assume is that she thought the lily pads and leaves were solid ground, as one moment she was standing on the bank and the next she'd launched herself into the water. She quickly jumped back out again, of course.

After letting Pepper swim for a while, we finally headed on to the next (and last) obstacle. Another lot of box jumps. 

Again, the dogs showed no interest in jumping them, so we didn't force it and just carried on back to the car. 

We found masses of buttercups on the way, which the dogs insisted on ruining.

Luckily, the buttercups make for a nice background for pictures. 

And there's a couple of candid shots of Ellie to finish the post off.