It really has, and shame on me for not updating more often. I've been busy promoting, working and generally having a good old think about dog training in general. But before I go into that, I thought I would update.
At 7.5 months old Mouse passed her first trick dog title, Novice. She has been hard work as she is not hugely food or toy motivated and to be honest that's every trainers nightmare, but we managed!! It has been really hard work raising a wolfdog but also a pleasure. She is the cheekiest, naughtiest, soppiest and loyal companion I have had. She simultaneously makes me want to pull my hair out and laugh in hysterics. She is really hard work but worth every minute of it. She is now 8 months old and will start learning to dryland mush this coming Friday. During these joys and my insane attempts to make sure she is completely socialised, we did have a set back which was very very unexpected and at 14 weeks old it did throw her amazing socialisation out the window. she went from incredibly forward and friendly with strangers to being fearful of everyone she knew except the core family members. We went to visit friends of the family at 14 weeks old. we had visited before and had no mishaps. however this time their youngest child was stroking Mouse nicely, and out of the blue he just kicked her! understandably this really confused and upset our poor puppy and with how sensitive this breed is.. we had her whole human socialisation wiped out in just a few seconds. So since then I have been working really hard counter-conditioning and paying close attention to her stress levels to avoid trigger stacking and ensuring she has as many positive experiences with people as possible. She is slowly coming around but it has put our plans to show back for a while until she is confident being handled by a stranger.
Business wise I have had a lovely lady and her cross-breed come to me for competition level agility training and wow, I am completely blown away by this pair. I have no doubt they will be ready to start competing next season as they have both picked things up so quickly. The drive in her dog is amazing and each week I am continued to be surprised and so proud of how they are developing as a pair. I have started a business page on youtube and I plan to update it as regularly as I remember to get videos of all the dogs working. Since the weather has cooled down the dogs have been so much more focused which means we can start building up the level of work again and no slacking off!!
I have taken on a new dog walking client, a lovely black Labrador called Amber and what a joy she is to walk. Lovely and calm, walks nicely on the lead and her owners obviously love her a great deal which is just a pleasure to experience. I am starting a trick training class on the 6th of October which should be lots of fun as I get so much pleasure doing trick training with my own dogs and its a great way to keep their brains ticking over. I am getting a mahoosive tent to work in over the winter as I am unable to find an indoor space to work with. This tent will have plenty of space for small agility drill sessions and for my obedience and trick classes. I will be covering the floor with carpet off cuts to keep it safe for the dogs so they cannot slip.
I have also been thinking at length about dog training in the modern worls and about how the whole concept hasn't really changed, eg people go o individual trainers and use their services. trainers end up being in competition with each other instead of working together to help build a better foundation for dog ownership. I am currently working with another trainer and behaviourist on an idea which I am hoping may potentially bring dog training into the modern world. but we shall see how that goes. It's going to take a lot of hard work but I am sure its a winner. If the system works, everybody benefits and what better system than that? anyway, I am embedding (hopefully) the video I got of Rosie working recently.
Dog Trainer, animal lover, artist and photographer