Another Happy Dog Weekend

I’m relaxing after a weekend of dog time, housework, making jewelry and finishing a book or two. I’m happy. The weekend has concluded with a day of dog training. Although the training match I went to was overbooked and I never DID make it into the ring, the time spent ringside was not wasted. My black and white BC and I did the Novice and Open obedience exercises both ringside and out in the parking lot. With a new dog it is necessary to determine how the dog will acclimate to the entire show scene. Will other dogs in close quarters bother him? Will he lunge toward every person who walks by my chair? There were some attempts by him to be overly friendly but by the end of four hours he was still hyper and knew what his limits were. He is becoming such a good dog that I am encouraged to enter him in the September and November shows. It is a scary proposition. I love his energy but that is what is his downfall. He gets a wild hair and forgets where he is. On the other hand he is VERY sensitive so needs to be reprimanded sharply and then given something positive to do. Harping on him or nagging him accomplishes nothing but a hang-dog look. He shuts down or acts nervous, trying to appease me by doing obedience exercises randomly. We are kindred spirits and I understand his nature. He makes me laugh even when he is up to his elbows in trouble.
Afterwards, my young white and black BC and I went for a walk. He is becoming better and better about not pulling. I decided to put a loose fitting choke chain on him while walking. He can correct himself and I can tell him what a good boy he is.
The older dog, Brown BC, and I did some Utility training. It is funny how his memory improves when I bring out the liver cookies. He hates the Utility signal drop but when he knows a cookie is coming he suddenly can drop like a rock. All the exercises are coming along. There is a lot of work before the September shows though. I can at least enter him in the Open B classes. Now that he knows the Open work his confidence is better and he is a joy to show. Previously, he would get nervous in the ring and start sniffing and lagging. At a recent training match he was a bundle of energy and worked hard in the ring. Of course, it could be he’s picking up on MY positive energy?
With my weight loss I have gained energy, determination and a very strong desire to get back into the obedience ring and have fun. It’s time and I’m in the mood to train, train, train. The dogs love the attention. I am now more positive, self confident and have a stronger belief that things happen for a reason. This was a weekend to reflect, spend time with the dogs and look to the future. Next weekend’s agenda: a hike up Mt Hood from Government Camp with a friend, her Golden Retriever and one of my BC’s.
(Update: weight is now 139 pounds!)


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