George is 9 (months).

The story so far….

Advertisements

George is 9 months now. He is in between dog courses, bronze – silver, and has been given a little time of training and lessons.

This worked alongside us going on holiday for a couple of weeks, leaving George with a dog sitter.

This was interesting to see how he handled being left.

Previously, the longest he’d been left was a weekend when he was about 5 months and he came back feral!

When we picked him back up he was very pleased. Very pleased.

I am guessing that remaining in a structured, dog-centric household had a positive impact on George and he came back a lot more under control.

He is still lovely and lively with it.

He’s 18kg so bang on target for age & weight.

He is being fed right at the top end of what a medium dog at his age should be having but he’s not got an ounce of fat on him – he’s in great condition.

We are looking to get him back to school over the next couple of weeks so, hopefully, some updates to follow.

George and the end of training….for now.

The boy done good.

So, last Friday was test day. Weeks of lessons and training finished, all culminating in a test.

It’s set along guidelines worked out by the Kennel Club and is strict.

No messing about. Pass or fail.

We have been working hard to get George up to speed – he may be a pup but he’s a month older than everyone else in his class.

Fortunately, he is bright as a button and learns quick.

Downside? Strong personality and easily distracted.

The distractions had been something we’d worked on for weeks.

The test involved a number of stages, some admin, some performance and some questions, for me. George knows the answers but has trouble articulating them.

So, the ‘easy’ admin ones, microchip and dog tag.

Yes, we have tag with correct information on it βœ…

Yes, George is microchipped βœ…

‘Can you scan him please to show the chip works’

Not a problem……except George decides to roll over for his tummy to be tickled. Now, this scan exercise is timed (I don’t think George knew this, I certainly didn’t) and so I ended up grabbing him, flipping him and getting the scan done – just in time.

I’m like ‘George! WTF?’. George rolls over to allow tummy to be tickled again πŸ™„.

We moved on to the exercises and these have always gone well for George.

Passing by other dog walkers βœ…

Stop & talk to other dog walkers βœ…

Walk to heel βœ…

About turn on the walk βœ…

So, next up is the wait & recall which has always been George’s strong point but after a couple of other dogs misfired and ran wild, George is a little in focussed.

So much so that when his recall is called, he is running past me and in a circle around me. This is not a pass.

George runs past me again and I grab his collar and get him ‘re-called’. I can see the assessors whispering – no one smiles.

This is bad news. George’s strong point has gone bad.

We then move on to his weak point.

George has to sit/lie down, unattended and stay, on command, for 1 minute. This is a long time.

Anyway, he has always struggled to stay still for long and today looked like it would no different and a fail but, joy of joys(!), another dog lost it and disrupted the session completely (promptly failing) and we had to reset.

To cut it short, he did it. Just. I managed to dive on him to reward him as he was about to go. So. βœ…

After that, we had so admin like checking teeth, eyes, all that stuff, and then some relatively easy questions and done.

Passed. 😊

He picked up his Kennel Club bronze award (as well as his Good Citizen award) and seemed very pleased with himself.

What’s next for George? We can do the Kennel Club Silver and Gold awards in the future but we are going to give him some puppy time for 6 months or so.

He’ll start running with us in the new year and, hopefully, go on to do some agility if he’s interested so those are options.

But, for now, puppy’s first summer to enjoy ❀️🐢🐾

George the Collie Vs Training Pt.12

Can I have your attention…?

After lasts weeks break in training, we are back at it.
George is still doing well but, like all but one of his class, there is still an underlying problem – focus.

It's not a real problem, not a problem outside of the class.

The class is an hour long and, after 30 – 40 minutes George's has gone. He's bored, had enough.

As I said, it's not just George as they all seem to have the same problem but it's frustrating.

It's like taking kids to something they find dull, it's only a matter of time.

George is, according to various experts, just coming into his teenage years now.

This comparison is made out through a short attention span, some grandstanding to other pups to establish his place and also with poor hygiene.

George is obsessed with fox pooh.

Every walk, afterwards, he needs a shower. You have control of him the whole walk, off the lead, and he's doing great until he finds it then I may as well not even be there as my recall is ignored in favour of poop.

Bloody kids………

George the Collie Vs Training Pt.11

Rain stopped play.

Rain stopped play. Seriously. ☔️

With only a few weeks to go, we're due to go to George's training class and it's been raining. Raining a lot.

We've been doing the lessons outside of class and George is doing very well. We've covered everything for his Kennel Club Bronze award, we are pretty much just re-enforcing what has been taught.

So, in principle, missing a week isn't going cause much of an issue but it feels a bit like one.

With only four weeks of the course left (one of which is not a teaching week) we hope that he has done enough to pass but we'll find out on test night.

So, we're not going tonight. Rain stopped play. We'll do some practice at home as we always do but you'd like to get him in the test arena to see how he's really doing.

Not long now. 😬

George the Collie Vs Training Pt.10

Another week of improvement.

George is coming along very well and his training is moving on well. This weeks homework brought up some points I found quite interesting.

We had been tasked with getting George to lie down and wait for at least a minute. This has highlighted a) his poor attention span and b) how much of a puppy he still is 😊

We have almost got him used to waiting for the minute but the training showed me that the use of language is more complicated than I imagined.

I had been using George's name at the start of every string of commands in order to get his attention but it turns out this overuse of his name can be detrimental to his training and actually make him 'switch off'.

We now use his name at the start of a training session and end each session with the word 'Enough' re-enforced with a treat. It actually worked.

I was aware that tone, pitch and volume have a direct effect on the dog but I wouldn't have thought that you could overuse a word. Every day a school day.

He is now half way through his Bronze level training and doing well. His gate work is brilliant as well as his recall and you do wonder how far he can go.

George the Collie Vs Training Pt.9

Getting better….

A short up date following a better week at the puppy class this week. 

George was a lot more settled and engaged this week and really seemed to e interested in what we were doing.


His gate work was fine and his walking to heel is improving all the time.

He has the attention span of a teen but this can be grouchy sharply into focus with the application of sausage.

I know I am biased but you can tell who puts time and effort into their pets and all the hard work with George seems to be paying off.

Saying that, he did steal a sandwich off the table as soon as we got home so still work to do πŸ™„.

George the Collie on Dogs v Cats

A story of love, not hate.

Ever since books have been in print and images have been shown on screen there have been ‘Dog v Cat’ stories.

Natural enemies. Nature or Nurture?

Of the last three dogs we’ve had, none have been ‘taught’ that cats are the enemy and so, obviously, they do not see them as such.


Parents teach to their kids who pass it on and so it goes on, needlessly.

Cats, naturally being more safety conscious tend to shy away from dogs, especially if they’ve had a bad experience and this can set the dogs on edge. One feeds the other and so the problem persists.

But start them off on the right foot and make it a good, friendly experience and you get a different outcome.

​​

Spread love, not hate.