Monday, January 23, 2012

That's crap

Do you know? Reckon eats shit. Yup, dog shit is a delicacy. He stopped eating it when I started taking him on his private walks. I thought he grew out of it.

I was wrong.

I started hiking him in the group hikes again. I injured my knee and 4 walks a day was just too much. He has been doing pretty good. Making good choices, but sometimes he is still an asshole. Our biggest problem is eating dog shit. He has such a sensitive tummy. And it may surprise you, but eating shit doesn't help.

So, because he can still be an asshole around young, intact males AND he won't leave shit in the forest or in poop bags where it belongs, I'm muzzling him. He doesn't seem too bothered by it, he will rub his head and nose along the ground, but he can still play and drink with it. It also seems to have a calming effect on him. He gets awfully aroused and over stimulated on some hikes.

Here is my favourite picture of him in his muzzle. He looks like a cross between Phantom of the Opera and Hannibal Lecter.

Guess who's cute?

This dog. That is Albus. My mom fostered him for a rescue group. He is a doll. Good with all dogs, cats, people. He looks like a cross between a Collie and a Border Collie. His fur is all wavy and he has a huge over bite. I'd love to give more info on how this guy was treated, but the people who bred and raised this guy are in deep shit (not the same kind R likes to eat). I hope justice is served.
He is neutered and his hernia repaired. I hope this guy goes into a well deserved forever home.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Training Blahs

When I pictured myself with my Malinois, Reckon is not what I expected.  I love him to bits, but he is certainly not the high drive, ball/tug crazy dog I envisioned. 

Don't get  me wrong, he has energy to burn.  But as Auntie Emma says "he's lazy."  And it's true.  He doesn't really like to play fetch, he doesn't run in the forest but instead walks no more than 20 paces ahead of me.  The only time he really tires himself out is when playing with other dogs.  He runs (fast I might add), and wrestles and has a gay old time.  Without me.  There are so many times where I just want to tire him out quickly, while interacting with me.  Playing ball would achieve this.  He does play, sometimes he's more into than other times, but never like Amigo or Fyvish were.  They could play for hours and nothing would distract them.  Not Reck, he is always scanning the horizon hoping to find a four legged friend.  Instead of playing with me and running around, he would rather come home and destroy things. Because he's not tired, but won't play ball.  You see?!  It's a vicious circle.

 Even if I decide to take the time and go to the field and work on a French Ring exercise, he doesn't work for long periods of time.  I know training sessions shouldn't last long, but in comparison to my other dogs and other "real" Malinois, Reckon just doesn't wanna.

On Sundays, I watch the other (sometimes younger) dogs work for an hour with  their tongue hanging out and a smile on their faces.  Even "failing" or getting corrected doesn't stop them from wanting to work.  I want that.  I want that so bad. They can chase a ball for a reward and bring it back to their owners to play tug, even with other dogs running and training around them.  R doesn't do any of this.  He will work and play with me but it's a struggle.  Rewarding him has always been a struggle.  He just doesn't get pumped up like other dogs.  Ive never seen/had this before.  It's beyond frustrating.

I know it 's not all him.  It's me too.  I'm giving myself a kick in the butt and starting to train with Heather on Mondays.  This will just get us out and about and doing stuff.  I am proud that I have consistently taken 5 minutes a day to train him to do something.  A trick, hind end awareness, or whatever.  Go me.

And I have to remember.  He's still young, and as many people have pointed out, a "very special boy"
Even the owner of his father told me that his lines take a loooong time to mature.

I'm waiting...

But here's a video from our first French Ring training session with a real Decoy!  Daniel came out from Alberta to help us with our dogs.  He loved R very very much.  As soon as he saw him, the first words out of his mouth were "Oh man, he looks like Rio"
The first time he got Reckon to bite a tug,  "He bites just like Rio.  A beautiful bite, full and deep"

R did well.  We mainly worked on pumping him up and boosting his confidence. All the other dogs were learning to stay calm and settle. Not my boy! 

I am learning a lot from him.  Making notes on what I want to do with my next pup right off the bat. So many things!

Gotta go.  He's bored and found a contact lens case to shred...