Friday, August 31, 2012

Dog Class

I have taken both of my dogs to class of some sort since they were young puppies.  For some reason being at class two nights a week has been really wearing me out lately.  After talking to my trainer I decided to try taking them both to the same class and working them separately.  They aren't very different as far as their levels but they do require totally different handling skills.

One thing I was a bit hesitant about was that I knew Ryie's facade would be blown.  Everyone thinks (well thought) he is an angel dog who sits quietly in his chair waiting his turn.  This is true as long as Max isn't taking his turn!  The first time I ran Max and left Rylie sit on the chair my instructor noted "He is rather indignant isn't he" - in other words he was yelling at me!  I gave her three pieces of kibble and told her (because being a trainer it clearly wouldn't have occurred to her) to only give them to him if he settled down.  Well he did and she did.  When it was Rylie's turn he decided he'd changed his mind and would rather stay with the cookie lady.  Knowing that Rylie is pretty high drive and only having Border Collies my trainer was shocked.  I however was not.  Sadly either of my dogs would sell me for a piece of kibble.........

All in all the class went pretty well and I think I will continue taking both to the same class for the time being.

We have an agility trial on Monday.  Last weekend I handled like I'd never seen a dog or an agility course before so I'm hoping to hold up my end of the team better this weekend.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Beaches and Dog Parks

The dogs and I love swimming so finding dog friendly beaches is a priority for me when we go camping.  Some of my observations are - the dog beaches are about as far away from the camping area as possible - in our favourite campground it's about a 6 - 8 km bike ride,  the parking lot for the dog beaches is usually full to overflowing even when the human only beach parking lots are half full.  Also noticed from our early morning wanderings outside the designated dog area to the two legged only part of the beach - the dog beaches tend to be far cleaner.  Maybe why I see so many people on these beaches without dogs.  Dog people appreciate the opportunity to frolic in the water with their four legged friends so we tend to be responsible and clean up after ourselves and our dogs as we don't want to lose the privilege.  This still makes me scratch my head though - at the provincial park we were at this weekend not only was the dog beach far far away from where everyone else swam but appeared to be in one of the most ecologically sensitive areas of the park as it was a mating area for some endangered frog - dogs were to stay out of the pond area.  Now this didn't appear to be a difficult task - why frolic in a stagnant pond when there was a huge lake mere metres away - but still - The dogs can't read.  Maybe once again the park people think dog owners will be more responsible than the general public.  It was windy and threatening rain when we were there so my guys just ran on the beach - Rylie's one foray into the water resulted in him being toppled by a wave so he wisely decided the beach would do.

We have been to several dog parks in the area but our favourite bar none is the London off leash dog park.  It's always busy - probably one of the busiest parks in the city I'd guess.  It is a lovely park area but the major difference between it and other parks we've been to is that people walk through with their dogs instead of just stand at the entrance and let the dogs go off and play.  It's rare that I've been there and couldn't identify what dog is with what person.  My dogs love it there and we've always had good experiences.