While Hadley has battled his OCD and enjoyed his first bouts of adolescence, the others haven’t been lazy, either.
finally got to perform her Advanced Trick Dog Certificate tricks for an audience, and is ready to hand in the video we’ve done a while ago:
After a long break, we went to Nicole for a dummy training session again. Since the retrieve in highly exciting environments is Phoebe’s nemesis, we started working in Nicole’s office, and soon had her carry the dummy across the room. Yey for Phoebe! Here’s few little dummy games we played outside my house the other day:
Phoebe and I have been taking Advanced Shaping at Gold at the FDSA. Deb Jones’ and Judy Keller’s classes are great as usual. We’ve worked on retrieving a beer can from the fridge, riding the skateboard with 3 or 4 paws on it, resting her chin on the ground when lying down, automatic sits in heel position, and closer & straighter fronts with the help of a double chin target, and isolating the lifting of a single paw. It’s been challenging and fun. I particularly like that the class is individualized to such an extent that students from a high variety of skill levels are getting a lot out of it. It’s been a lot of fun!
Phoebe and I made a deal with Angelika that we can come to her morning beginner classes and do our own thing there – which is wonderful. I like training under distractions, but I like to do it my own way. We’re also going to start 1-on-1 agility lessons with Angelika once Tom and I are back from the US.
The last thing is not as nice a memory. Phoebe was neutered this week. She is still recovering and not back to her usual lively, vivid self. Unfortunately, she and I did not get to enjoy the first real snow together this year because she’s not allowed to run and jump, and neither does she want to. Get well soon, my girl!
The last year has been Fanta’s best year so far. High quality food, lots of exercise and walks on every kind of terrain, and Dogosan for his joints brought him to a point where he enjoys running to a degree he never did before. He’s cheerful on walks these days, especially walks in the snow! He’s not slipping or falling when running on uneven surfaces anymore, and sprinting does not cause him to limp. The retired Irish racer has become a wonderful, happy pet Greyhound. I think he’s ready for us to try some lure coursing sometime – I’m looking into it right now.
Fanta being happy in the snow:
I’ve been working with an incredibly cute Lab-Dachshundmix Lilly on her reactivity to skateboards and bikes, and got a few referrals from a vet friend of mine, Cathy, and also from Helene. I’m particularly excited about accompanying a young family with their first dog, a Lagotto puppy, from the beginning onwards. Getting referrals is the best thing – it makes me feel proud and happy, because people who know me are recommending me. Thank you for trusting me!
I took the Tierschutzqualifizierte Hundetrainer exam in November. This is a certification available to Austrian dog trainers that seeks to ensure high-quality, scientifically valid, humane training methods. Since there are no legal requirements to opening a dog training business in Austria, I think it is a great idea to have an exam like this and spread awareness.
Last but not least, I started writing for Your Dog magazine. My first article was published in the January/February edition and is about the History and Development of dog training. You can read the entire article here (German).
In non-dog-related news, Tom and I will be going to the US next week. Apart from meeting Tom’s family, I’ll get to spend lots of time with two of my favorite people: Gretchen and Denise. I can’t wait to hang out with them in L.A.! Fanta and Phoebe will be well taken care of by Tini and her Golden Nayeli, who is Phoebe’s best girlfriend. Hadley will be staying with my parents and enjoy having his very own gigantic yard.