Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thor - Obedience Classes....

started this week (October 29).  I am really happy to get in a structured class as I have been lax on his training. These classes will force me to work with him more often since the instructor will know by our progress whether or not we have been working between classes.  He such a smart little guy I am sure he will learn quickly and do well.

The first class was basically teaching our dogs to stay with us (no heeling yet).  Dropping the leash means pay attention and come with me.  Even if they are not looking at you they feel the leash drop and turn to follow you.  Thor was having issues, basically he said by his actions "if I can't drag you one way then I will turn with you and drag you the other way".  As I said he is a bit spoiled and naughty but basically he wants to please so this will become second nature after we have practiced.

We worked the drop leash in class by ourselves and then with different distractions; another dog and a toy. Next week we will begin healing and learning turns.  It is a small class so we get quite a bit of practice time even if the practice set has to be done by one dog alone.  More next week......

 Nov 5 class:  Reviewed the drop leash and then started on healing with sits, about turns, left and right turns.  Then did them as a class in a circle for distractions.  Our instructor always likes to end the class with a fun thing; the first week it was the tunnel and this week it was the baby dog walk.  Again lots of homework practice.

Dec. 11 class:  Can't believe we only have one class left in our beginner obedience class.  Last night was a review and next week we will have our graduation (I hope :-) ).  Thor has had some really good nights and some not so good where he is more interested in what the other dogs are doing besides wanting to play with them.  He did do well on our figure 8's last night and the sits at the halts.  The minute sit-stay was really good but on the minute down he jumped up when the dog next to him broke the down otherwise I think he would have made it. Our instructor said that the next class each dog will go at the pace they are ready for.  If Thor is ready to be off leash he will if not, he will be on leash even if the rest of the class is off leash.  I think that is great so none of the dogs will be forced to do something they are not ready for. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Keegans journey....

Keegs has been on thyroid medication for a month now; it is hard to believe he is the same dog who had no energy, wasn't too interested in playing with toys or doing much in the way of exercising.  Now I wonder how long it has been that he has had problems with his thyroid.  I guess it all happened so gradually that I really didn't notice he was doing less and had little interest in doing the things he used to do.  As many people have said they thought it was just aging.  Kiah is still my wild child and she is only a few months younger but I thought it was just personalities that made them different.

Renee my friend, mentor and trainer had asked me several times about having him tested for thyroid and I finally got around to making the appointment.  His results came back from Michigan on the low normal side of all the tests and below normal on the T4.  They said it just be a fluke and didn't recommend medication.  After reading so much about the symptoms and thinking of the symptoms Keegs is displaying; lethargic, dark pigmentation down his back and lack of interest in his surroundings I was sure he needed medication and so did Renee.  Renee had a boxer that displayed some of the same symptoms and ended up being severely thyroidal.  My vet knew my feelings and was willing to put Keegs on medication with the intention to monitor him closely to be sure he stays in a normal range.  His blood tests after the first month have come back and he is doing so well.  He will he having another blood test in 3 months unless he starts to lose weight or has symptoms of going too far above normal range then he will be tested sooner.  The dark pigmentation down his back is slowly fading away, another sign that the meds are working for him.

I just have to smile watching him enjoy life.  We will have to do some more focus work in agility though :-) since he is acting so much like a puppy now.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

August - October updates

Been a bit behind in keeping my blog up but August and early September are one of the busiest times at work so I do have a bit of an excuse.  LOL, I started this several weeks ago and now we are almost mid-October.

Kiah continues to do awesome in class and not so well at trials.  I did have someone come up to tell me she looked like she was off in the back and that is why she was refusing to jump.  There was a vet/chiropractor there and she adjusted Kiah for me.  She was really tight in the front which may have made her look off. Since that time Kiah has been adjusted one more time and had a cold laser treatment.  She will have one more adjustment before the trial on October 18-20 then continue to have them once a month for a few months then every 3 months.  She is entered 2 of the 3 days; I hope to see a difference in her at the trials the rest of the year.  If not then she will be retired and we will concentrate on tracking, nose work and maybe obedience.

Keegs and the puppy were playing hard one morning right before we were going to the club to practice when I noticed he was limping (hadn't been earlier).  Ended up having to crate rest him for a few weeks as everytime he and the puppy would play he would start to limp again. Went to a trial in late September and he did well (no Q's) but no limping at all.  I had him adjusted also (not bad like Kiah) but it was helpful for him and he will be adjusted again before the trial too.  He will be running all 3 days.

Thor has not been to puppy classes due to my work schedule but we continue to practice at a friends on lowered equipment and at the club on the equipment he is able to do.  The last time I was at the club he did do the full dog walk all by himself (had the a-frame blocked off).  He is doing great on the chute now too. His table waits are awesome.  We hope to start taking obedience classes in early November and am really looking forward to it.  Still having issues with his fear of new situations and noises though.  He will be going to a new place for the trial and am hoping he will be doing better, he does seem to be gaining confidence.  He is now almost 9 months old, haven't weighed him but bet he is around 55lb and a little over 23".  He appears to have slowed way down in his growth and hope he doesn't get any taller than 24" which I think would be perfect for his body type.  Kiah was about the same size and age when she came home so he is right on track with her.

October 30:  Started Thor's obedience class last night and realized how much I have been spoiling him and not working with him as much as I should.   Have homework to do before next week's class which I plan to keep up with.  Thor needs confidence and I need a puppy that is well behaved at agility trials.  These are lessons I plan to do with both Kiah and Keegs too