Friday, May 20, 2011

And the Training is Underway!!

I want to let y'all know what we worked on today, but first I realized I should probably go over what we already know. lol

I adopted Remy on April 29, 2010. This means we've been together a little over a year and looking back I'm quite ashamed of how little we've accomplished. All due to my lack of 'get up and go'. :( He does sit and lay down on command, but doesnt have the speed I want and usually only if I'm in front of/close to him. He stays, but not at long distances or for long periods of time. He waits politely for his food/water bowls to be put down and waits at the door before going out. He's on a release word for both of these(currently 'okay', but I want to change it. Probably to 'free'). He crates on command about 1/3 of the time. He knows 'leave it', but is having trouble with impulse control- which we are working on.

He also does more cutesy things(I love training fun, silly things lol). He fetches, he retrieves his leash and ball, he retrieves the remote, and he retrieves anything else I point at and ask for. He touches with his nose and his paws. He catches his tail. Etc etc. Fun things. :)


Anyways, today(well, yesterday, but whatever) was the first official day of our 'real' training!! We didnt do much, but it was late by the time I got a chance. :(

First we worked a touch on basic commands. Mainly sit and down while at my side(as oppose to in front of me) and from a short distance(about 5 feet). He did these lovely, much to my surprise. lol. Next we worked on staying in one position- meaning doing a stay while remaining in either the sit or down position- as I walked away and then walked back and released him. Again, a respectable performance from Remy.

Then we worked on some CGC-specific stuff. We practiced welcoming and being petted by a friendly stranger- although my sister played the part, seeing as it was 9pm and a suitable friendly stranger was not accessible. :[ This of course made the task easier for him, but regardless, I was extremely pleased by his performance. Next we did supervised separation, which even when left with family is something he doesnt handle well. He seemed a little tense as I walked away, but I came back a short while later to him sitting politely for my sister. :) We followed this with a reaction to distraction test. I had my sister throw things, drop things, run past him, etc. He couldnt have cared less if he tried. lol. He's never been super reactive to his surroundings though, always just taking everything in stride, so it didnt surprise me.

We followed this up by some loose leash walking(my enemy and something I've never been able to train properly) in the house. He not only surprised me by not lunging ahead, but even did a lovely about turn and changed his paces to match mine!! :) It may have only been in the house, but he's never done that well for me on the leash before.

Okay.. maybe we did do a good bit of stuff after all!! But it was condensed into a short time(less than 10 minutes), so it didnt seem like much. I've found he learns better this way- through doing things once or twice a day as oppose to full on sessions focused on one or two things. He gets bored very quickly and loses interest in even the best foods at a unbelievable pace. But anyways, thats our first day of real training!! He managed to surprise me many times tonight and I've got a new sense of hope that I can indeed make a competition dog out of my unfocused little boy!! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

About Remy and Me

Hello and welcome to my blog!! I'll start you off with a quick introduction to Remy and myself. I'll keep mine quick though, as I'm sure I'm not the reason you are here!!

My name is Heather. I am a 20 year old Texas girl and Remy's 'mom'. I have a deep passion for all things dog. I've been training my own dogs for a few years now, but still have much to learn. I am hoping to begin a career in dog grooming fairly soon, I show in conformation with other people's dogs, and am considering an eventual career as a professional handler. But enough about me..

Remy is my dog, of course. He is a medium-sized, mixed breed, male. Remy and I came together when he was about 12 weeks old. 4 weeks earlier, he had been found with his 3 siblings, abandoned at an oil well site. They were handed over to a local rescue and, thankfully, were healthy enough to be put up for adoption a few weeks later. I had been looking for a puppy for a while and as soon as I saw him on I called the rescue and scheduled to go see him a few days later. Later that week I went to go visit the little pup, then named Audi Gus. He was a bit larger than I had been looking for, but I knew this was my dog and I took him home soon after. I renamed him Remy, after Remy LeBeau(also known as Gambit) from Xmen. Since then, he has grown into a handsome adult dog, currently 15 months old, weighing around 50lbs, and standing about 21 inches tall at the shoulder. He is my constant companion and such a wonderful pet. He will also be my first competition dog(of my own). In the future we will hopefully get Remy his Canine Good Citizen award as well as compete in AKC obedience, rally-o, and maybe even agility.

But, of course, he is not without his flaws. He is highly dog reactive(note this is not the same as dog aggressive) and thats what inspired this blog. So I welcome you to follow us as we work together to overcome his reactivity problems and become a successful team in our chosen sports.

Thats all for now, but I'll leave you will a few pictures. :)