Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sagan's Neuter and Fun & Focus Class

Well, Sagan had his neuter done yesterday.  No big deal.  The vet was nice enough to let us give him his pre-op shots in the back of our car since he is still freaked out by the vet a bit.  Funny.  We gave him the one shot and within about a minute, he was already somewhat out of it.  Within 5 minutes, he was laying on a towel on the floor. :-)  He was sleepy the rest of the day, and had no trouble keeping small amounts of food down.  Day 2 and he is a HOLY terror, and the incision site looks fine, so.

We went to our first fun and focus class with Andrea Dexter, and there is one other dog in class, Zhonda (sp.) who belongs to Shelly.  Zhonda is a cute Brittany spaniel, about a year old.   We practiced transitioning from crates to new environments and worked on our tugging skills.  While I didn't take pictures at the first class, you can see us practicing tugging here in Ballard Park:

Do I look as mean as the big truck?

I run for pleasure, but Sagan, I train for endurance, not sprinting!

He pulls pretty hard.

A nice small little park about a mile from our house.
So for the uninitiated, getting a dog to play tug is critical to getting them to be motivated to work with you and work close to you.  We learned a lot at class about activating Sagan's prey drive (door to the ferret room is closed people) ;-), and we learned a lot about transitioning him from the crate to novel environments and having him still focus on us.

He is also doing lovely on his obedience class tasks this week:  front, left and right finishes, drop from a distance, and 1step,2step,3step.  He always has a little tantrum upon entering class though, but usually short-lived.

Socialization is continuing.  While he is better about people, the on-leash dog issue needs lots of work still.  We took him to Bradley Lake a few days ago.  Fine with people and dogs from a distance of about 25-30 feet, and gradually got closer, about 10-15 feet toward the end of the visit.  Keyed up on hyper beefy dog at Petsmart after and had to move almost down the end of an aisle to quell the growling.  Worked him a bit in front of their doggie daycare window, which was better.  He was very pegged on one guy in Ballard park today, and very interested in dogs that passed by.

However, the good news of all of this is that I haven't seen him at anything greater than Defcon 3/10 for a long time.  He might growl and resist me pulling him away, but only for a second and then his attention is redirected to me.  I am super impressed with his trainability, so need to work that angle in those distracting environments more.

Also, at my annual OBGYN appointment (of all places), my nurse practitioner runs her dog with Cascade Comets (a flyball club).  Sent them an inquiry e-mail to see about their classes, which run in Fife in the Fall.

Me and the the little devil, er, um, I mean Sagan!

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