Wow, so my last post was in November!! I just never find the time to blog these days, and it has taken me being struck down with a cold and off work for two days to find the time to write this one!!
I have discovered that christmas is a really good time to socialise a puppy. Lots of parties and crowded streets of christmas shoppers to take him to. He has been to lots of different peoples houses, to the christmas markets, in lots of shops christmas shopping and loads more! Generally he has been really well behaved, although walking him through town was interesting as he felt the need to lunge and bark at peoples feet, trouser legs and shopping bags!! So we worked on keeping him calm and taking small steps with his focus on me, rather than lunging and barking, and we were making progress. I wanted to try and do this more, but the weather has not been on our side recently, with freezing hail and torrential rain on almost every single day so far in December!! He also finds children particularly strange as they squeek and move very suddenly around him, so we have done lots of trips to the garden centre (as there are children everywhere up there at christmas) and asked pretty much every child we met to give him a treat.
He even came with us to choose the tree!! :-)
We are still working really hard on tugging. In the house and garden we have a tug maniac, but when we are out and about he can be less keen! It takes some effort to get him interested as everything else is far more distracting. So we now take our tug on all of our walks and I try to do 5 minutes at the start, and 5 minutes at the end with him, just to get tugging in different locations. Each new place we go takes a bit of work, but we are getting there. This is something I really want to put the work into now, as I had such problems with Smudge. I did eventually get Smudge tugging, but it took a lot of work (and a lot of help from our friends!) to overcome the problem, with a lot of toys stuffed with sausages along the way!! lol Fuze is a natural toy player, so my job is far easier this time, we just need to work on the distractions and we will have it cracked.
He is loving joining in on our walks properly now, although we don't allow Mayzee and him off the lead at the same time. Mayzee is our 'sheltie exerciser' as she likes to run and run and run on a walk. Smudge likes to chase her, which is great for him, but not so good for a very young puppy!! Fuze is dying to chase Mayzee, but obviously can't be allowed to as he is far to young. She goes too far and the risk of injury is just too great. So for now we alternate between the two of them who is off lead at any one time (much to Mayzee's disgust!) As well as the injury aspect I don't really want him learning to chase mindlessly and would rather train him to recall off a chase before he is allowed to run with her. So it will be a few months yet!
For our other dogs agility training has pretty much completely stopped for the time being. Mainly due to the weather!! Our field is completely waterlogged at the moment, due to the sheer amount of rain we have had! Such a shame as I have had to cancel all lessons and a christmas training morning. We are hoping for dry weather over the holidays to give everything a chance to dry out. To be honest though they are all quite happy with their daily walks, a bit of trick training and lounging around the house. It is their down time!! :-)
Smudge and Mayzee have both received invitations to run at the Channel Island Dog of the Year event, which is to be held in February, so I would like a good few weeks training before that. As well as that, the team has now been selected for the World Agility Open in May 2012, and I am pleased to say that Smudge will be running in the 400 height, and Mayzee will be running in the 525 height. Two Eden dogs on the team! I am really excited about this event, and cannot wait for May to arrive. Lots of training and preparation to be done before then!!
So that is about all. We have lots planned over christmas, so I hope this cold goes. We are off to my mums for the big day, with eleven people and six dogs! No doubt Fuze will enjoy his first christmas, and all the dogs have their presents under the tree already. Have a wonderful time and happy christmas to you all!