Sunday, August 31, 2014

Seven takes a walk through the woods

Seven does great walking on a leash until he hears and/or sees a dog.  Then he starts to lose his mind and will rapidly focus on the dog, starts whining, then crying and then barking.  Once he fixates (it takes less than a second) it's difficult to redirect him.  This behavior was one of the main reasons why Seven and I signed up for our dog class.   I will talk more about this in a coming post but, one thing I've been doing is avoiding high dog areas as I do not want to reinforce his current leash behavior when he sees/hears a dog.
So, we have a wooded park not to far from our house and Seven and I have been heading over there early in the morning before most folks are up and out with their dogs.
This has been a great spot to take Seven as there's lots for him to see, smell and because it has lots of stairs and steep hills we both get a good workout.
And off we go... 
We start our descent into the woods

Lots to smell
"Come on foster mom, keep up!"

On terrier alert!
He hears critters

Watching and waiting

"No critters here, lets get moving!"
A fallen tree that he doesn't hesitate to climb

You can see in this picture how his upper lip get stuck on his lower tooth. His lower tooth jets out which does give the appearance of him doing a lip curl which he's not. 

"How do I look on this log?"

"Why are you complaining about the stairs foster mom - we can do them!"

We check out a bridge

Seven curious about what he sees & hears...

And what does he see and hear - a small waterfall in the distance.

Of course we had to get over there and check it out!

"Ok time to get moving"

And Seven is on the trail of a critter - he's a mover!

"I almost caught you!!"

And then he finds this... 
"Foster mom do you see this?!"

He was very interested in whatever made this hole!

Pretty boy is watching the birds and foster mom is tired.

Looking good Seven!

"No more breaks, lets keep going"

"This is a ton of fun - lets do it again tomorrow"

Friday, August 29, 2014

Everyone goes to mat!

Seven has fully integrated into our home - meaning we don't have to have baby gates up throughout our house to manage the environment for everyone.  We do still keep our dogs separated when eating and that will always remain in place. 

Our longer than usual integration has worked out well as we haven't had a scuffle between dogs which was very important in setting everyone up for success.  This is really great considering we have two strong personality terriers in our home.  All the training Seven and I have been doing has also helped a ton with his impulse control and as Seven has more impulse control, we have less stressed dogs in our house.

Seven and I were practicing "Go to mat" and someone thought she needed to join in!

And then look who else thought he needed to get in the mix!

That's too many dogs for one mat so, I went and found Catty's mat.  It was time for musical mats and Catty is hustling to get to her mat! 

Check out Seven "I'm on my mat with all this mayhem"

And everyone gets reinforced with a yummy treat for going to mat!

And out comes the video camera!

Catty and Seven know this game and are very focused at the task at hand.  D'light as usual is goofing around not concerned about a food reinforcer.

Good dogs!

Lovely work Catty and Seven - they love to work!
D'light says "No thank you I'd rather go watch for critters out the window"

"Where are you... I'm waiting..."


Thursday, August 28, 2014

D'light has an amazing day - Part 2

As you will see from the series of pictures the effect we were looking for, we certainly got!  D'light had a magnificent time and it warmed our hearts to see him so happy. Well worth the drive and all that went into this adventure.  
I will say that with D'light, the more we use the lure the more intense his prey drive.  For us this doesn't matter - we will never have a cat and we manage him on walks when he see's small critters and now rolling items that he think may be the end of lure. 
So, for us reinforcing his prey drive is a behavior we want despite it producing any negative consequences.  To watch D'light have these moments of sheer delight is heartwarming and we are happy that we can assist him finding joy in his life. 


Amping up....

"I have to get it!!"

Here's some of it on video - talk about Mr. Intense!

and from whining he goes to screaming to get at the lure

And it's finally his turn!

The pictures below were taken by Jumoke Photography, a professional photographer for the event.

Run rattie run!!

What fun we had!!
And at the end of the day, we had a very happy and tired rattie boy! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

D'light has an amazing day - Part 1

For those of you who have met D'light you know he's a bit of a wall flower.  Meaning he cautiously choses to hang back from most things, he doesn't engage much with the environment and he can quickly get overwhelmed which causes him to withdraw into himself.  Because of this - we are constantly looking for ways to help him build confidence, cut loose and unleash his inner terrier!  D'light has come out of his shell over the years and he continues to realize that he has lots of choice in his life and the he won't be punished for choices he makes. He's a very special boy and we love him dearly! 
We've know for a good while that D'light has an intense prey drive - crazy given how mild mannered he is.  So, we bought him a lure and you can see from this post that he loves it D'light LOVES Zippity Dog Z lure
The issue with our lure is that it's only 200 feet so by the time he gets going it's over.  Of course he doesn't care as he just loves to chase the bag.  But, our Nose Work instructor told us about a lure match that was coming up.  I looked it up and found out that the course was 600 yards!  For comparison, a football field is 100 yards.  I knew D'light would lose his mind from excitement so we signed up.
So off we went leaving our house very early and getting in a good drive to the venue!
"What are we doing in this field?!"
We arrived a bit early so time to walk around and check out the environment. 
This event was out in farm country so lots of new smells!

He hears something....

Watching & taking the environment....

He hears the generator turn on that runs the lure

And then he thinks he sees something....

He hears other dogs barking and is wondering what is going on

And then he see it...

The setting up of the lure and those plastic bags to chase...

It was time to go back in the car and wait as he started to lose his mind from excitement from watching the set up.
"Why are we back in the car!?"

I need to get to it!!


"I want my turn now!"
The first set of dogs was running for a couple of hours so, we walked over to watch the agility competition.  I've never watched agility and talk about impressive!!  Our Nose Work instructor and Seven's class instructor were both competing so, it was a lot of fun for us to watch. 
Watching agility in the bleachers - this was great as it was shaded and not very many people in the stands.

D"light had a good time walking up and down the steps - sniffing and watching all that was going on.

Good looking boy!
Then it was time to head back to the car and wait for his big lure run!

"Just chillin"

"What's up mom?"

Yes, D'light is on top of his crate.  He's figured out how to unzip and get out of his crate!

"I hear something"

"I see it!!"

Stay tuned to see D'light and his lure run!