Wednesday, July 22, 2015

All the Places We Go and Luke the Teenager

So it has been over a month since my last blog entry. Things have been really busy and unfortunately Ara's health has become worse which has caused some slacking in Luke's training. This is the hard part about owner training, whether for yourself or a child. When health issues arise or life gets busy/complex it can effect your dogs training. Usually it just causes delays in training but depending on the situation it can cause negative effects and take longer to get back on track, such as being lax on obedience and allowing bad habits to form.  With Luke we are behind in where we were a few months ago and yes he has picked up a few not so great habits at home. However we are working on them adding more structure into our training.

Luke has also hit a teenage stage of doggy life and yes it is just like teenage Again adding a bit more structure into training but also having a lot of fun with training such as doing rally practice and just running around playing fetch.

Here is were we have been this last month and some of the training we have done. (Note: I am not listing everything in the post as it would just be to long since it has been a month since our last post)

Training - Dog Shoes - It is very hot now and to protect Luke from the hot asphalt he will wear dog shoes. (Thank you Grammy for the shoes) We started out just putting them on then taking them off then gradually increased the amount of time he wore them. It only took a few days for him to get use to them. Last winter we used mushers secret for the snow and ice melt, this year we will probably use the shoes once the winter snow starts to fly.

Walmart - (yes I know we go there a lot we dont have many grocery stores here) - Working on guide tasks, find out, car and dad, vocal commands (are near perfect), "say Hi", distractions (such as dogs in carts ect), and working when Ara is having a hard time.  With Ara's health getting worse it has made shopping very hard. Luke is having to learn to work even when Ara is not totally engaged with him or when her body is making odd movements (movement disorder).

4th of July - Luke really showed he knows his stuff and can focus during the 4th of July events we attended. There were tons of people, lots of pet dogs, loud noises and people dressed up. He did great guiding Ara through the events, even when we had two dogs rush us and get up in his business ( I really dislike those flexi leashes). None of the loud noises from the fire trucks, fire works or air horns bothered him. He did all vocal commands, blocking, and even alerted to Ara's overload/anxiety. We were watching the parade and Ara was doing so good. Luke was sitting behind us while Ara and sister were in front of the curb to get candy and see the parade. Luke broke his stay and went to heel position on Ara and did a nose touch. This was the second time I had seen him do this when we have been out some where so I just waited to see what happened. With in just a minute or two Ara says "I need to get out of here. go home" since Luke was already there she was able to grab his vest and we were able to leave quickly.

BBQ Fest - This was an extremely bad day for Ara. Here body was just fighting her at every step. Luke did great with all the people and the distraction of lot of food smells. He also did good with vocal commands for guiding her in the crowd such as over right, over left, stop, come around ect and blocking both front and back. He also ignored all the other dogs that were there.

Appointments - Luke is doing really good with applying DPT in public and it has been a huge help for Ara. We also worked on guiding tasks, paw touch, down stay, under,  and "say Hi" . Luke did have some teenage moments during a few of our appointments but nothing too bad.

Zoo trip - Our little zoo is very accommodating and we love having a family pass to visit. Luke did the best ever this last trip. He totally ignored the Tiger following us in her exhibit, the wolves playing and all the other animals. He walked next to the stroller perfectly and would check on Ara frequently. He also helped her with being on a raised platform and blocking