I am REALLY enjoying reading Boogie’s Blog at the moment! It is authored by the fantastic Lili Chin, who creates wonderful dog training illustrations.
There’s a lot to be said for these beautifully illustrated, clear and concise guides to dog behaviour and interaction. I think they’re absolutely invaluable for owners of fearful or anxious dogs, and those who are new to positive training techniques. There’s even an illustration for the kids now!
This image is taken from The Behaviour Company‘s website which has some FANTASTIC free resources available to download – these are well worth a look!
I volunteer for our local branch of the RSPCA (Manchester & Salford) and was invited to a vintage tea party today. I run a small vegan/gluten free bakery, so I took along some cakes for any vegan guests (myself included!), and Vulpe got to join us.
I knew this event was potentially going to be very overwhelming for our anxious little pooch, so I secured a makeshift yellow ribbon to her lead. I was surprised to meet a couple of people who actually knew what it meant, which was very reassuring to me, so I’ve decided to order a handsome little bandana for her, for similar occasions.
I must say though, she was tremendously brave! After a little while, she calmed down splendidly. We had a little walk around the field, and a pee/poop later, she was feeling much better. A few cheeky sandwich crusts were thrown her way, and we more or less showered her in dog treats the calmer she became.
Our little poochums was so brave! She even let a coupla folks have a coupla strokes! Well done poochy <3
Wow, I’m ashamed to say it’s been quite a while since I updated this blog. Vulpe has been getting along just fine, but things got incredibly busy, and changes had to be made so that I had more time to have my own life!
Vulpe completed an adolescent training course, and turned 1 in April (or our best guess!) She continues to be quite reactive to strangers, particularly in our home, so we do our best to limit the stress she is placed under, and have accepted that she is likely to always retain some of that behaviour!
She still attends the weekly dog and puppy playgroup I set up last year, and has lots of fun making new friends. She also celebrated her -more or less- 1st birthday!
I’ve taken a mountain of photos of her since I last updated, but wanted to pick some of the highlights :)
Vulpe graduated her adolescent class with the EXCELLENT CB Dogs, with at least some improvement in her training :)
In the US right now, it is National Train Your Dog Month. I definitely have some resolutions for Vulpe in terms of training, and in less than a week we’ll begin the next level of our training classes (Adolescent Class) with our wonderful trainer, Clare, of CB Dogs.
I was therefore pleased to see this update on UK organisation Blue Cross’ website. Blue Cross is a charity dedicated to helping sick, injured and homeless pets (since 1897!).
Blue Cross are encouraging owners to use the surplus of treats amassed over the festive period to teach their dogs something new. Here is my wishlist of training goals for Vulpe during this month and beyond!
- Teach ‘drop it’ (for playing) and ‘leave it’ (for those occasions when she decides to chew on undesirable items!)
- Teach reliable recall when distracted.
- Train her to stop chasing the poor cat around our flat!
- Some basic agility exercises, once she is a little older.
- Continue working on her fear of new people, and subsequent barking!
I hope these are fairly realistic goals for the coming year! It’s hard to believe Vulpe’s been with us for only 4 months, and we’ve made so much progress. She now has (mostly) excellent recall, can do (most) basic obedience commands, is excellent with other dogs, and is much more confident than she was.
How about you? Do you have any training goals for 2013?
What a year it’s been! For me, 2012′s most defining moment was Sunday 2nd September, when after 6 weeks or more of waiting, we drove to a service station in Staffordshire to meet our precious little Vulpe, who had just endured a 3 day drive from Romania, along with other dogs being rehomed across Europe by Action Aid for Animals. Here is the first awkward iPhone shot of our wonderful little poochy, a little 3.9kg bundle of nerves…..
When we arrived back home, we introduced Vulpe to the garden first, as I’d read in various puppy books. We placed the pooch down on the grass, and she immediately flopped over onto her back, inviting tummy rubs – a gesture that would be repeated many times daily in the months to come, even post surgery :)
Our little Vulpe has come a long way since she was found as a stray with her Mum and litter, only a tiny puppy then, around 6 months ago…
We are so happy to have her in our lives and are very excited about what 2013 holds!
Happy New Year Everyone!
I blogged previously about the Leave It! challenge over on the Crossover Trainer Blog. This was our best effort, though Vulpe knows the command more as “wait” than anything else :)
Here Vulpe is resisting one of my homemade peanut butter dog treats :)