Well, I didn’t hear the door knock and the trainer forgot I couldn’t hear, so she remembered at 6:20. I flew up out of bed quickly put on my clothes and took Little Joe out to mandatory relief. They are wanting to see us to make sure we understand how often to busy the dogs and see if the dogs are suffering from iany bowel problems from the transition.
We came back to the room long enough for me to put socks and shoes on and take morning meds. Then we headed off to breakfast. Dogs go under the table facing out on the left side. That is to keep the dogs from being nose to nose. We don’t want to encourage arguments, especially as they get tired from working. Some dogs are testing their partners. Refusing to sit/down or jumping up and trying to grab food off the table, etc. Some partners were getting upset. Little Joe so far is lying still and dozing.
Feeding time for the dogs was next. We didn’t feed them last night so this was new. We went to the back porch, sat in a chair, and put our dogs in a down under. That is sitting the dog in front of us facing away. Giving him the down command. Once down, you say, “under,” and then push your dog under your chair. Hear to avoid problems, they bring us the food and we place it between the paws in front of the dog. Little Joe was about to have a coniption. He ate that food in foor gulps.
After eating is relief time again. Little Joe finally poopied for the first time. We have to pick it up with our hands, yes, our , hands. We take a plastic bag put it over our hands inside out, lean over pick up all poop and pull the bag back over our hands leaving the poop inside and our hands clean.Then you tie the bag up and toss. It isn’t as gross as it sounds. Well, maybe it is, but you don’t get your hands dirty.
After breakfast we waited our turns with the trainers to show us how to place the harness on. It is a major deal. They measured it first. Then told us all the names of the parts. Handle is the long part extending over the back. the grip is the place on the handle that I place my hand to follow Little Joe. Two loops on the sides are called the ears. The chest strap is the strap that goes over his head and lays agains his chest. The belly strap is adusted with a belt buckle and attached under the bell with a clip. You have to be careful putting this on because it is thick leather and the clips are big and heavy. They hurt if they hit the dog whick can make him harness shy and almost impossible to continue to work for you.
Afterwards, we took them on a short route. The freedom walk has different sections fro different skill practices. The short route is a friendly introduction for us and the dog for beginning to work with us. There are a couple of curbs tfor the dog to watch for, a couple of cracks he has to stop for and slight decline and incline in the path for getting used to the feel of following a dog through a dip. There is a nice gazebo and lake at the end. Little Joe was perfect. He is trying to watch some already for me. He missed some, but then I missed some and tried to lead him through the stop. I have to learn to let Little Joe lead our dances, not me. :-[ :-0
We then learned a new command or technique for the heel command. If they are way in front of us and we want them to heel, but in a tight formation, we do a horseshoe heel. We step back one step with the left foot saying heel. The dogs spins around in a figure * shape and comes long beside us as we step back forward. Cool. Little Joe does it perfectly every time.
After Lunch we did a repeat of the short route, but did more correction of our dogs if they didn’t do it right. Correction is a relax the leash pul back sharply and then relax agin while saying no!.Little Joe is a soft dog. She needs only gentle correction to get her to do the command. I like thant.
3:00 we fed them again and busy them. Little Joe doesn’t do much during the day. 4:00 was lecture time learning about the harness regulations. The trainers are still stressing bonding as well. We must talk to our dogs, love on them, priase them. Anything to get them to like us. The trainers say Little Joe like my almost constant subtle ear rubbings.
Obedience training: we worked on doggie pull ups. Dogs get aggravated with us for this one but it is important to stress the down because dogs don’t naturally want to go into a down because it leads them into hostile situations at times where they could be vulnerable. However it is a must in keeping our dogs under control for many activities. Then came supper and mandatory reliefs at 7:00 and 9:00 pm. We are going to talk to Mr. Scott maybe play a game or two. Then go to bed. Little Joe is crashed under my chair now., so Good night for now.