Sunday, April 22, 2012

Slim Outings

My son has been home for the majority of last week with the flu/cold, so Haddie and I have been slim pickings on our adventures. Thankfully, my son made a recovery before the weekend and our family has been spending it outside enjoying the beautiful sunny weather.

Yesterday was all about backyard manners for Miss Haddie. I will impress on her future forever family how much she enjoys loves a good game of fetch. While she is not obsessive by any means of the game, she does rally until she is tired enough to mellow out in the yard.
We have a three tiered backyard. The main level is the grass and patio area. The second tier is landscaped and is out of bounds for Haddie, and the third tier has a second patio, swing set area, and lots of room to roam. On the Left of our backyard are stairs leading from the ground to tier three, and on the right side is a steep path leading to the same outcome.

I found rather quickly when she was just a pup, that if I stand on the third tier and throw her ball down to the ground level, that she would take the stairs down, run across the yard, fetch her ball, and then run up the steep path to come back to me. It is a fabulous workout!

Well, this weekend she decided to be more risky and jump to the second tier, and then to the ground tier. That was great for risk-taking behavior, but she broke the rules and so I had to put an end to that. But not before she figured out that if she could get down the short cut way, she could also jump up the short cut way.

Now, while I technically don't mind her cutting (it's not like she's ruining any vegetation, and it is still good exercise), I worry about an injury to a dog that is not mine. So we nixed the short cut with a spray bottle as a firm Don't was not working. It was a two-spray learning experience and then she opted to return to the stairs and path routine.

Good choice, Haddie.

Once tired out, she explored the backyard and obeyed not picking up pine cones and eating grass (which used to be an uphill battle even just a month ago). She has really grown in her manners.

Today was about hanging out at the Fairground so my son could complete a requirement of 4H. I am still not exactly sure what today was all about, a written test and a mini-clinic, but we fulfilled the requirement.

Haddie was not required to go, but it was a great social outing, so we brought her along. There were dogs from other 4H clubs present, and while she was interested in their passing by, she ignored greeting them (even when the other dogs tried to greet Haddie). We wandered a bit, but for the most part she practiced her Down command on the concrete flooring which I am sure smelled of Fair animals and stuff.

We will be back at this location in August when she is entered in the Fair with my son. I can't help but think that the visual and smells of today's memory might add to success for her when it comes time to be a participant.

When the outings are slim, like they have been this week, I have to really stretch to become creative in her social training.


  1. WOW, you have a LOVELY backyard! And a perfect place for a pup like Haddie to play. What a smart girl to learn so quickly! And glad to hear your son is feeling better!

  2. Thanks, Lisa, I give 100% of the credit of the backyard to my husband. We bought the house new 9 yrs ago and it was just dirt and rocks. He did everything by hand to make it what it is today. I am very happy to enjoy all of his hard work. =)