Monday, June 11, 2012

Sun + Haddie = Happy

We have been in a slump of cold weather, downpours, and grey sky. Today, however, the sun has graced us with lots of yellow and we are in love!

I am on a summer break from Piano as of the first Monday of June, so that means today feels like vacation. My hubby goes into work every Monday, otherwise he works from home. Knowing that the "good car" is with my hubby, I have things on my agenda at home with Haddie.

First, when I say "good car" I mean that it has easy access in and out for Haddie in the cargo area because it sits much lower than our other car (and it is a much, much newer car). Jumping in by herself is a relatively new concept for Haddie. She has only jumped in our "good car". Today, she will practice and learn how to jump in our "other car". If I have the guts.

I know that emotions run from top to bottom of a leash, so if I am not feeling confident enough to give this a try, then Haddie will have to wait for another opportunity. It just seems SO FAR to jump.

Which brings me to my other agenda for the day. Walking Haddie s-l-o-w-l-y on a looooooose leash. She can walk at a normal-to-brisk pace, and prefers it that way, while maintaining a loose leash. She can match pace with me and walk slowly, but it is a real challenge for her to maintain for any length of time.

After dropping the kids off at school, I decided to go for the double whammy. A walk around the neighborhood, loose leash, no gentle leader, and slow. In the end, what would have been a 30-minute walk, turned into a 60-minute walk. I was serious about walking slow. This photo was quickly captured as my hubby was leaving and we were coming back.
Getting started was rough. It took a lot of focus on both of our parts to maintain a slow pace and a loose leash. I gave her the mini Teddy Bear to hold in her mouth, and she did for a very long time! It was adorable, and I think it helped her with the stress of the corrections that I felt I needed to keep making with her. She did a lot of turning around and starting over. And a lot of sits to break the cycle of pulling.

These are the moments when you wonder if you really messed and missed the opportunity when the pup was just starting out to get this one down. Haddie was a lager when she first started on the leash. It was all I could do to get her to move. Now, I can't get her to slow down. Figures.

Nine months into training and I am questioning my own ability for my first Puppy In Training. I know I have worked many hours with her and have given her great opportunities, but being my first time around I am starting to question if I really get it.

I would certainly do things differently on my second go-round. And my third, and fourth. I know every dog is different, but at least I would have a few tricks and tips under my belt from my own experience. At least I would like to think so. Maybe it is not like that at all. First timing perhaps is the hardest. But then again, maybe every pup feels like you are starting from scratch. We'll see ...

The perk so far today was that I really found that Haddie does recover quickly. I've seen it before, but I believe it now. We met the garbage man coming up the biggest hill in our area. His truck produced a great whiiish of air and noise right next to us. I don't think he did it on purpose, but if he did, thumbs up! Haddie was in a sit, and startled up when the noise occurred. But she sat back down and looked up at me. The truck continued on and continued to make those noises and she held her sit.

We met the truck later up the street and Haddie passed by as it was dumping the garbage and making lots of racket. She didn't mind the noise this time.

By the time we had turned around to go home, she was tired and walking very loose next to me. Perhaps, she had worn herself out just trying to get us to the turn around spot. Either way, lots of praise all the way home for her good walking skills.

If we don't work on the Car command with our "other car" today, we certainly will be spending it outside with Frisbee.  We'll see where our day takes us.


  1. WAY - TO - GO! That's a tough one to work on, especially for an extended amount of time like that! But so very important. Haddie is so lucky to have such an attentive puppy raiser who is so willing to work with her on such skills.

  2. Thanks, Lisa!! Learning from my awesome blog friends(aka:YOU!) who have traveled this road before.