Raiden’s had some smashing walks this past week and has done really well 🙂
For the first time we took one of our dogs for a walk on the opposite side of the beach.
We normally avoid this walk like the plague, as there are several obnoxious dogs that get taken there regularly, and most the dogs that walk there don’t seem like a good match-up for Kasper / Zoey.
Raiden did well walking in a new place. The walk started with a person walking past, so we practiced playing Look At That (LAT) and calling him away from distractions. Such vast improvement here, he no longer strains at the end of the lead, stands on his back legs with his front paws waving, whilst yapping!
He got a few chances to go off lead on the boring concrete path, and we caught his attention and called him to us before he focused on a family out walking that we saw ahead.
Just as we rounded the farm and got onto the far wider path we bumped into someone with three dogs!
It was a bit of a nightmare as for some reason I had my camera, the treats AND the longline – oh dear!! But Raiden did get to play with an utterly adorable Toy Poodle, I’m just annoyed I wasn’t able to give him as much room as I’d like as I didn’t have the hands to extend the longline…
The next part of the walk involved mooching alongside a field of sheep, and Rey was amazing! We did some call aways, LAT and rewarding for watching calmly.
More dogs appeared then, a JRT and a Schnauzer, but they weren’t interested in playing with Rey so after twenty seconds of him sniffing and asking them to play me and my partner went crazy trying to provide an exciting enough recall to entice Raiden away 😀
We came off the path and went down onto the muddy grassy beachy bit, and Raiden got to go off lead for a longer period of time.
He *flew* onto the really gloopy muddy bank; I think he surprised himself by how fast he was going and couldn’t stop before going into the water (3.20 on the video below), which was hilarious!
Just as we’d started to play our recall game (Raiden’s favourite thing in the world) a Border Collie cross appeared and raced over. That’s okay, I thought, another dog for Raiden to play with is a lovely thing.
Unfortunately the dog completely ignored Rey and instead fixated on me and my partner! Raiden was pestering the dog to play, but the dog wouldn’t leave our sides, and when we called Rey to us the Collie would growl at him, because we apparently belonged to the Collie…
Eventually we managed to pick Raiden up, with lots of treats and praise, and began walking in the opposite direction to the dog.
The dog followed us.
The dog’s owner paid us no attention and didn’t try help get her dog away, she simply carried on walking. Several minutes later and the bloody dog was still following us, and the owner was now several hundred feet away!!
At this point the owner began calling her dog (we could barely hear her she was so far away!) and after a few more annoying minutes of loitering, the dog left and Raiden was able to go back on the ground.
Everywhere was very wet and slippery, and I wasn’t sure if it was due to the rain or the high tides we’ve had recently. There were cute-looking little pockets of water everywhere 🙂
We looped up off the grassy beach section and walked back on the concrete path alongside the race track
Then on the final stretch, walking back down the boring narrow path that runs alongside the train tracks, Raiden heard another train pass up close and did really well with that too 🙂
And yesterday we rushed home to take Raiden to the canal before it got dark, which meant we got there when swarms of teenagers were getting home from school – talk about working on being calm around distractions!
On the canal itself Raiden immediately got to play with two dogs (a happy-to-play Cocker and a ‘get away!’ Setter).
What was fun to see was that Raiden has learnt really well to walk away from dogs that don’t want to see him, and seek out the ones that want to play, something he was terrible at a few weeks back.
The dogs’ owners seemed a bit gross (lots of shouting at his dogs etc) but he was nice when he crouched to say hello to Raiden, which is my main priority. Raiden said a lovely giddy hello and didn’t mind even when the man picked him up for a cuddle!
After meeting those dogs we bumped into a little Shih Tzu that very much didn’t like other dogs, only his owner didn’t tell us this, so the dog reacted as we drew nearer.
This left us in a difficult predicament as Raiden was only 5ft away from the dog and was extremely excited to say hello, but obviously we couldn’t let him. He was on his back legs (front paws waving of course ) and yapping, whilst me and my partner tried to be as exciting as possible!
He came away after ten seconds of ‘OMB LOOK HOW FUNZ WE ARE!!’, and we were able to reward him heavily, pick him up, and play LAT as we passed the Shih Tzu.
Towards the end of our walk we came upon a HUGE chocolate Labrador (you know those ones that are in between fat and hella muscly?) – it must have been ten times the size of Rey!!
Anyway, when we see a dog we do LAT and reward Raiden before he gets *too* excited. I was curious to see how he’d do with such a big dog, as previously the biggest dog he’s interacted with was a big(ish) Collie cross.
As soon as the Lab saw Raiden it raced at him, full speed! Now I was *very* interested to watch Raiden’s reaction – he rushed over to meet the dog and they proceeded to play chase!!
Omb I was SO proud of my puppy! A gigantic bouncy dog ran towards him and there wasn’t an ounce of fear 🙂
After 20 seconds play the Lab’s owner continued, and Raiden came away very well, did some sits and LATs, then we carried on.
Seeing him so happy to meet a huge dog was wonderful to see, as when we socialised Zoey as a puppy (and I think she saw much more dogs than Raiden has, because where we lived in Yorkshire there were dogs being walked *everywhere*) she was always wary of bigger dogs.
In some ways Zoey seemed to be more immediately confident than Raiden (there was never any fear no matter where we took her), but as Raiden has aged and been introduced to things in such a ‘yay that is an awesome thing’ way, he is now much MUCH more confident than Zoey was around dogs / unknown objects.
He’s also far, far more able to train around distractions.
Zoey’s recall was always impeccable (seriously, she could recall whilst being right in the middle of playing chase with another dog), but she couldn’t do a sit on a walk even with no distractions, and she lost her head whenever people were nearby.
She came to us with the habit of leaping as high as she could to kiss people’s faces, and even now when she forgets herself she thinks stomachs are springboards!
Raiden on the other hand can follow a ‘sit’ from anyone, and indeed when we took him to the village hall with our friend this Monday he recalled from me, to my partner, to our friend. He would follow our friend asking him to sit and lie down, and would come to me when called even when actively playing and being distracted by our friend.
Proud of him lotsly 🙂