Had some cracking walks with the boys today 🙂
I’ll start with Kasper’s first, seeing as we took him out in the morning.
We headed out with Kasper and almost immediately he did good by coming away from several huge heaps of rice pudding and raisin cake which some moron had dumped next to (but not in) a public bin…I bet they were ‘feeding the birds’ *sigh*
We walked to the beach and instead of looping about on the marshland before the gate, we walked through & took Boo on the beach. I had the longline (I’m the only one with wellies and it was muddy as hell!) and extended it fully, about 10ft.
Kasper followed direction really well (we had to swerve about a lot to cross channels of sea – high tide again!), and since I’ve been doing more work with him and turning giving treats into a game, he considers kibble high value on walks now – this is awesome!
After a nice beach walk we looped back, and most the way home Kasper was ignoring his surroundings and choosing to walk at my side and maintain eye contact 🙂
Just last week he was ignoring all direction on walks, lunging at anything that interested him, and refusing any treats including meat…I cannot describe how infuriating it was!
Next we took Raiden out.
The first part of our walk was along an extremely narrow path right by a busy road. We’ve only walked Rey down this path a few times before and he’s improved every time – no trying to pick things off the road, walking beautifully on lead, and offering eye contact a ton!
Three times we met people walking the opposite direction. The first time we were able to tuck in by some allotments, and Raiden did some easy LAT. The other two times there was nowhere for us to go and traffic was heavy, so we picked him up as we passed.
Once we reached the next village there were more LAT opportunities (post men, kids etc) and another chance to show Rey big things driving passed aren’t scary…he was splashed as a lorry drove past a week ago, and we were seeing some mild fear; lick lips, stopping walking etc.
Now whenever I see a large thing approaching I kneel down beside Rey (for support and sometimes as a physical barrier between him and the vehicle) and scatter treat-after-treat-after-treat on the ground for him to find 🙂
We climbed the stile into the fields (Raiden is so awesome, he goes through the dog hole then stands and waits for us to climb over!) and once we saw they were empty we let him off lead.
There are three large main fields, with small gaps in the bushes to get from one to the other. The bushes act as useful barriers; although the fields are quite contained we can easily see over them & notice if there are any other dogs in the adjoining field.
Rey had a whale of a time off lead 🙂
He checked in, didn’t stray far at all, and just had a lovely time exploring. We’d been out quite a while when he began sticking very close to us (this usually means he’s bored & getting tired, and if ignored can lead to jumping up / pant biting!) so I got the squeaky toy out of my bag and threw it as a distraction.
For the next twenty minutes we played chase (Raiden runs to us and we fake-lunge at him, it’s adorable) and fetch (he can both fetch and drop toys at my feet now!!).
As we neared the end of the walk I swapped Raiden with treats, pocketed the toy, and we played the recall game. We practiced recall from distraction by sending him to my partner then I called Rey as he got close. After it was back on lead & we began the walk home.
Several dogs walked past us on the return journey, one even followed us! We did lots of LAT / engage-disengage, and Raiden was amazing. We were constantly saying how unreal it is to see such quick progress, and how we feel like we’re actually doing good at the moment 🙂
Heading back to the narrow path some hikers surprised us coming around a blind corner, and Rey’s immediate reaction was to turn to me – I could have cried with happiness!
On the narrow path half a dozen large vehicles drove by (caravan size to huge lorry carrying fuel), and with the new kneeling Raiden had zero fear – he loves it ^__^
So we had two big, impressive walks with both the boys today, and they absolutely rocked! Now I’m freezing cold, huddled up under a duvet with a headache. As long as it doesn’t develop into another migraine I’m happy 😀