Week 1 Training Challenge: Practice Travel

We joined Ricky and all his 4legged friends for a training challenge.

The challenge is to train once a week outside of your or your pups comfort zone. For week one we did a ‘get ready for the big trip’ run through.

Although not very exciting as far as training challenges go it was helpful to me for we have a family vacation fast approaching that is definitely out of my comfort zone. Ten days camping in South Dakota with 17 members of my family. Try not to all be envious okay?

Really I am looking forward to it, but it is Maizey’s longest trip yet and I want to make sure she is prepared. Things I am looking at as a new experience for her include two Chinese Crested’s and my cousins baby. (I can’t think if she has ever seen a baby before so that should be interesting.) She has never camped before or traveled that far so I know there will be many new things.

Which brings us to our training challenge for this week. I tried to think of things she may need to brush up on and then took her running around with me as much as possible. Things we worked on include her riding in the booster part of her car seat without the crate, some LLW work, sit and down stays while mehusbandy washed the car. (Good new experience with loud noises and busy street) We also worked on her staying in the car alone. (Don’t worry it wasn’t too hot and just for a brief bit at a time.)

"I like this booster since I can see out the windows!"

So while not completely out of our comfort zone it was things she need to practice and it went really well. Thanks for getting us going Ricky!

"Okay I'll stay, but man is it hot out here!"

Next week we have a brand new experience for Maizey that involves milling people, that way she can be ready for the milling hordes when we are camping! But you’ll have to come back and see what it is next Sunday!

Meanwhile check out some really exciting challenges from Ricky or Marie.

"My crazymomlady worries too much, doesn't she know I'm a no fuss no muss traveler?"

Each week of the challenge will include a summary of what we did, feel free to peruse as you’d like, but as it is mostly for my benefit it will appear in my short hand.

DATE and TIME: Tuesday August 3, 2010 evening
LOCATION: car, gas station, car wash, restaurant parking lot
SKILLS TRAINED: first time in booster without crate, LLW, sit-stays, down-stays, staying calm when crazymomlady is gone w/ mehusbandy and alone in car.
SUMMARY: Did good w/ booster, no complaining settled into down. LLW is miraculously still there. Only a couple back ups then worked fine, with treats. no clicker. L3 LLW 40′ w/ one distraction. Apx 50′ along curb w/ pink treat bag as distraction she paid no attention to it at all. Also worked sit-stays wants to settle into down. Don’t work downs for a while, pay for sits @ food with me working away form her. She stayed in car alone, I walked around corner she barked for apx 20 sec then quiet, I return jack pot through window. Then left again she barked for apx 25 sec but ry came back so got interrupted. Need to work alone time w/ out me.


Both Our 4Legged Girls Went Traveling


Before their crazymomlady spent 2 days sitting dazed and confused in front of the computer screen Maizey and Meeka and their crazy-biped-friends went traveling.

It was a short but fun trip to go visit Dare, Zoe and all of their 4legged and biped-friends.

This was a special treat for me since we got to go as a family. It’s a rare treat that all 4 of us get to take time off at the same time so that made the trip perfect from the start.

It is crazy to me how taking one more pup and one mehusbandy results in so much more packing and so much more stuff! I wish I was one of those people who could travel hundreds of miles with a backpack and hoody, alas I am not. Especially with the dogs I seem to take more than 10 dogs would ever need!

We did some fun training with both girls. I decided to jump on the Susan Garrett recall wagon and try what she has been teaching us all on her blog. More of that to come after the video is edited.

Maizey passed her L2 sit-stay, down-stay and watch tests. Video to come with that too. The thing I was the most proud of was how well she handled herself with the kennel dogs. Sorry to be a broken record but, video in process there too.

While we did plenty of training we also just relaxed and took an awesome hike.

"Look crazymomlady! I can climb a tree!"

This time on our hike Lucy and Penny joined us. They may be the old girls in their house but nothing slows them down!



And the best part of the hike? Having our big girl with us. She did get stiff and sore, but I think it was worth it to her!

"This is as deep as I go!"


A tired puppy is a happy puppy!

Today I was reminded, again :) , just how much happier the dogs are when we work for just a few minutes a day.

We always hear the vital importance of physical exercise for our 4 legged friends, but often neglected is the vital importance of mental exercise, or stimulation. Of course regular physical exercise can’t be underestimated, but the truth is I see them just as tired from a few sessions of positive reenforcement training as from a good walk. Combine the two and they’ll sack out for hours!LOL

That certainly showed tonight. Today we were in and out much of the day and the girlies entertained themselves (aka snoozed;)). They are fine to be left, never destructive or noisy. But when we got home in the afternoon they were full of energy. Normally this would be a great time for a walk, but that wasn’t possible today. So with their dinner I did 3 ten minute sessions w/ Maizey, and basically a longer “play” session w/ Meeka.

Maizey did one session of L2 ‘down-stay’. She did excellent! Then a while later, as in after I put the dishes away, we worked one session of L2 ‘go to mat’. It was her first session working that and she really had to think, even though it is something she is familiar with. Then a few minutes later we did one session to practice for her L2 ‘zen’ test. She has this down pat so its more like a fun game, less thinking.

It really just took about 30 minutes total, we both had fun and after that this is what we got:

Translation: A tired puppy is happy puppy!