Tag Archives: Sit

Who’s a dummy??!!

5 Feb

After lots of hill walks I decided Rudy and Rio would benefit from a slower paced walk, more controlled, more confined and to them, ultimately more boring!!!! Anyway, decision made we set off for some local fields with a training dummy. For those who don’t know, a dummy is a training aid used to encourage dogs to retrieve an object and bring back to the owner. Working dogs use these weighted dummies to prepare them for when they get out in the field and have to bring back pheasants.

Training dummy

Training dummy

After the dogs had had some fun running round and doing what needs to be done, we did some heel work and general whistle recall work so there was a fighting chance they would be interested in what I wanted them to do!! The field we were in has plenty of long grass and hedgerows which both dogs love to explore!!

I called them both to me and had them sit. Rio sat and gazed at me intently his whole back end swaying as he wagged his extra long tail!!! Rudy…hmm well as usual Rudy sat slightly apart and gazed intently…into the distance!!! Clearly not impressed that his fun had been curtailed and equally determined to blank me just so I knew what crime I had committed!!!

Keen as mustard!!

Keen as mustard!!

Ok so far so good..ish!!! I had the dogs smell the dummy and said “mark”. Again Rio studied it carefully while Rudy couldn’t have cared less!! I threw the dummy into a clearing not too far away and both dogs waited for the command to retrieve. After a few moments I told them to “go back” and Rio ran straight to the dummy, picked it up and proudly ran back to me, tail wagging frantically!! Rudy had sort of mooched toward it and got side tracked and had a pee instead !!

Ok second go. Again both dogs smelled the dummy and waited as I threw it, this time a few feet further and into some longer grass. At the command Rio sprinted to the area and again found the dummy straight away, retrieved it and brought back ,if not directly to me then in my general direction!! As Rio had set off I had see Rudy out of the corner of my eye take off in completely the opposite direction!! Clearly from the look on his face this was SO DULL he took it upon himself to do his own thing!!

Rio was loving it so much I decided to just do it with him instead and let Rudy get on with it!! After a few more throws Rudy came back and joined in. I swear dogs are like kids !! Once Rudy realised he was getting no attention he wanted to play again!! I almost felt sorry for him as although he can find the dummy most times, he is slower at it than Rio!!

After about 10 minutes Rio was so over excited I called a halt to it before he spontaneously combusted on the spot!!! He wouldn’t leave my side thou as the dummy was in my pocket so we went off up the track with me walking and him doing his best kangaroo impression and yes Rudy skulked along too!!!

It was really good to see Rio doing so well and I guess I just have to accept they are different dogs and Rudy just isn’t that interested!!

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You go your way and I’ll go mine!!

23 Jan

Walking Rudy and Rio yesterday in the snow through our local fields as I can’t get on to the hill, I wondered what other dogs are like on a walk? I mean my 2 run like crazy, so fast and cover so much ground so quickly and often in separate directions, it can be tricky to keep track of them both!!

Listening..for 2 seconds!!

Listening..for 2 seconds!!

The first 2 fields lead across to more open land but there is a small lane at the end that when the roads are not covered in snow would be used sporadically for local people and farmers to access their homes. So really I need to get Rudy and Rio back and either put them on their leads for a few minutes or get them listening to me and walking to heel just while we cross the lane.

They have had about a week of not too much training and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly they get out of the habit of listening to instruction!! They are so excited to be galloping round in the snow they find it really hard to calm down sufficiently to take direction and actually do as they are told!!!! I had to make them sit for a minute just to relax then we tried both walking to heel.

I knew they only had to do it for a couple of minutes but guess they didn’t so they lunged around, 1 trotting off too quickly and having to be called back into line, 1 trying to dive headfirst into the hedge after a smell etc etc etc!!! To say it was frustrating was an understatement!! We kept going though and I just wished they could be calmer and WALK not run everywhere!!!

Ring leader??!!

Ring leader??!!

We made it into the next field and I let them go again and they had a lovely time in and out of the hedgerows, tails wagging constantly!! They really are such a happy breed of dog it makes me smile every day!! At the top of this field there is again another lane and Rudy has a habit of ducking through the hedge and racing into the opposite field. Not every time, but too often for my liking so I have to keep an eye that he doesn’t shoot under there. Of course there was no traffic here either so no danger from vehicles but the dogs SHOULD listen and not do as they like!!!

Rudy shot under the hedge and Rio followed so I whistled and bellowed and they pretty much came straight back but I wondered do other peoples dogs always have to push the boundaries and do things they know are wrong?? Is it Rudy leading Rio astray? They are like 2 naughty schoolboys!!! 1 daring the other into the next misdemeanour!!!

They see fences and hedges and gates as things to be ducked under, dived through, jumped over. They are objects of fun to be enjoyed at every given opportunity, not barriers to keep them out of places!!! No Rudy and Rio never just mooch along slowly and to be honest if they ever did I would think there was something amiss!!!

The Hover Sit

12 Dec

Now for part 3 of the training sessions I had with Jeremy Organ. You may recall last time’s lesson had ended really well and we were all fired up with enthusiasm!!!

Well….things hadn’t gone entirely to plan!! Read on to find out why!!!

Well with some trepidation Rudy, Rio and I  approached training this week!!! The” heel” work  we had tried so hard to master had gone to pot with both boys together and even separately sometimes!! They had certainly become …shall we say “rebellious” ??  There are many other words I have used mostly under my breath with them but I don’t think they are for public consumption!!!
Jeremy saw the problem immediately and took charge and gave them both what for!! He was very strict especially with Rudy who was doing his whole looking anywhere but at you routine!! It’s a bit like if I can’t see you ,you can’t see me!!! I clearly remember the children doing the very same thing when they were younger!!!

La la la can't see you!!

La la la can’t see you!!

Jeremy did lots of heel work separately then with both dogs  together and sharpened everything up loads, i.e when u stop the dog should stop immediately and sit immediately and wait for the command to heel . Both Rudy and Rio were quite slow to start with and took some persuading but soon improved no end!!
They have perfected what can only be described as the “hover sit”. The dog looks like he is going to sit and starts to lower the back end to the ground, but never quite puts his weight down!! He just hovers in mid air!! In a sitting position just not actually sitting!!! This hover sit is usually accompanied by the look off into the middle distance in the vain hope you will look away too and they can get away with it!!
Jeremy then did some heel work where he dropped the lead across Rudy’s back and carried walking on as if still holding  it and as Rudy had not been aware of pressure from the lead anyway because  he was walking  properly, he didn’t notice the difference and happily continued to walk to heel and sit when Jeremy stopped!!
Jeremy then took both Rudy and Rio  together and Rudy broke ranks and came running back towards me with Jeremy sprinting after him!! What a sight to behold!!! He then started  again and  both dogs walked beautifully alongside him without leads!! Hmm methinks that could take a lot of practise!!!
I am amazed that such simple concepts can work and I live in hope that one day Rudy and Rio will walk like angels on their leads!!! snap
It rained the whole time and we were there an hour and 20 minutes and I LOVED it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I now have to practise all of the above as much as possible and go back in 2 weeks again.

The show must go on!!

3 Dec

I’m sitting down to write this blog with the Royal Variety Performance on the TV in the background. I have seen the trailer and I know that Ashleigh and Pudsey the dog are going to be performing. It has made me wonder how on earth Ashleigh has trained Pudsey to such an amazing standard?? I mean as an average dog owner I have trained Rudy and Rio to do various things like ” sit” “down” ” wait” in the house but how on earth do you progress from there to the sort of standard Ashleigh and Pudsey have achieved??

Ashleigh and Pudsey

Ashleigh and Pudsey

It must take hours, days, weeks, even years to perfect their routines. I remember the first time I saw them perform on Britain’s Got Talent . I watched in awe as the 2 of them moved perfectly in synch , Ashleigh dressed in leopard print and Pudsey dressed…well…as himself!!! And who could forget the Mission Impossible routine??!! Amazing!!

Somehow I don’t think I will be attempting anything like that anytime soon!!! Especially with the 2 of them together!! I do try to train them together. I make them wait in a different room while I hide treats then when I call them they have to sniff round ’til they find them. It’s funny watching them crash into each other in their haste to find more than their mate!! Rio quite often runs underneath Rudy, literally, which just lifts Rudy’s back legs off the ground long enough to put him off balance, meaning Rio gets to the treat first!!

And then there was the “cupboard” incident!!! It seemed perfectly normal to me!! I had just started to whistle train Rudy and Rio, calling them in from the garden with it etc to get them used to it. So one boring evening I decided to make them sit in the hall and wait while I hid…. In the cupboard!!!  Now it’s not as mad as it might sound!!! It’s a huge walk in cupboard within the front room, not a flimsy wall mounted affair!!!

So there I was happily ensconced in the cupboard, looking round mentally planning a huge clear out and pleased to find the book I thought I had lost. After a few minutes I thought I would blow the whistle to get the dogs to find me!! However at that moment my youngest daughter came downstairs, I heard the step creak so I knew she was out there and held my breath hoping she wouldn’t ask the inevitable!!

Peep peep!!

Peep peep!!

A moment later I heard her ask incredulously  ” Mum please tell me you are NOT hiding in the cupboard?”!!! I tried really hard to keep quiet but i just couldn’t help a sort of snort escape me and Mia opened the cupboard door with a look of utter contempt on her face!!!

“What??” I asked ..it was at that point she informed me I really should get out more!!! Hmm I think she may have a point but the dogs love it…honest!!!

Hot Stuff!!

30 Nov

Eh?? What do you mean??

This is the 2nd installment of the training lessons I had with Jeremy Organ, Spaniel Officionado and all around nice guy!! It took place back in what we Brits laughingly called our ” summer”!!! This must have been the only hot day we had this year!!!

Rudy, Rio and I  arrived a few minutes early for our second lesson so we  sat in the boot of the car (well the dogs were in the boot , I was perched precariously on the edge! )  Whilst we sat and waited for Jeremy, Rudy had a great time watching the prize chickens in their coup again but at least we had no re enactment of last time!!!!

Chicken run!!

Jeremy came out to greet us and we decided  as it was so hot ( !! ) we would take them both through to the paddock together, so true to form they pulled a la husky through to the field with me practically horizontal behind !!
Well I did explain to Jeremy that I haven’t mastered 2 at a time yet!!! Unless it’s a 2 finger Kit Kat that is!!
Anyway we walked past a beautiful litter of 7 week old Springers Spaniels that Jeremy had bred and I thought that their training would probably start very soon!!! And how amazing they would no doubt end up..perfectly in tune with their owner, obedient and eager to please!!! At that point Rudy cocked his leg on Jeremy’s favourite tree as Rio lunged forward pulling me off balance for the hundredth time!!!
It was really hot which I’m sure had a positive effect on the dogs as they were both too hot to mess around too much!!!
We started with 1 dog each doing heel work. So I would walk forward with 1 dog and as soon as he started to pull against me I jerked the lead sharply, released and changed direction by 90 degrees. I continued  walking and every time there is tension on the lead you snatch the lead, release and change direction. The dog soon begins to grasp that if they walk calmly without pulling they are rewarded with a loose lead and no pressure. When they pull it feels uncomfortable for them and the fact that you change direction means the dogs really have to listen to you and be aware of your body language to know where you are heading and when.
Also every time you stop the dog is meant to sit immediately..something Rudy finds especially challenging!!!
Jeremy was suitably impressed with their improvement.YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They were both really good individually so Jeremy decided the time had come to try them together!! Aarggh!!! Could I do this?? Would they go into “husky” mode? Would I fall over ..it has been known?? I got hotter and hotter with fear and trepidation, my face ablaze , my hands clammy!!!
 However they were pretty restrained and again it all went quite well. Not as good as on their own but no Mary Poppins moments with me flying through the air, arms akimbo!!! We practised for around 10 minutes which was plenty both for Rudy and Rio and me!! I don’t know who had to concentrate more!! The dogs having to do as they were told or me having to remember a kind tone of voice and no shouting!!
We headed back into the paddock for a well earned drink ( The dogs I hasten to add, unfortunately Jeremy hadn’t chilled a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc for me!! ( selfish I thought!!)
After a short break Jeremy said we should do some recall work. He kept Rio on the lead and I let Rudy off so he was free to roam around the enclosed paddock. I then had to call him back. This started well and after quite a few successful efforts we added a new dimension. At a given point in the recall I had to try to make Rudy sit. Well I would release Rudy, let him get engrossed in sniffing around then call him. So far so good. I then bellowed ” sit” and held my hand up palm facing him ( the sit sign) and hoped for the best!! Rudy just looked slighty mystified and happily came right back to me!! Hmm this was going to be interesting!!

” SIT”…….please!!

It was a similar story with Rio although he did seem to pick things up a bit quicker and I started to feel like I was making some progress.
In between each lesson I have to practise every day which I either incorporate into our walks or in separate shorter sessions. I think this could take quite some time but it’s all good fun!!!
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