Just a quick entry for the moment; hopefully I’ll have time to write more later. I just had to document the peace and calm in my house right now. I took took Hannah, Mira and Ross for a run together early this afternoon and let them just run their hearts out in the mud and pouring rain. Today is the first day in a while now that I didn’t have to limit the length of our walk because of some appointment or whatnot. So I just stood in the rain and watched them run. And run. And run.
When they finally started to walk around, lie down to catch their breath fairly regularly, and sniff around instead of chase each other, I decided they’d shaken out a sufficient number of their metaphorical beans. We walked home, I toweled everyone off to the best of my ability, then I took Kestrel out. Instead of getting to run (I make sure she gets to run her heart out every day, otherwise she’s a pain in the you know what), Kess had a solid training session. We worked on shadow handling and loose leash walking all the way to the park (which is too far for such a novice dog, but I can’t exactly stop half way and just let her off leash to cross the busy streets on her own). Once there, we played a bunch of tugging and fetching. I noticed that she started to lose interest in treats as we got near the park, so I used the tug for a reward while leash walking. It actually worked really well.
I have a hard time being really fun for this puppy as I just don’t have the energy these days. I can keep it up for a short period of time, but then I fade. So I try and mix up some play sessions with me, and running hard with Mira. That way she gets tired out, but also learns stuff. When she’s out with Mira, I do no training except rewarding recalls. I don’t bring any toys, and I don’t try and get them to walk loose leashed. I still need to write an entry about head halters, but I actually put the head halters on specifically to let them pull. My theory is that I will always use the leash so I never her to learn that she can pull on a leash. The head halter will be phased out ASAP, so I just use it as a band-aid in this case, preventing her from pulling my arm off, and from learning to pull on a flat collar. We’ll see how it goes…
Anyway, despite not having as much exercise as usual, Kess’s brain got work and that still tired her out. As I sit and work on my research, all four dogs are passed out around me, sleeping deeply. I feel like a good mom today, which is a nice feeling for a change!