The dogs seem to enjoy having the larger house and plenty of yard space, but they are most definitely bored. Playing fetch gives them exercise but it doesn’t work their brains, and these dogs have brains that need working. I am going to have to get off my lazy behind and start doing agility and obedience and tracking training since I can’t seem to find a reliable place to train on sheep.
Training on sheep requires a lot of experience and knowledge, but in some ways it is much easier than training for agility or other dog sports. Because you are working with instinct, training comes out of shaping a dynamic that is spontaneous. In other words, I personally don’t have to put a lot of energy into the situation. The interaction between dog and sheep creates its own energy, and that also infects me, giving me more energy. I have to say I was getting bored training Hannah (repeating the same things over and over) but training the young dogs or doing farm work is so much fun that no matter how tired I am I always perk up and get into it.
Training for dog sports, on the other hand, requires that I put a lot of energy into the situation. I have to be happy, excited and run around like a goof, playing with tug toys and otherwise making something fun that otherwise would be rather boring (i.e. a bunch of static jumps) for the dogs. They don’t do agility because they get pleasure out of the jumps, they do it because they get to play with me afterwards. Psychologically that builds into them enjoying doing agility, but neither Mira nor Kess are at that point, so all the fun has to come from me. And that takes more energy than I’ve had for a while now.
That said, the last couple of days I’ve been considering doing some training with them in the yard. Maybe by next week, when I’m done unpacking and putting in the last of my garden, I will have spare energy to do agility or tracking or whatnot. I am going to have to find the energy because otherwise I think I am going to have a mutiny on my hands! The place I thought I was going to train at looks like it’s not going to work out. This means I have to find a new place, yet again, to train on sheep. I am hoping I can just find a pasture to rent that I can afford, and then buy a few sheep. It will require also having access to a field large enough to train in, and land around here is so expensive that most fields have crops on them. But we’ll see what I can come up with. Wish me luck!
Other news… Ross has yet another urinary infection. He gets these chronically and I’m trying to work out his case and see if I can find a homeopathic remedy that will address this at the chronic level. Poor guy is so uncomfortable! He keeps getting these infections after swimming; not sure why but it’s a pain, literally and figuratively.
Speaking of homeopathic cases, I need to post an update on Jack, who is hanging in there. His case is so tricky – we’ve made progress but he is far from cured and I think recovery is still up in the air, although I remain optimistic. I am certain a cure is out there, it’s just a matter of whether or not we can figure it out. I so wish I knew more! I need to get back to studying homeopathy more formally.
That’s all for now. I had best get back to my books and try and write something academic now that I’ve warmed up here!