weekend wrapup

No grand adventures this weekend. In fact, Saturday we did next to nothing – I decided I’d give Lu a break. A real break. Not a sneaky “I won’t do any agility except maybe I really want to do some running contacts” break, or “But the weather is so nice we might as well go on a long hike” break. An actual sit around, not do anything break. Ok, so in the evening we did some tricks, and then she saw one of her Border friends and wrestled with him, but it was as close to a break as I could get without her going crazy.

Sunday saw us at a herding fun-day at Lu’s first home out in the country. She was very excited and happy to be playing with sheep, but barking a lot, suggesting she wasn’t confident yet in what she was doing.

I also came to the realisation that if I stand still around something exciting (dogs running, playing, agility, herding, whatever), Lu is a huge turd. Straining on the lead, pulling me over, crying, standing on her hind-legs… BUT…. say her name, and her attention is on you. Play with her, and you have focus. This dog does NOT like to be idle. And it’s just her. She’s not trying to be naughty or go crazy, but why stand around when there’s all this fun stuff to do?!

While we were there, Lumen’s breeder gave me her papers, and then convinced me to enter the Aussie shepherd confirmation show. This is so laughable. I have no clue what I’m doing, and Lumen’s reaction to me trying to shape her into standing properly this evening was to try lifting her back-legs on things, or to try lifting both her left legs up. Any slightly movement from me resulted in a big movement from her, and I was hoping there would be some kind of ‘trick’ to get her to stack naturally (like if I made her back up she’d do it.) but… no. Oh, she is going to be the worst dog they’ve ever seen. And while they’re meant to be looking happy and alert, she’s going to have her serious ‘work face’ on, grumpy mouth, intense and angry glare as she tries to figure out the game (HOW CAN THE GAME BE TO JUST STAND HERE??? THIS MAKES NO SENSE!!!!)

Well, Saturday in 2 weeks time should be fun. 😉


12 thoughts on “weekend wrapup

  1. This has nothing to do with this post but Lucy is having troubles with toilet training, she should know it since she’s 19 weeks old!

    She hates peeing in front of me so I just leave her out there for a couple of hours:/

    All she does is just sit there,look at me and probely saying “what am I supposed to do”?

    She sleeps outside since she barks in the lourngry at night waking everybody up:(

    I also have a question how did lumen learn toilet training? …..lol it’s a silly question😊

    Lucy has been doing obedience classes at do lock reserve ( behind joiner high school ) witch is called Croydon dog obedience club:) they do agility,flyball and obedience…..

    Yeah so my main question is how do I get my dog to be toilet trained?

    Sent from Melanie,patch,lucky,Lucy (Melanie is me)

    • Em says:

      Hi Mel,
      She shouldn’t necessarily ‘know it’ yet, but it sounds like maybe you’re not doing enough to help her. It took Lumen until she was about 6 or 7 months old before I fully trusted her in the house.
      It sounds like you’re “managing” problems, rather than trying to fix them (the crying so sleeping outside, the leaving her there to pee, etc.)
      Here’s what I did with Lumen:
      First, I crate trained her. If she wasn’t in her crate when I was home, she was on a lead tied to a table or something. I was ALWAYS watching her. As soon as I thought she needed to go, I’d take her outside, ON LEAD, with a treat. I’d go to a spot she’d peed before and gave her a command: “have a wee” or whatever. Then I’d wait, or I’d walk in circles with her. Dogs tend to do circles when they’re about to pee, so I did that. I wouldn’t stare at her, I’d just wander around and wait. Can you imagine someone staring at you while you pee? Sometimes I waited 5 minutes, took her inside for 5 minutes, then took her back outside. Eventually she’d go! Then, when she did, I’d have a big party. Lots of praise, at least 3 treats, etc.
      I did this for WEEKS, if not months. I never let her just go out there by herself. I needed her to know that going and peeing outside was the best thing, and going inside was boring and lame cos nothing happened. She’ll now pee on command pretty reliably whenever I need her to.
      The other problem is, dogs don’t like to ‘go’ in their ‘den’. It sounds like since Lucy spends most of her time outside, her den is outside AND inside, so she can just ‘go’ anywhere! Lumen’s toilet training started in her crate (her den- you don’t ‘go’ in your den!) and then eventually moved to the bathroom where she’d be during the day, then to the lounge-room where she’d spend time with us, the training room, and finally the bedroom when I trusted her to sleep through the night.

      As for the crying in the laundry, I don’t blame her- she probably gets very lonely and can’t understand why she’s suddenly separated from her pack. And I’m betting that when she’s cried, someone has gotten up and gone to see her, or put her outside. Therefore, crying= people!!! You will have a tough road ahead if you want her to sleep inside now as you’ll have to ignore her crying and she’ll only get worse before she gets better as she’ll try harder and harder to make her people appear. Some people suggest a clock or a radio… again, I had no problems with Lumen as she slept in her crate at the foot of her bed. As a real baby we’d be getting up every few hours to let her out. Lucy’s bladder is still only small and she probably still needs to go out every 5 hours or so during the night (but might be able to hold it all the way through now)…

      I know Croydon obedience club but I didn’t join there as they don’t let you train agility your own way. This is fine if you’re new to it (like you) but not great if you know what you’re doing and want to do it a certain way (like me).

      Sometimes with Lumen it felt like she just wasn’t ‘getting’ toilet training… but she’s only had one accident in the last few months so she WAS making progress, BUT…. you have to make it worthwhile to go OUTSIDE, rather than inside.
      Hope this helps.

  2. OH..ho…. Good luck with that. I can’t EVEN imagine (and I won’t, the very thought of trying to show either of my dogs gives me an instant headache!)

  3. Java was terrible the first time I tried to shape her into standing still. She tried so hard to offer me SOMETHING. So next time I did it with Ruby first and Java watched… and something clicked! Ohhh you want me to just stand here and eat cookies, is that it? Yeah no problem, go check the camera… I’ll be right here!

  4. I found a video of that session, but I had to cut out her “creative times” because… ahem… my panties were showing 🙂 Turns out she is much less creative if I am standing up than if I am kneeling next to her. I guess it shows we don’t train tricks while I’m standing.

    • Em says:

      Yeah we’re the same! I do most of my free shaping kneeling down! She’s not too bad now with the staying still bit as long as I keep those treats coming.. Now to try and teach her to get into position by keeping her back feet stuck & moving her front feet 😉

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