Thursday, 3 December 2009

The trials part three - On Patrol

We have two types of walk that we do with our dogs - on and off lead. These are our off lead 'patrols'.

Meg happily trots at your side or behind you regardless of if she is on or off the lead. When off the lead she can go off foraging but only if accompanied by Jack. Meg likes to flush rabbits and then watch Jack chase them. Apologies to all fluffy bunny lovers but this is a trait that is a central part of their make up. They have never caught a rabbit, nor even come close to it, but it is what terriers do. Meg will occasionally run around like a mad thing but it is rare and very short lived.

Ghyll is a sniffer and supreme cocker of legs! He does not wander far from us at all and is usually bringing up the rear and checking out all the wee mails left by other dogs. He likes to say hello to other dogs and is usually quite restrained in his approach. This has been changing and he has become a little too eager, but always lies down in front of the other dog to allow a full scent check out.

Ghyll also loves children and adopts the same 'roll over' approach with them. But we do not allow him to run to children so Ghyll is always kept on the lead if we see families around. It is hard when parents allow their children to rush up to the dogs, but we can usually stop the children making contact before their little arms are flung around our dogs necks. As an aside this behaviour really worries me. Parents please don't allow your children to run up to strange dogs, or even not dogs they know. A simple 'Can I stroke your dog' diffuses all energy and allows us as dog owners to show children how to approach dogs correctly.

Jack is a chaser of things and has very poor recall - around 60% at the moment. Jack does not chase other dogs, balls, runners or cyclists he chases trains and birds. Jack yips and yaps with virtually every step he takes and winds himself up tighter than a tight thing on a tight day! He does however walk to heel without command when on a path. Its just the moment those paws reach a field he runs off with wild abandon.

Off lead walks have stopped entirely until we have adjusted the dogs behaviour and taught them true 100% recall. Our new lunge line arrived this morning and we will start to use it when all 3 dogs have got a harness.

We also have issues with Jack patrolling our garden. As soon as the back door is opened he rushes out straight to the bottom of the garden and starts barking. You can watch him wind himself up as he paces backwards and forwards, circling around the garden and scenting at stragetic points as he goes.

We are currently working on Jack's behaviour when the back door is opened, it is working, and he is only allowed into the garden on a lead. As we have two barking dogs either side who have scratched and clawed at the fences inbetween them it is very, very hard work. Now if I could get my neighbours to stop leaving their dogs outside in all weathers to bark incessantly it would help - but they won't so we are having to work extra hard to help Jack realise we are not in danger from the outside world.

Neither Ghyll nor Meg have issues with our garden unless of course the window cleaner arrives and then it is frantic barks all round. That is something we are working on with all dogs but as we only have the windows cleaned once a month we may need to enlist the help of a volunteer to wander around with a ladder!

1 comment:

  1. These dogs are so cute!!! This blog is very helpful. I have many dogs and I love them all!
    -Garden Girl (and my dogs!)