Saturday, November 27

Dax... unleashed!

Today was Dax's beginning agility class.

Today, he performed obstacles off leash.

Today, I had to trust a dog that I've only had for a little under 4 months.

He actually wasn't bad at all. He's fairly obedient, and since he is very people-shy, the fact that every dog had a person beside it helped tremendously, I'm sure. I just called him whenever he ran off (which was only a few times, and not very far) and he came back and sat like a good boy. :) I was pretty proud of him, because I expected much worse!

The dog walk was an interesting experience - I've never run him off-leash over it before, and I do control him a bit better with a leash ON since he thinks the dog walk is a race. Switching from physical control to voice control is always an issue with me. :) Especially when you don't fully trust your dog yet!

We had much more serious issues, like how Dax loves to jump up and bite me in-between obstacles. Or how he'll go on and perform obstacles without me.

I actually think part of his biting issue is that I'm not keeping him occupied enough. What I mean by that, is I'm slow. I'm chunky, short, and I am not a marathon runner. I have a slow amble that doesn't sit well with cattle dog darting. So as I catch up to him, he turns around, and he jumps up, grabs my shoulder, my sleeve, whatever, and then I have to stop, regain control, and continue on. Now, if I set up a series of jumps fairly close together, so he's continually busy, I don't have that problem. Until the end anyway.

Unfortunately, however, I will never be as fast as Dax. So in the meantime, when he bites, I stop, until he controls himself, and then we continue on. The fun stops when the biting begins, fun resumes when it ends.

Every day I am irritated at his ex-owner for not teaching him bite inhibition. I love Dax to pieces, but my next cattle dog WILL be an 8 or 9 week old puppy so I can stamp these issues out from the get-go, because they're almost impossible to get rid of in an older dog.

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