So as you might see, I have changed the colour scheme somewhat on this blog. I have been involved in web design and other computer design on and off for ten years or more, and I find it hard to resist fiddling every now and again. When I was much younger, I had a job working on the national Tax Office's website, and that was fun to see your own work up on such an important website. Mortifying when you got bits wrong. Now I just have a lowly blog to mess around with, but such is life. So expect changes in colour and images semi regularly. I think it's a rather restful combination of colours.
Our trip to the shops today was rather pleasant, except poor Knightley had diarrhea at the semi-outdoor freshfood markets. It made me think about the fact that when a fully qualified assistance dog has an upset stomach like that, it couldn't work at all, because you obviously couldn't risk that happening inside somewhere... and also it wouldn't be fair to ask them to concentrate on working if they weren't feeling great and were desperately trying to hold on. I wonder how often in a year on average assistance dogs need the 'day off', and not just from upset stomaches. Of course, luckily today it was outside, but still it was somewhere where a lot of people walk and was extremely watery, so it took a lot of cleaning up. After that he seemed ok, it was his last diarrhea for the day, and that will be all - cross fingers. I wonder if he ate something nasty or if those treats I gave him last night messed with his stomach.
Whilst we were at the markets, I had a nice chat with one of the waitresses in the cafe we always have coffee at. She is a doggy person, and I ran Knightley through his tricks and sit/down/bang/touch etc to impress her. I was happy to see him obeying, despite a huge number of distractions there.... although he seemed a little lethargic - maybe the tummy upset. But she was very impressed with how educated Knightley is at 5 months, and I told her about Knightley closing the cupboard door last night. It's a very dog friendly cafe, a bunch of the waitresses always come out to say hello to Knightley, and they often have treats there for him and any other regular canine visitor. Knightley is having a bit of a jumping up issue though, and I really do have to try to do something about that. He jumps up on us at home, as well as trying to jump up on people out in public. I do reward him a lot for sitting, but he seems to simply enjoy jumping up, so in that sense it is self rewarding. I could try noise aversion if pure positive reinforcement isn't working? Any suggestions out there in internet land?? Other than the jumping problem, a lot of people at the markets pointed at, and patted our lovely pup. I swear it's like having a rockstar with you.
|Knightley has left my left side, is in the process of going|
around the tripod, and then will return to me. I then have him
do a formal finish to end up by my left hand side again in a
I am continuing to be a naughty girl and am still training the retrieve hold.... Knightley is doing it extremely well now. I really don't know whether to stop it, because it is entirely a Level 3 behaviour, and all the people on the traininglevels yahoo group told me to STOP training it until I have completely passed Level 2 and am half way through Level 3, where the retrieve training actually resides. Yet....... he enjoys it, and the sooner he can pick up a few things like that, the better. I don't expect a full retrieve when he is like 7 months old, but 11, 13 months or something like that for a formal assistance retrieve would be nice. However, if it wasn't working easily, then of course I would wait. For his other 'work', that I don't expect until 18-24 months. I tell you what, the last two days I wished he could do some of that work, my hips have been horribly sore. Anyway, still yet to make up my mind about the hold. This demonstrates the conflict between being client and trainer at the same time. It can certainly be a very good thing, but not always, when you may make decisions based on what you want, not what is best for you and your dog as a team.