Oz Working Dogs - Assistance & Working Dog Equipment

For assistance/service dog equipment, as well as guide, therapy, detection, search & rescue, police and dogs in training equipment check out my website http://www.ozworkingdogs.com.au - I make and sell vests, capes, belly bands, harnesses, handles and more... and will post to the world!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lots of zen, interesting raw food and the dog park!

7 months 3 weeks 5 days old (100th post!)

I'm doing lots of work with Knightley on zen and focusing on me at the moment. He has always found grass exciting, so I am trying to keep him calm every step of the way towards the grass. I should have done it from the beginning really, but I guess I've been too busy thinking about other things when I'm with him.

I'm going to really start working on sniffing zen and normal object zen as well. We had a small training trip to the local shops today, just 20 minutes or so of walking around with him in his vest, practicing good assistance dog type behaviour. He was pretty good, but does get a bit sniffy occasionally, which is a no-no. So we need to practice no sniff rules. Also, when people reach their hands out towards his nose to try to say hello (encouraging him to sniff), he will reach out to sniff. He does respond to my 'leave it', but I need to get it automatic, so he won't reach out at all. You'd think with three "do not touch" patches people would realise, but people just aren't observant in this day and age!

Knightley beginning to eat an ox tongue! It was a big hit,
although it took a lot of effort and time for him to get through
the entire tongue. Tongues are known as natural tooth brushes
as the roughness of the texture cleans the dogs teeth - naturally!
I bought some awesome food for Knightley today while I was out. I got him an ox tongue, beef liver, kidney and some whole raw fish. He had the ox tongue for his evening meal, and it was a hit! Apparently it is great for cleaning teeth as it has that really rough texture on the outside the dog needs to get through. He had to put a lot of effort into eating it, and was pretty tired out afterwards. That's one of the many things I love about feeding raw. It really gives him a release for that tearing, ripping, destroying behaviour, that dogs really do need. I'm about to start him on a raw egg a day too. I've ordered some beef hearts that should be here on Tuesday, and that is probably the cheapest red meat I can get for him. Looking forward to seeing how big a cow heart is! At the moment I feed lamb hearts regularly, but they are pretty small.

Playing nicely with little dogs and a puppy.
We continue to go to the dog park often and his behaviour is so different there than it was when we first started going 3-4 months ago. At first he was so rude and got quite a few snarls from adult dogs who told him off when they didn't want to play but he was being incredibly insistent. He was also extremely submissive back then. His manners are so much better now, and he's just a cheerful happy teenage puppy now. He's also a lot less submissive, although definitely not dominant. Just nicely in the middle of the road, which is a good place for an assistance dog to be. I love having such a great dog park so close to us, and I think Knightley does too! He's off like a rocket as soon as we get there, and is completely exhausted by the end of our time there. Sometimes it is hard to convince him to walk to the car! I'm not looking forward to going there in winter though! It has cooled down a lot here recently, especially at night, and gives me an idea of what winter will be like at the park. Not my idea of fun, although Knightley will be fine with his lovely fur coat.

Knightley in the car on the way home. From the very beginning, starting when
he was eight weeks old, I taught him to be calm and well behaved in the car.
It has definitely paid off!


  1. Hi, Lyssa! I'm from the raw feeding groups.

    Just a quick question, I haven't read through your blog, gonna put it on my GReader, but do you use Sue Ailsby's Training Levels? Sue has levels for everyone, and uses them to train her own personal service dogs;

    1. Hey Megangiselle,

      Yep, I am already using Sue's Training Levels. I started with the online Levels, but have been using the books now for maybe four months, which are absolutely fantastic. Knightley is a little of the way into Level 3 of the new Levels (out of 4). They are a brilliant start for assistance/service dogs IMO, especially mobility service dogs. I also am a regular reader and semi-regular poster on the traininglevels Yahoo Group.

      Thanks for the suggestion tho! ;) I've been extolling Sue to everyone too. I have a tab at the top of my blog all about the Training Levels. Thanks for the reply on the raw feeding group too.