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!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bath day, a public assistance retrieve, and perhaps a holiday coming up?

8 months 2 weeks 4 days old

We took it easy today, apart from a tiny bit of retrieve training. I haven't been feeling well.

However, with even the small amount of public access training we are doing it is important that Knightley stays clean - cleaner than a normal family pet. Before I take him inside anywhere we have permission to be (local shops, the airport the other day, the music festival and its venues) I give him a quick brush to collect any stray fur. Assistance/service dogs must have a higher standard of grooming than the normal pet dog, as they are going places where food is stored, prepared and where people might be that are allergic to dogs. The more I can reduce his shedding the better, and improve his general appearance too.

Knightley happy enough getting a good
wash. He has a lot more fur than he used to!
So, in light of all that, today was bath day. From the beginning of my bath training I have plied Knightley with treats. His very first bath he got buckets of roast chicken! Today we saw this pay off. He was almost happy to be there! He was still a little stiff when it came to turn him around, but compared to his first bath he's come a long way. We are using a do it yourself dog wash place near here - unless he's filthy and just has to be washed at home - and it's very handy and saves my back.

I'm just amazed at the power of positive training like this. Knightley could have been taught to put up with baths in a more 'traditional' style of training, but not be happy with them. My previous dog, Clipsy, hated baths completely and absolutely. It is a shame that only now do I know how I could have made them a lot more pleasant for him.

Knightley, still quite wet and rather excited outside the pet
store where he can't focus on anything at all due to memories
of puppy play!
One thing we have a problem with at the place we are taking Knightley for his baths.... is it's the same place he did his puppy preschool. I think he still remembers the excitement, and getting anything like a loose leash when entering is pretty much impossible. What I need to do is spend like half an hour there going in and out and click/treating constantly for him being beside me. I have to say, our loose leash on a flat collar is not going fast anywhere at the moment - except when he's in his vest, and then he is much better at it. Explain that to me anyone?!

From a bit of a funny angle, but showing Knightley all wet.
You can see his build more clearly. He has so much more bulk
on him these days. Not fat, but just... size. We meant to weigh
him at the pet store, but forgot until he was all half wet, and that
would have been quite a wrong reading. I am guessing about
30kg (66lbs). Definitely not a baby anymore!
I dropped a receipt at the pet store today and got Knightley to pick it up for me. Our first real useful in public retrieve! I am just so happy he can do this at this age - I really wasn't expecting it for a good few months yet.

I've been talking with hubby about the possibility of going away for a weekend in a couple of weeks time, and taking the pup with us. It's one thing that Knightley hasn't done... a longer car trip and nights away someplace with us. There's a farmstay place right near the South Coast of NSW (New South Wales, one of our states, for those of you who don't know.... I live in a very small 'territory', like a state, called the Australian Capital Territory, which is completely surrounded by NSW) that I have been itching to go to for a long while. We meant to go before hubby left for England but it didn't pan out. The farm also has a bunch of working border collies who are also pets, and livestock, which Knightley needs to get some exposure to - judging by his response to cows at the agricultural show we took him to a month or two back!! So hopefully we'll be going in the next couple of weeks, and Knightley can also experience a beach for the first time. In the mean time, his bath is the only water he is getting today. ;)

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