Sunday, July 5, 2009

Steeler takes a walk with Winnie the Malamute puppy

OK - so she is 7 months old and has about 20 pounds on him, but she is still a puppy and I still worry that he wants to tell all puppies exactly who is boss in his world. Though I think that once puppies hit 6 or 7 months old he generally does much better with them. We started with a quick walk around Lisa's house with the youngsters before heading to the state park. They did great together except when they went nose to nose and I got tense ... just a little bit of grumbling that had Lisa and I debating the wisdom of including Winnie on our walk. We debated and debated and then finally decided (since the dogs were lying down next to each other waiting for us to decide) that we might as well take her. Worst case scenario - I would put Steeler on a long line and keep him with me instead running all over the place. So off we went!

And of course the dogs were all fine together. Steeler and Brew have been walking for a while now, and Logan has never met another dog that she can't take a walk with. Right at the beginning we ran into a few horses waiting to cross the road and another pair of dogs. Lisa was ahead of me and told them the dog on a leash (that would be Steeler) didn't like strange dogs in his face and the guys were great ... Steeler was straining to investigate - but not doing his Cujo impersonation and we just kept walking by them. So a bit of an improvement. After that we ran into two horses on our way back to the car but no other dogs.

Not much else to report on .... obedience class and agility class are going really well. Steeler hasn't reacted to Dove the golden puppy much the last couple of classes which is good. We are getting LOTS of heeling practice and lots of work with long Stay's. Last Tuesday at agility class Steeler "met" Solo through the fence, with no growling until Steeler had his feet up on the gate and Laurie was feeding him and Solo thought maybe he should get a treat too. But Laurie said his "growl" was really half hearted and didn't have much oomph behind it. Then Steeler realized that I wasn't standing there any more and had to come looking for me. Then I sent him back to Laurie and he and Solo were fine! I talked to Laurie after class and we are going to try to get together at some point in the next couple of months to continue working on my relaxing a bit with Solo and Steeler. We also have a "back yard" class running based on some of Leslie McDevitt's exercises in Control Unleashed. We've had two classes so far, and Steeler is handling intruders in the yard just fine. This week we worked more on relaxing on the mat and some box work. I don't know that I will ever have a dog that melts into his mat - but we will continue to work on it.

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