Tag Archive | dog training

Gwen the Super Star

One of the things I have wanted to do with Gwen even before we got her was Agility. Now that she is almost 2 years old, we figured we should get to work on that goal! In January I signed Gwen and I up for the Pre-Agility/Tricks class at a local dog training facility. We have gone to 3 classes so far; here is the summary of those three days…

Class 1.

Gwen was a total butt the first day of class! It was like she had never been in public! Oh it was embarrassing. She didn’t want to walk nicely on the leash and she was so excitable that she couldn’t hold in her barks. She did listen just enough when we were doing introductions to show off her two good tricks (bang! and sit pretty). I decided after that first class that we had some homework to do and it didn’t even have to do with what we were learning in class.

Gwen and I went to the Sportsmans Warehouse with friend Betsy and her dog Hershey and we just practiced walking around with distractions and other dogs (Hershey). It really helped a lot!

The things we learned/did in the first class were: walk nicely on the leash, work on “creep” (Gwen didn’t get that one), walking over poles, “paws up,” going thru a hula hoop, getting on/in things (e.g. Trash can lid, boxes), and overall just seeing where all the dogs were at. This is the first class we have taken with this lady and you could tell that a lot of the other dogs had been in her classes before…

Class 2.

The second day went better than the first. Gwen walked nicer on her leash, though I still had to make a makeshift no-pull “harness” by looping her leash around her belly.

I don’t really remember everything that we did that day since I went home and proceeded to fall deathly ill for a couple of days. Needless to say we did not practice too much the following week.

Class 3.

Gwen was such a little super star! It was the first time that the equipment was set out. We weren’t allowed to take our dogs on the dog walk or a-frame until after class began but we were encouraged to work them around the obstacles while we waited for everyone to show up.

I arrived early and was one of the first dogs in the ring. I walked Gwen around and started making her do her do basic obedience things to get her mind focused. I think having her the a bit early and before all the other nervous energy dogs got in there was key. Gwen was focused and wanting to please.

When it came time to take our turns going over the dog walk and the a-frame, Gwen got on the dog walk like a pro. She was so eager to go forward…we were supposed to walk them across but Gwen had other ideas! The trainer lady asked me if Gwen had ever seen/been on the equipment before and she had. The dog park we frequented in Charleston had a full agility course. Gwen was so eager to show off on the dog walk that when I went to make her sit and treat her after she crossed it, she turned back around and headed back across!!! The trainer lady said, “Corgis will do this all day long. She’s like a kid in a candy store right now!” And that’s the truth!

The A-Frame was a bit harder for Gwen. In the past (at Sky Dogs in Charleston), it was harder to get her to go up and over it but she eventually did it. In class it was a bit slick so she had a little trouble getting to the top. Had to scrabble to get a toe hold but she made it! On the way down she thinks it is easier to just leap off the middle…which is bad. The dogs have to touch in the yellow area at the bottoms and Gwen doesn’t think that’s very cool. Of course we haven’t gotten to that part yet but I can just see how this is going to go. Oh brother.

My little super star and a female Aussie decided that lunging and snapping at each other would be a good thing to do…now we know who to keep away from in class!  (The other dog started it.)

Overall, I think Gwennie is doing very well and will eventually turn into a great agility dog if I can keep up with her! She is so eager to do everything and do it all fast that we are going to have to continue to work on the focus and slowing down. Fast is slow and slow is fast.

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Wannagoforaride?!

Sitting in Grandpaw’s truck (getting hair everywhere).

Since moving back to the Evergreen State, we have made many trips back home to see my parents and now that my mom’s back is healing from her surgery, they have made a few trips to our new house.  Of course Dayzee (black lab) gets to make the trip too!  Gwen loves playing with her Auntie Dayzee and when those two play you might want to step back and plug your ears…the growling and Gwen’s yipping and the bodies being flung around, knocking into things (i.e. people knees and furniture) really starts to wear on you after awhile.  Thankfully they get tired and have a break or Dayzee will snarl at Gwen saying that she has had enough for now.

Both dogs absolutely love car rides!  Often times Dayzee will just sit in the backseat of my dad’s truck in the afternoon when he is working in the garage or even on their remodeling project inside.  He leaves the door open so she can go in and out but she’ll just sit on the seat and keep an eye on things that happen around her.  (She’s a lazy bum.)

Dayzee sticking her head out the window before I opened the door for her.

Lately, I have been taking Gwen with me in the car when we go to the barn or go run errands and of course when we make the trip home for a couple days.  Gwen is a very good little traveler!  She will curl up on the seat or the floor so she can stretch out.  She even puts her head up on the center hump thing in the floor of my truck.  When she does this she stares at me with her beady little (big) eyes and it gets a little creepy until she finally falls asleep.  But recently she has taken to trying to climb over the floor hump to crawl under my feet which is a big, big no-no!  So far she has tried about 5 times.  One day she tried 3 times before I got to the barn!  Guess who has lost front seat riding privileges and now has to ride in the backseat again.

When Andrew was at sea and a little before he left last time, we let some of Gwen’s “rules” slide a little.  She got to sleep on the bed, stay out of her crate during the day when I’d leave the house for a little while, and got to sleep in the bedroom (on her own purple bed).  We have since seen the error in our ways and have gone back to enforcing our Corgi’s house rules…she may not appreciate it but the structure is doing her well, I think.  We’ve also gone back to bribery reenforcing commands with treats.  She is getting back to where we were before the move and everything.

The next time Andrew goes to sea Gwen will probably end up sleeping in the bedroom again with me, though this time I will probably put her crate in there instead of the kitchen…we shall see I guess.  I just don’t like being woken up at 4:30 in the morning by little claws going click click click click click click as she paces back and forth by the door until I get up to let her outside.  I know she can hold it for another couple hours until I wake up…

Dog Vocab:

Does your dog have a “vocabulary?”  Gwen does.  Last night, we just realized that she understands the word “bully” and what it means…  We were watching cartoons and I laughed at something they had on there (running with the bulls and then right after it was running with the bullies) so I repeated it to Andrew and Gwen, who had been laying down ignoring everything, perked her giant ears up and had the look on her face of ohpleasepleaseplease!!  So I said bully again and she jumped up!  I added her favorite phrase “doyouwanna” and that got her going!  Not to worry, she got to pick a bully out of the treat box for all of our teasing.

If you say “Doyouwanna” you will get her attention and if you use any of her key words then she will let you know what she wants.  Different words invoke different responses too.  For example, doyouwannagoforRIDE or just goforaRIDE she will run and hop around between the front door and the garage door until you pick up a leash and head for the door.  Say wannagoOUTSIDE and she will go to the door and ring the potty bell and let out one or two barks if she really wants to go outside.

Of course Gwen knows her commands and some other words like cookie, treat, dinner, and bed.  All the important ones of course! 😉  On the other hand, she is missing a few important words which we hope she will one day figure out, like “ball.”  Dayzee knows what you want when you tell her to getcherball!  She is supposed to go get one of her toys to be thrown.  She also knows “cookie ball” which is a Kong stuffed with cookies and PB.  How does my food-loving Corgi not know these words?!?!

 

Today’s cute Corgi video: