Tag Archive | tricks

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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O is for Obedience

Corgis are definitely smart little things, no doubt about that!  One of the things that we kept seeing when we were researching the breed before we even contacted Gwen’s breeder was that it was very highly recommended to start their training very early on since they are quick learners and will easily outsmart their humans if not taught at an early age who is their pack leader and what it means to listen to them.  At around 10-12 weeks their little brains are like sponges and they will learn very quickly.  The first day we had Gwen home she learned “sit.”  A couple days later we started working on “down” and she picked that up right away!

She was also house trained fairly quickly, only having accidents when we weren’t able to get her outside in time.  She would try to tell us in her own little puppy way (whining and nipping) when she needed out — her humans caught on very quickly to her signals.  We also kept her on a pretty regular schedule as to taking her out to reduce accidents.  Puppy Rule of Thumb:  puppy bladders can hold about an hour per every month they are old.  Works like a charm!  She would get very grumpy with us if she had an accident too, that was kind of funny!

We enrolled Gwen in puppy classes as soon as we could (when she was done with all her puppy shots) at our local Petco and she went way beyond what was normally taught in Puppy Level I.  By the end our trainer was trying to come up with things to do!  She learned sit, down, stay, wait, Bang! (play dead), roll over, heel, come, leave-it, bed, shake, on, and off.  We’ve been working on some more tricks with her to keep her thinking and her latest to master has been “sit pretty” though sometimes she falls over still.  Walking nicely on a loose leash is another of Gwen’s “talents.”  Admittedly she doesn’t always walk nicely but she is easy to correct, all you have to do is check her back and she’s good.

Gwen graduated from her puppy class with flying colors!  We had originally signed her up for the next round of obedience classes after she got spayed (about a month later) and then there were some problems at the store and our trainer wasn’t able to finish her classes so we were given a refund and we said we’d try to sign up again later.  At the time I didn’t want to wait for a new trainer to be hired or to go to a store in a different city, having to start over.  Fast forward a few months, I got my job at Petco and now I wish I had gone to that store (different one) for puppy classes!  I like both of the trainers and we would have been able to continue on training.  I signed Gwen up for the AKC Canine Good Citizen course — take the AKC CGC test at the end to get certified — but while we waited for the class to start, Andrew figured I wouldn’t be able to finish the class since we were “supposably” leaving at a certain date but turned out we weren’t.  Things changed and he got extended here so in hind site I wish we’d done the class but at the time we didn’t think it was going to work.

The AKC Canine Good Citizen is a certification that is great to have.  When it was suggested to me, I whole heartedly agreed that it would be awesome to do!  The tests are things that are normal or that you would see in sort of an everyday setting if you were to be out in town with your dog or something like that.  There are 10 tests which include accepting a friendly stranger, sitting politely for petting, and reaction to distractions.  I have put the links to all the info about the CGC test and certifications in here a couple times, please check it out!  It is well worth it. 🙂

Once we get moved and all settled in we will try to get signed up for another class.  I want to get this certification under our (Gwen’s) belt or I guess collar in her case! 😉

I would also love to get involved in some sort of club or organization or even just classes with other dogs just to be able to meet other doggy people and to be able to do something fun with the dog!  I was in 4-H with my horses growing up and I wish they had 4-H for adults!!  Eventually we would love to do something like agility or even obedience with Gwen, for now we will settle for having such a cute little snuggle buddy, companion, and house pet.  Though I am sure Gwen would hate to be called a “house pet” if you were to ask her…she’d prefer “Corgi Princess Extraordinaire!

 

Yes, my dog is perfect! 

Happy A to Z!

Muddy Dog: Tricks — Part II

I am so trixie!  Momma shulda named me Trixie!  Momma wrote my last bloggy post but had tooooo many pictures for just one bloggy so she decided to makes it into tree!

My momma and daddy hoomans both worked today so they left me in kitchen jail.  I was mad so I peed in my bed in the kitchen.  They said I should’ve been able to hold it.  I don’t think so.

Hi-5! (“shake”)

This is what I look like when I take cookies and shake at the same time!

BANG! …my favorite trick!

Stooopid camera was being blurry!

Momma hooman had some interesting experiences at worky today.  She told us these stories when she got home.  I’ll tell them in momma hooman voice:

I almost cried today when I had to box up and sell a feeder rat!  I got the rat out of the cage and put it in the box.  The people didn’t even care which it was, meaning that I had to pick.  When it looked at me it almost made me cry because it looked so sad!  I looked like it knew that it was going to be eatten!!! 😦

I saw a corgi today!  A Pem!  His name was Max.  I talked to his owner about corgis for a little bit and she asked about mine.

The momma says she is getting more used to the cash register thingy and it is getting easier.  There are times when she has problems but not quite as much.  Most is stuff that she hasn’t done.  Like accepting checks.  She is glad that there is hope for her yet!  She isn’t as scared of the customers anymore, just the telephone.  She doesn’t like the telephone.  Or paging people, but she is getting better at that since she has to do it lots — lots of people wanting to buy things means she needs back up.  I heard all about that too.  There were lots of people at her work today because it was another adoption day!

We are just going to cuddle now.  And watch Cinderella on the TV.  I like cuddling with the hoomans.  Especially on my sofa.  I let them sit on it sometimes.  They like to wrap me up like a burrito to stay warm.  Both hoomans are tired though I don’t know what from,  not like they did anything today.