Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Happy Pets Norwich - Harley's Second Week

So this week was a little more exciting for Harley and therefore more challenging for me. We even had some backlash from the hamsters!

Attila was happy for Harley to stay off led for the majority of the class, which was particularly nice considering he wasn't willing to let the other dogs be off. His actual words were "She can stay off, she will stay with you". As you can see she does focus on me a lot and our bond is pretty damn strong, however, she did decide to have a quick shot at the hamsters. 

About halfway through the class, after being so good, going back to her bed every time I asked, I turned my back for a second and thought she had gone. To my surprise, she had whipped behind me and jumped at the evil hamsters that then decided to throw the wooden boards you see stacked up on the side, at her and me. Luckily Harley managed to get out of the way, I, on the other hand, had boards fall on me and had to have help to stop the whole line from coming tumbling down. Hopefully Harley will have learnt her lesson and not go after the board throwing hamsters anymore. 

We worked a lot on concentration and calming methods, mainly with Harley, due to the fact that she was off lead and getting rather hyped up. The heel work exercises were easier to do off the lead, but she does get rather bouncy and exuberant. I, therefore, had to stop every now and again to do the calming exercise we learned last week. 

Whilst Harley already knew the touch command, we worked on this a little further, incorporating this into a heel walk and progressing towards the weaves. Again our trouble is that Harley gets a bit too bouncy and over the top and starts to nibble when she touches your hand expecting the food to be there straight away. So we had to work on slowing it down and getting her into the habit of being a little more gentle. 

This weeks class had a light introduction to agility, seeing as we have over 3 years experience with agility, I did ask for a longer set of weave poles. The beginners only have 2 weave poles, so don't be alarmed by the number you see here. 

To begin with, Harley didn't want to play ball, and I just thought 'oh god I am going to look like I don't know what I am talking about!' Eventually, she got into the rhythm and showed her skills off, though as usual, she had to play up and bark in frustration. Thankfully Attila came over and helped me calm her, and show me how to appease her through the weave poles. 

There are two directions you have to go through them, when I go through with her on my left she does them beautifully, however, with her on my right, she gets frustrated and plays up. 

At the end of the class, Attila organised a play controlled play session with all the dogs, mainly for Harley. So I put her back on the lead, kept it loose and let her sniff around and do as she pleased. The other two beagles played, however, Harley wasn't at all interested. Not unil the older beagle finished playing, then she said hello and they sniffed one another. 

It was lovely for her to be able to have the option in a controlled environment and I hope that we can do it again. 

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.


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