New School

Tonight was Riley’s first night at her new school.  I was afraid she was going to be bad and embarrass me but she did really well.  She didn’t pull on her leash at all, which was one of the main things I wanted to work on, but she did in the parking lot.  She seems to pull when there are a lot of stimuli around and distractions.  We worked around the three other dogs that were there but I didn’t let Riley greet any of them this time because I didn’t want to ruin the good streak we were having tonight.  She was really interested in this male Golden Retriever that was there…she seemed to have a little bit of a crush on him.  We’ll definitely be going back and be working on the heeling in the meantime.

I Regress

First of all, let me say we survived all the weather yesterday.  It hasn’t rained today, it’s still wet outside though.  A few of the golf courses around here were closed today.  It must be serious if they close the golf courses!

Ready to play in the muck!

I have something bad to admit.  Life has gotten so crazy and the weather was so hot and nasty this summer that I haven’t been taking Riley on walks like I should have.  I thought playing in the backyard would meet her energy needs, and it did, but it didn’t meet her training needs.  Riley was in obedience school for about 10 months.  She used to be a fairly good walker on leash (good enough to get her TDI certification), but now she’s regressed.  If she sees a squirrel, she tries to bolt!  I stopped taking her to school after she got her TDI certification because I didn’t like the way some things were being handled in the class.  There was a big dog that would growl throughout the entire class and would mount Riley or jump on her.  She’s already afraid of bigger dogs and that just wasn’t helping.  So we stopped going.

Let me just suffice it to say that we are signing up for a different school because Riley needs some work…  She did fine on her therapy visit to the nursing home today (we haven’t been in about a month), but I know she can do a lot better too.  She seems to know that when we’re in the nursing home she needs to chill out and behave, so that’s good.  I took her on a walk in the neighborhood yesterday and she basically dragged me down the street.  Luckily she doesn’t do that on therapy visits or I wouldn’t let her go on visits.

She also feels the need to jump on visitors at our house.  She doesn’t jump on the residents at the nursing home (again, I think it’s a sixth sense thing) or people out in public, but if you come into our house, she’ll jump on you at least once.  So we’re going back to school to get trained.  I’m also going to see if we can work on the weekends at the school gym and school yard my mom works at.  That’ll be a place with minimal distractions.

Oh, and several people commented on how soft she was!  I guess this new shampoo with conditioner really works!

Therapy Dog Training

We have been working on brushing up on training for Riley’s Therapy Dog International test next Thursday.  We’re not going to be able to make it to the practice test this week because of something else I’m doing but we have been working hard at home.

We’ve been working on walking on a loose leash, sit and down on command, stay, come, and leave it.  The other things on the test will be easy for her to pass (as will the ones I just mentioned), like say hello, greeting a friendly stranger, and supervised separation.  I’m pretty sure she’s going to pass with flying colors, but you never know because she is just a dog and they can be unpredictable.  Hopefully we’ll have no problems and go sailing through to getting certified!