So last night we had a new arrival in the class a little Chihuahua about 4 months old. He’s a lovely little chap in fact VERY little chap and his owner does well to keep bending down to him.
Now the clocks have changed we had chance to go outside to practice some healwork, this proved that WE need more practice!. Once back inside, the class was introduced to getting your dog to have some discipline when going through doors. This was achieved by getting your dog to sit whilst you opened the door and not to bolt through before you once moving off. We practiced SIT again last night too and being made to remain steady whilst a toy thrown in front.
Homework is sending your dog to its bed and to lie down. Do Spaniels ever stop long enough to lie down!.
Next month we are going to come out of this class have have some gundog specific training then the fun will start.
So last night we decided that the Spaniel has enjoyed his weekly indoor classes but is now bored with it and ready for something more challenging.
The indoor class as been good for building on the work we had already been doing with socializing him, and reinforcing some of the basics. It has been a mix of breeds and ages with some dogs more vocal than others.
Now that we have established steadyness at Sit and the heal work is coming on, I am going on to 1to1 lessons to build on this and have gundog specific training with a view to us working on a beating line eventually.
So yesterday after being with me at work all day, we arrived home to find the lady of the house working hard in the garden.
Shelby seemed pleased to be able to stretch his legs and have a nosey around the garden, and do the usual doggy things like picking up sticks and your hand tools!. It was nice to see him letting off steam with the other dogs in the pack and exploring the garden, having been restricted due to the poor weather.
However a couple of hours later and having had his evening feed Shelby started vomiting. He vomited his feed and what looked like chewed up bits of garden pruning. He continued to pace around drooling, vomiting and looking very sad for himself for about an hour.
Quite often like humans once an animal has been sick it will feel better, but my concern was not knowing exactly what he had eaten and if he continued to be ill overnight. We had also noticed when packing away for the day one of the other dogs had a rat with no head, so had Shelby eaten any of this too?. As time was getting on I took the decision to take Shelby to the vet, as he showed no signs of improving and wanting to avoid a late night dash to them (and out of hours fee). I was very concerned enroute as he became very lethargic and didn’t seem well at all.
He was checked over and as he didn’t appear to have any stomach pain and a good heartbeat the vet was reasonably confident nothing was stuck in his throat/stomach. Shelby was given an injection to stop the nausea and help him feel more comfortable along with the advice to starve him for 24 hrs.
So we left for home with some expensive Hills id canned food for today, and I am happy to say he seems to have come out the other side none the worse for his experience.
Thanks to Millhouse Vets and their great service as always.
Now that the snow has all but gone I thought we would venture a bit further today on the dog walk. So after getting the little man off the sofa at breakfast time we set off.
Shelby is still too young to walk too far, and as our favourite farm track is a sea of mud I took him along a nearby quite lane. Today’s task was for more heel work practice. Being a typical spaniel this is coming on slowly as the rest of the world is much more interesting than listening to me. However I feel we are making progress now, he will pull on the lead but by turning him around at this point he is starting to get the fact that a slack lead is much nicer.
Anyway we had a nice session this morning and not wanting to overdo it we headed back for breakfast. Fish for Dogs puppy for the little man and full English for me. When I say full I mean FULL. We had sausages from Musks of Newmarket, Black Pudding from Back to the Garden Letheringsett, Bacon from Elsegoods Butchers Pott Row, Mushrooms somewhere in England, Bantam Eggs from a friends garden in Sheringham and Heinz Baked Beans with I side order of Homemade Marmalade, Toast and Tea. As you can see we are keen to buy local as much as possible and food with provenance too, this requires a bit of effort but tastes so much better.
So now we are having our feet and paws up enjoying the rest of the day in front of the woodburner,with maybe an English Whisky or two and a good book.
For the last 4 weeks we have been attending training classes with Shelby, to build on what we have been doing at home. Currently the classes are being conducted inside because of the time of the year. Being inside and in close proximity to other dogs is a great help with socialising your dog.
Each week we are building up the requirements of heal work, sitting and recall. Obviously for all dog owners heal work is very important both for the comfort of the owner when out, and not to put any undue stress on a young dogs neck whilst walking on a lead. Most importantly on a road its an offence under S27 Road Traffic Act 1988 to not have your dog on a lead and under control.
Being a Spaniel the heal work is an area we are currently behind on as the rest of the world is more interesting when you are a spaniel.
“Sit” is now coming on better with a bit more effort from me. I am now able to get further from Shelby without any movement.
Recall is generally ok as long as I remember to make it exciting enough.
I am intending to train Shelby for work in the beating line on shoots, and so there is and will be subtle differences in some of the basic training.
All training is conducted with positive reinforcement rather than treats.
We attended puppy classes at Millhouse vets and enjoyed it so much. Having owned dogs before some early socialisation is good for them, and refreshing the old grey matter as to what its like having a puppy around is no bad thing.
Then Shelby went on to win puppy of the month for January as a result of my feedback form being drawn of the hat. #wellchuffed.
Meet Shelby – our first Puppy of the Month for 2018. Four month old Shelby recently attended RVN Sam's Puppy…