Wednesday’s pack was an energetic group of doggy adventurers. Along for the hike were Logan and Beckem the Goldendoodles, Nila the Desi Dog, Pippa the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon and Winston the Yellow Labrador Retriever.
I have to be honest, it’s been difficult for me to do this write up. Only because there are more stories than the video does justice. They’re stories that dog people can appreciate, as they’re stories of dogs being dogs. So I’ve done my best to share.
Story 1: Limits with Sticks
Dogs: “hmm, we’re allowed to play with a stick, what about this giant tree?”
Claire: No, leave it, too big
Dogs: “What about this giant tree?”
Claire: No, leave it, too big
Dogs: “This one?”
Claire: No. leave it, too big
Dogs: “Ok, I’ll leave the trees, but I must have THAT dog’s stick”
Claire: You can’t steal everyone’s stick. There are lots in the forest and someone will eventually get annoyed with you taking their stick. Here take this one.
Dogs:”OK, I’ll take your stick. Hey! Look everyone! I have a stick! Don’t you want to chase me and my stick? It’s the best stick in the forest! No? No one wants to chase me? Anyone? Ooops! I dropped my stick, I must have THAT dog’s stick”
Story 2: OH MY GOD! I CAN’T GET DOWN THE EMBANKMENT!
To be fair, this was the first time that Winston had seen this particular crossing. There isn’t much water, but the sides are a little high with all the snow. I hopped down, Nila, Beckem, Logan and Pippa all hopped down with me. Winston put on the brakes and started to bark to let us know he couldn’t get down (I knew he could). This was one of those moments where I knew Winston was going to learn something new about his abilities. I wouldn’t ask him to do something that he couldn’t. Convincing him of that was something else. I tried to guide him down a couple of different routes (including one that required me to stand IN the water, defeating the purpose of my waterproof boots), but he didn’t like the look of any of them. Logan and Nila both jumped up and down the embankment to show him how it was done. Eventually, we were able to convince him to try it. He stopped barking and you could tell he was feeling really good about himself! YAY! Success!
Below is a screenshot of the back and forth around the embankment. See if you can find it on the breadcrumbs map at the bottom of this post!
Story 3: New dog doesn’t know the rules, So I can forget them right? “Come” is now optional when there are people to greet.
One of the things we’ve been working on is Logan’s greetings. He’s such a friendly and enthusiastic guy that he loves to go meet everyone he sees, with as much enthusiasm as he can. What Logan doesn’t realize is not all dogs/people see that he’s just being friendly. We need to greet with manners. So we’ve been working on his “come” when there are new dogs/people to greet on the trails. It gives the new dogs/people on the trails the opportunity to see that he’s just really friendly and not out of control.
Winston, like Logan, needs to work on his manners when greeting people/dogs. Like Logan he’s really friendly, but can come across as a little scary with all his enthusiasm. So when the pair of them took off to go greet some new people, ignoring my calls, they lost their off leash privileges for the last bit of the walk. Leash time is a great way for the dogs to be reminded that they need to pay attention to what I’m telling them. Which leads to story number 4.
Story 4: If my two best buddies are on leash and I want to play with them. The best thing to do is try and get them to play chase.
Oh Nila, You really made me smile with this one. Nila can be quite shy and timid. So I was thrilled to see her engaging in play with Winston and Logan during our adventure. She was right in there with their games of chase and stick. However, when Winston and Logan were having their leash time, she didn’t really have anyone to play chase with. Pippa isn’t into group games, she prefers to sniff around in the forest. Beckem is up for a couple of rounds of chase, but then like Pippa settles into a walk.
So what’s a girl like Nila to do? Run really fast by your buddies and the person they’re leashed to obviously. It was kind of cute, except that Logan and Winston would then WANT to chase after her, trying to pull me with them. After about four run bys. Nila also lost her offleash privliges. I just couldn’t have her amping up the dogs I was trying to calm down. I bet Nila thought I would let the boys off leash not put her on leash.
All in all it was an eventful day. I was surprised to see how calm everyone was in the video. But then again, that’s why I spend so much time enforcing little rules. With boundaries and limitations everyone can have a great time. Which is what showed in the video. And I know the boys don’t mind being kept in line. Winston gave me a great cuddle at the end of the day dissolving in my lap like the loveable dog he is. An awesome reward for my efforts.