Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mail Call

I wasn't expecting anything from the AKC in the mail - or so I thought. However, when I opened the envelope, something important (and official) had arrived:
Leo also got to be honorary Dane yesterday at the Great Danes of Summer event held at our local park. It's a big annual event we hold to raise funds to support area rescue, emergencies, education, and more. There were quite a few Danes - lots of puppies - and Leo was a complete trooper the whole time. In fact, I barely spent any time with him at all once we got there. Thank goodness for my son who showed up after football about midday and kept Leo with him almost the entire rest of the day. Here are two photos we got taken though that I am completely excited about. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Soon to be a superstar

Leo finally gets to start his next training adventure! His foundation level agility classes start on Monday, September 13. They'll run for an hour once a week for seven or eight weeks. We're taking the classes through Columbia Agility Team which is close and convenient since I'll be juggling getting one of my sons (if not both) to and/or from football practice, too, those evenings. But I'm super excited to get started with Leo! He is so smart - you can just see it in his eyes. He looks at you like he can read you and is willing you to work with him. In fact, just last week I taught him to give a high-five in just three requests/commands. Now, of course, he throws that paw repeatedly and often in hopes of getting a treat. Such a smart little whipper snapper and a mama's boy to boot. Gotta love my little critter.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Canine Good Citizen

Yesterday we participated in the 8th Annual Dog Day Afternoon hosted by the Hazeldale Dog Park Committee in Beaverton, OR. This event is very well put on with tons of vendors and groups represented including flyball, disk dogs, agility, canine freestyle, the canine good citizen program, and much more.

A lot of times these things mean Leo just comes along for the ride and I get him out as often as possible for walks, meet & greet, and social time with Vegas and I. We were fortunate enough this weekend for my son, Zach, to come along to help keep Leo occupied. He got out for more frequent walks; he got to run in the fields; he got to run over some of the jumps in "Beat the Best" with X-Fidos, and he also got to go through the confidence course for agility equipment. And, he took the Canine Good Citizen test.

The test was administered by Alison Eberhard of Everyday Dog Dog Training Center and sponsored by Dog Troop 192. I had actually had the pleasure of chatting with her previously regarding an article I was writing for Spot Magazine, so it was a pleasure to put a face to the expertise I had consulted. Going into the test, I knew what area I was most worried about for Leo. It was primarily Test #6, the sit, down, and stay in place. It would seem this is simple, but for some reason Leo can be very stubborn. He learned all of this in his basic obedience and it has been practiced and reinforced, but I had minor concerns regardless. Here are all the test items for reference:

Test 1
Accepting a friendly stranger
Test 2
Sitting politely for petting.
Test 3
Appearance and grooming.
Test 4
Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
Test 5
Walking through a crowd
Test 6
Sit and down on command and Staying in place
Test 7
Coming when called
Test 8
Reaction to another dog
Test 9
Reaction to distraction
Test 10
Supervised separation

I am proud to say, Leo passed all components with flying colors! He is now Gemini's Leo the Lionhearted CGC!!!

I might have pictures to post later of Leo in the confidence course with Zach. A member of our JAG Agility Group, Natalia, was taking pictures and I'm hoping there are some of Zach and Leo.

Another thing Leo got to do yesterday was to run "Beat the Best" by X-Fidos flyball team. It was a 50' stretch with 4 flyball jumps. He was pretty uncertain so we built his confidence a bit by me having him come over just one jump, then two, and on the way back to the start line he took them all. He was timed on his run and did it in 7.31 seconds. I know he would learn to do this faster as we build his confidence and understanding of what was expected. But I'm proud of him for doing it. He's such a great little trooper and we're pretty darn lucky to have him in our family.

And to close the weekend, Leo had to have a bath tonight because despite his being a wonderful companion and great family member, he is also all boy and all dog. He found something to roll in outside in the yard and stunk to high heaven. So a bath was to be had and the zoomies to follow. I'll get a video up later of that comical respite.