Monday, 4 June 2012

WOW, it's been so long!

So it's been almost a full two weeks since my last post! Life has been crazy to say the least. With the summer months for me comes more work. During the summer I'm a a Safe Rider Trainer, which is essentially a fancy way of saying that I teach people how to drive motorcycles. I've been working a lot recently and my days start around 6 am and I get home around 6, so updating my blog has been pretty low on my priority list.

That being said we've had some major leaps forward in Kobi's progress, as well as some steps back.

Two sunday's ago we went to the Blue Nose Marathon. (My phone died a couple days ago and the pictures of Kobi at the event got lost....). We walked around the downtown area for about two hours in some pretty intense crowds, something Kobi has only encountered once last year. I went prepared with lots of treats and low expectations. I've been noticing a lot recently that when I have zero expectations of Kobi, is when he does his best, where as when I do have some expectations of him is when he seems to struggle. Kobi did amazing in the crowds, there was lots of loud noise, people running and yelling and he stayed relaxed. He let people meet him politely and met some other dogs politely. All in all it was a fantastic morning.

Later that afternoon we went camping in Porters Lake for the long weekend. Getting there was a bit stressful as I had to pack everything up on my own which meant I forgot a few things. This was our second time camping with Kobi. We went camping last year at Dollar Lake and had a fantastic time. This time was rough, mainly for Kobi. Because it was the long weekend the campgrounds were packed, and every camper seemed to have a dog, so even though we chose a relatively private walk in site, the two adjacent sites had running kids and young playful dogs. So Kobi spent almost the entire two days growling and barking from discomfort. I would like to go camping again but I think I will do several things differently with regards to Kobi to ensure he has a more relaxing time and actually enjoys the experience more.

We also had another fantastic agility class this week. We worked on a few skills that sadly I didn't have much time to work on at home before class but that didn't seem to stop him from learning the new skills and preforming them incredibly well. What was most exciting was the fact that he was able to get ramped up and work, but choose on his own to go back to his bed and relax. This is huge progress because he is starting to recognize when he is getting overwhelmed and choosing to relax rather then continue to get revved up.

Lastly we tagged along with a friend of mine yesterday to a fun match in mount uniake. I've never been to a fun match before so it was new for both me an Kobi. The event took place at an old horse barn, so Kobi and I found a stall to set up a blanket for me to sit on, Kobi's bed and get out a pile of treats. For most of the time we just sat and relaxed, walked around a bit and did some basic work such as circles and nose touches to my hand and to a target. Kobi had a bit of trouble with the sound of people walking on gravel at first but quickly settled down and stopped reacting to it. We finally got the chance to meet Shiva and Kristine from Rescued Insanity and got the chance to see Shiva do a fantastic run as well as see some of her quirky antics. (I seem to be having zero luck with phones. I had a video of Shiva's run but I uploaded Harleys first and now it's just gone along with all the pictures from my phone. I'll make sure to post it later if I ever manage to retrieve it.)


  1. So much happening! I like the safety class you're teaching - I think a lot more people should probably take that!

  2. I was so glad to finally meet you and Kobi in person! He is even cuter in real life with those adorable freckles! I'm sorry Shiva was being such a crazy head. Waiting around gives her more anxiety than anything else, especially in an environment she doesn't know that well. I am sure if we had been outdoors and off-leash she would have been much more polite. Poor Kobi. I hope he wasn't traumatized!

    If you did have a video that would be awesome! We normally take video but this time it slipped my mind. I was too focused on getting my husband to stand in the hole to block her from going shopping for treats. And instigating trouble with unsuspecting Kobis and Lulus. :-P

    Camping can be hard. We tend to do most of ours in the late season when it's cold just because there are less people for Shiva to bark at. The weather sucks but we have more fun. Hopefully Kobi will be able to relax more next time.

  3. Hopefully next time we can actually get to do a proper greeting! I think part of that was Kobi to. He's also anxious in new places, but that was our whole point for being there. My hope is that if I spend long enough on the foundations and learning to be calm in these new places, one day it'll just be normal for him to be in a barn and around other excited nervous dogs and not think much of it.
    I saw Shiva and your husband outside and she was leaping straight in the air to do nose touches, it was so cute. I'm starting to learn that though dogs like ours may make us want to pull our hair out most of the time, the quirks that make them them make it soo worth while.
    My fiance is going to see if he can retrieve the files off my phone when he comes back in a couple days, I really hope it's still there because it was a great run!

    1. To be sure, they likely could have been feeding off each other. Moments like that are rare for Shiva these days, luckily. It's really when she is forced to stand around, not being able to move. Apparently that is the worst thing in the whole world. She was a lot worse a few years ago. We wouldn't have even tried to enter the barn at all back then. Standing outside would have been hard enough! So I think that Kobi has come so far in really such a short time is fantastic. He was a lot quieter than Hunter, who is a seasoned veteran at these things. You are doing such a great job with him and I can't wait till we start seeing you participate in fun matches!

      Adina once told me that Shiva was a great "teacher dog" in that through her I can learn a lot about what works and what doesn't when training. It sounds like Kobi has done the same for you.

    2. It's very true. I used to be really angry about how much I've had to work with Kobi. But Kobi has taught me so many valuable skills in dog training that I was actually asked to be the coordinator for all the trainers at the SPCA and train the new volunteers on how to work with the shelter dogs. I know that if Kobi hadn't been in my life that's something I never would have been able to do.