I haven’t had as busy a weekend as last week but I still did a lot of stuff!
I met up with my friend, Hugo the Greyhound-Bullmastiff cross, again at Shore Rd Reserve…and we had a great time chasing each other and playing!
He is the bounciest dog I know!
Here is a short video clip of us playing…er, until Hugo decided to kiss the camera! (see how he bounces around and even leapt right over the top of me?!)
And although we didn’t manage to get out to the beach this weekend, my humans did take me to Waiatarua Wetlands Reserve – this is one of the BEST dog parks in Auckland: 20 hectares where we can safely roam off-leash and walk through open fields and native bush, with duck ponds and rabbit holes to explore…what more could a dog want?? (Sometimes, if I’m really lucky, there is even a dead rat to roll in!)
My humans don’t like Waiatarua so much in winter ‘coz it gets really muddy and boggy…and I get filthy! But I LOVE it! (Us dogs must stay out of the water/wetland area ‘coz the birds are protected but otherwise we can go anywhere!)
Not only do you meet LOTS of dogs everytime but if you’re really lucky, you might even catch a rabbit (OK, I have to admit that I have never even seen a rabbit, much less catch one…but my sharper doggie friends assure me that there are bunnies in abundance and that they almost caught one several times!)
While we were there, my human, Hsin-Yi, also did some training with me. When Paul takes me for walks, he likes to just cruise around and throw my ball – we just have an easy time “chillin’ out”…but when Hsin-Yi comes on the walks, she likes to always do a bit of training too. She says it keeps me on my toes and reminds me of my manners – and helps to keep my mind stimulated!
We practised a few new dance moves I’m learning (yup – we’re learning yet another new routine! Stay tuned – I’ll tell you more about it soon!) and we also practised my Wait command and long-distance Recall.
Here is a short video of me…what do you think? I think I look really good galloping up to Hsin-Yi!
By the way, in case you’re wondering why Hsin-Yi used “Wait” and not “Stay” – this is because she was planning to call me out of that position. When humans tell us to “Stay”, they should never then call us out of that position – they should ALWAYS come back to us to release us. This helps us to learn a really good, solid, reliable Stay. If they call us out of the Stay, we will always be quivering, waiting to be called and trying to break out of it to go to them. If they want to call us, then it is better to use “Wait” – which tells us to pause there and wait for our humans to tell us what to do next.
So I have learnt that when I hear “Stay”, I have to just stay there until my human returns, no matter how far she goes away (even out of sight!) and no matter what is going on around me. I know that she will always return to me. This makes me trust her and feel secure (This is why practising Stay is very good for doggies with Separation Anxiety!).
But when I hear “Wait”, I know that something exciting is going to happen soon and so I’m all attention, focused on my human, waiting to see what she’s going to tell me to do next!
Another thing you might have noticed is that Hsin-Yi didn’t actually use “Come” – although that is my recall command. This is because she used to play a game with me when I was a puppy – she would hide and then call “Hooooooooneeeeey” for me to come and find her. I loved this game and so even now, when we don’t play it anymore, whenever I hear my name being called like that, I still get really excited and run like mad to find Hsin-Yi.
Hiding and running away are great games your humans can play with you when you’re out on your walks, especially if you’re a bit – ahem – “deaf” when they call you to Come! It makes Recall training fun and if they do it often enough, it will become a sort of like ‘reflex’ whenever you hear them calling – you’ll get so excited that you’ll always go running to find them!
And we doggies learn faster and remember better when our humans include a bit of training in our everyday routine (like during our walks) – so it’s not like a boring, long bootcamp session but a bit of fun & games doing stuff with our humans.
This way we get a bit of practice every day and we also learn to respond to our humans in different situations and with different distractions around.
And it doesn’t seem like such a chore for our humans because they don’t have to make time to specially train us – they can just squeeze in a few practices here and there!
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