At class last night I mentioned to the instructor that I had put Fern in the Ruff Love program and she said, without hesitation, that’s a good thing. I thought about it and then asked her later if she had noticed in her limited dealings with Fern that she needed to be in Ruff Love and she said “yes, I think she’s going to be a handful and keeping her in the Ruff Love program will be to her benefit.”
Instead of using my x-pen to contain Midge and Fern while at class, I used crates for all three dogs. Gel was not happy going into his crate when he was through running (I often leave him loose in a down stay), but I insisted. When he came out, he was a ball of fire.
There’s another neat dog in the class, a Laekenois, a variety of Belgian Shepherd I haven’t seen before. When that dog gets on the field, it’s all forward power and drive, so much so, that she frequently blows off her handler running ahead doing her own course. She’s amazingly fast and if her handler can get control of her, she should be extremely competitive.
On the other hand, the two Aussies in the class need a lot of pep talking to keep them going. Until last night, their handler has not been able to run them due to a broken foot, so between the instructor and the other handlers, they got their class time as well. Last night, when their handler ran them for the first time in many weeks, there was a lot of blowing off in another form: leaving the handler to visit the other handlers or dogs, ignoring start line stays or stopping and sniffing the ground while on the course. I would be devastated if my dogs were to stop in the middle of a course to sniff the ground!
These dogs … they take so much work sometimes.
Starting the next session I hope to be able to run Midge through at least the jumpers part of the course. Hopefully she’ll learn the contact obstacles quickly so I can have her up to speed and ready to start competing in the spring. Midge is going to clean up my handling so much more so than Gel ever did. If I am in the wrong position at the wrong time, Midge is not going to read my mind like Gel does and go where she needs to go, Midge is going to go where my body tells her. This body of mine is going to get me in a lot of trouble!
I do feel a lot more in control now that I’m keeping all three dogs under strict lock and key. I might as well get used to keeping Midge and Gel separate as she’ll be coming back into heat in a month or so (oh joy!). I take Fern out on her own now because, at this time, if I take her out with the other dogs, she is apt to blow me off trying to get to them. I am enjoying the one-on-one time with all my dogs. Wish I had started it sooner. It is a whole lot less frustrating!