Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Last Obedience Class

Last night was our last obedience class!

Sepp was an absolute ROCKSTAR!!!!

The trainer had us all go one by one, she would tell us what to do, going over everything we've been practicing the past 9 weeks. 

We were the fourth pair to go. Sepp pretty much did everything I asked with the exception that when I asked him to sit without hand signals he played dead and then stiffly rolled over before sitting. At least is was cute ;) His drop on recall was very close to being on the line, but no dice even trying three times. We did the send away exercise as our very last thing and he was spot on, downed on the toy no problem. It was awesome!

One of the gals in class told me that he "really shined" last night. I can't say I am not ridiculously proud of this dog.

I will say I think my want for a GSD is officially over. There was a guy in class with one that was ridiculously hectic. The dog was screaming, whining, and barking while she was waiting to go. The guy kept clamping her muzzle shut, which of course she could just whine through and was totally pointless. This dog to me, was a very good example as to why straight compulsion doesn't really work. I mean, it's not that it doesn't work, but you have to keep amping up the consequence, not to mention the dog was just really stressed out and didn't appear to be really excited to work. As someone who has been judged by my dog's intense body language when we work I'm not trying to cast aspersions about someone else, however I got to see the dog working in real time and saw the guy get after her several times for 'misbehaving'. The dog and handler just overall didn't seem really happy and this isn't the first time I have seen them. This also happens to be the guy that Sepp ran up to the one time while doing agility. 

When the guy actually went out and was working his dog, she was very vocal and had slow reaction time. You could see the way that the guy was working with her he was frustrated. To top it off I think this dog was seriously under exercised and probably should have gone for a 10mile run before coming to class. It was really just kind of painful to watch because I don't really feel like they were a good match for each other. I mean, I know the whining was obnoxious but at the same time I'm thinking, it's a GSD - whining and carrying on is what they do! He was so frustrated with her, trying to quiet her down... Which also made me really decide I like having a 'quiet' dog, who expresses his frustration in other ways, or less high pitched ways haha. Anyway it's important to mention this guy and his dog because what happened next was less than awesome.

The guy's wife took the GSD outside apparently, I didn't notice this. Loki the "king malamute", who as it turns out also has his NUTS, was taking his turn. The dog absolutely does not take his owner seriously, at one point she told him to down like 7 times, she playfully batted at him to down, to which he playfully batted back at her. I do not envy her. Anyway, there was a small noise outside of the door, we happened to be sitting about 10-15ft from the door. The room we train in is also the room we've done bite work in, so Sepp was immediately on edge by the door sound - however, he didn't bark he was just on the alert. Well, probably 60 seconds later the viszla in class lets out this HUGE warning bark! Of course that completely sends Seppel over the edge and he starts barking, of course this is happening as Loki is performing his obedience. Well I correct Sepp and he cries because he's all amped up. The GSD guy starts saying "shh, shh, shh" to my dog! I'm thinking "If it didn't work for you, it certainly won't work for MY dog, shut up!" I corrected Sepp again and he finally settled down.

*face palm*

I am so glad to be done with class and done with people being more concerned about what my dog is doing than what their own dog is doing.

Don't get me wrong, we had an absolute blast and I would love to take a class again. I just really am not going to miss all of the other people.

Tomorrow is Sepp's visit at Veterinary Surgical Center of Portland to see Dr. Munjar and decide what can be done with his painful hip.

            Pic taken by Kay :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Why IPO? [Schutzhund]

Why are we doing Schutzhund???

Around 2010 a guy with a Cane Corso started coming to our clinic. He was always using German commands so I finally got the nerve to ask him what he did with his dog. He told me they were doing Schutzhund, gave me his card, and invited me to come out and watch them train.The original driving force behind going was that I really wanted to become a police officer, with the idea of being a K9 handler someday, so I thought this would help me have a possible in - in the future, and also just learn about the sport.

The first time I went out, I brought LiLo because she was the more trained of the two. The trainer there was a bit put off by how stand-offish she was and didn't recommend her for the sport because of how insecure she is. I agreed, I had only brought her because Seth at the time wasn't that well trained. They encouraged me to bring him out, so a week later I met them again with Seth.

Everyone in the training group really liked Seth and were really encouraging. He showed a lot of promise in tracking and was doing alright with obedience. We only went to training once where the trainer tried to agitate him. He responded excitedly, but not really defensively. I was debating on full out joining the club, it was only $100 a month which was a pretty good deal, unfortunately they trained pretty far out and also on wednesdays [a day I was working], it just wasn't cost effective at the time to continue on.

After we quit going to training I started talking to a client of the clinic more who has Ibizan Hounds. We met a few times to train and also joined an obedience class together but the class fell through. Regardless of that little mishap - we trained with this friend off and on. I registered Seth with AKC and UKC and took him to a Rally match... the rest is kind of history for him. I settled on the fact that he couldn't be a Schtuzhund dog and didn't think we/I would be getting into the sport anytime soon.

Of course, as fate would have it I ended up getting Seppel in 2011.

I would say from October 2011-May 2012 consisted mostly of basic training and getting Seppel used to living life at my house, living with my dogs, and going to work everyday. I was really lost in terms of what I wanted to do with him. I wanted to try obedience but thought he would never be able to focus. In May of 2012 I joined a Pit Bull forum and met Diane Jessup.

Diane has written several books about Pit Bulls and has also titled several Pit Bulls in the sport of Schutzhund. I agreed to come out to meet her and some of the people she was training with. I felt like it was a really good opportunity to talk to someone who knew the breed. Little did I know just how much her, her friends, and the forum, would change my views completely on the breed - but that is probably a story for another time.

When we went out to train with Diane we discovered that Sepp thought the sleeve was the best tug toy EVER! It was really exciting to have a dog who could actually do the protection phase in Schutzhund, and the driving force was his prey drive. The sleeve was like one giant toy to him.

I've had a couple of people ask me why I'm "teaching a Pit Bull to bite".

First of all, if you want to educate yourself on the sport of IPO[Schutzhund] PLEASE watch this video:

Ultimately with this type of training, I am teaching my dog to be obedient. I am teaching my dog to do as I say, to bite when told to bite, to out when told to out. It's pretty simple that this sport is teaching my dog self control, and is therefore giving me, more control.

A few people have pointed out, not just to me, but to other people on a few pit forums that I am on, that the breed already has a bad image - why add fuel to the fire?

There are a few things I want to say here.

I really don't care if people choose to be afraid of my dog because of the breed that he is. German Shepherds and Rottweilers carried, and in a lot of cases, still carry stereotypes. There are still many people out there who do not like or trust those breeds. Quite honestly, I think it is fair for people to be afraid of powerful dog breeds and I would rather these people continue to dislike the breed because at least those close minded, uneducated people, will not be buying one!

BSL is a really crappy thing, but BSL is not around because everyone is doing protection sports with their Pit Bulls. BSL is around because people are irresponsible or stupid when it comes to this breed. Many bite incidents involve LOOSE Pit Bulls, many bite incidents involve dogs with high prey drive, and many incidents also involve dogs that are human aggressive. A pit bull should never know a stranger. Recently I came across a website that explained some dog fighting[matching?] rules [cajun], I had no idea they even had rules, HSUS doesn't really explain that. Anyway, in these rules the dogs can be pulled apart many times in a fight. I'm not saying no one ever got bit, because there were dogs who were known to redirect on their handlers in the pit, BUT most dogmen did not keep dogs around that were biters. The Pit Bull had to be handleable even in times of stress. We have BSL simply because people couldn't manage their dogs. Everyone tries to blame the media, and while I agree the media doesn't help things - if dogs weren't getting loose and eating people this would be a non-issue!

The last thing I really want to say is that I want to do IPO with my Pit Bull, and future Pit Bulls because it is FUN, and it shows the versatility of this breed. The days of the pit are long gone. Our dogs need a new job, and in my eyes that job is sport: IPO, French Ring, Agility, Flyball etc. as well as Hog Hunting. Pretty much anything that can show off and utilize this breed's prey drive and athletic ability.

On that note I would like to add that the training of a Pit Bull for IPO is a little different than training a German Shepherd. Most German Shepherds are trained using defense. The breed is a defensive breed, bred to respond to a threat accordingly. Pit Bulls are not a defensive breed, so when we train, we're training more with Seppel's prey drive than any actual defense. This is why he has taken to the bite sleeve the way that he has. The bite sleeve for him is a HUGE tug toy. All he wants to do is get our decoy to move, so he can bite the sleeve. If there was no sleeve involved, Seppel would not bite our decoy. What motivates Sepp is seeing the bite sleeve. I'm completely fine with that, I don't need a  personal protection dog. We're doing this strictly for fun and for sport.

IPO is fun because my dog enjoys it. It is so much fun to watch him run across the field "looking for the bad guy". He gets excited when we get out there, he's ready to play, and when we are done, he sleeps the whole way home.Not to mention it translates into other things in our life. His impulse control has improved ten-fold. He's still impulsive, but not nearly like he was when I first got him. Overall I would say he listens so much better than when I first got him, granted time has passed and we've been working together, but I really do think bite work has helped to teach him to be patient, and to listen a little bit better.

Everyone is going to have an opinion and not everyone is going to agree with me. But I hope this has at least kind of informed anyone wondering 'why' we do it. I also hope anyone wondering what IPO is really takes the time to watch the video - it couldn't be said better, this sport really is rather extraordinary.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dog Class #7 and Seppel's Health

Just have to say - wow, 51 posts! Who would have thought I would have that much to talk about ;)

Tuesday was our 7th class.

I am a horrible dog owner. Sepp still has a sore back, then walking out of the kennel after work he was limping on his right hind - his hip, AND his tummy is really upset because I gave him a raw chicken back for breakfast monday. I ALMOST thought about not going, but I thought he could manage it - and he did. I also gave him a rimadyl before we left so he did have pain meds on board.

Class actually went really well all things considered. Sepp was heeling nicely, we did a couple of out of motion downs and sits where we walked the room after giving the command and Seppel actually stayed! I was very impressed especially since he wasn't feeling 100%.

However, when we went to do agility, he was a little naughty.

I hate to say it, I was one of those owners with the out of control dog!

We were running through the course and there were people in front of us. After he came off of the jump the guy in front of us was getting his Doberman on the spider-walk. Sepp ran up to the guy, and I'm like "Ack, sorry my dog is coming up to you!" Luckily the guy was cool and was like "It's because I've got cheese!" I'm just like, mortified and saying "I'm so sorry!" Then he came off of the yellow & blue A frame and went flying up to this guy with a GSD, the guy shoved him away, which was good, but I'm just standing there all embarrassed trying to catch my dog. Sepp didn't even care about the dogs that were with these people, like he totally ran up to them just to see THEM, the people!

I don't think he really had a plan for what he was doing. After the A-frame I made him go over it again, and then caught him so we ended on a good note - the little stinker.

Overall I'm really excited we got to take this class, I feel like he has learned a lot and has also picked up some really good impulse control.

Homework was fast out of motion stand & down, the send away [you send them for a toy and down them], and the drop on recall.


 I brought Sepp into the clinic today to have a doctor examine him for his painful back and also for the horrible diarrhea he was having.  He strained his iliopsoas [hip flexor used for jumping] and his right hip is sore. I x-rayed his hips when I first got him and the right hip was bad, we took another x-ray last week because I also x-rayed his spine, just to make sure he didn't have anything else going on. The right hip is still crappy, it hasn't changed much in the year that I have had him, but it's still really bad. Right now with it sore he has about 75% range of motion.

In an ideal world where I wasn't broke he would have a total hip replacement. I'm going to start him on Adequan, a THR is not an option at all. I am pretty sure Dr. Munjar [ortho specialist] told me when I took LiLo in that the implants alone were like $2k. *face palm*

I talked to the doctor about doing an FHO, he doesn't think dogs his size do well with them and he said he would hate for me to do it and then have Sepp not be able to do anything. He also recommended against injecting the joint because it will buy relief but just wear the joint down more quickly.

I'm thinking of making an appointment with Dr. Munjar just to get his opinion on an FHO and to see what he thinks our future will hold in terms of Sepp continuing to do the things he loves to do with a crappy hip.

Sepp's list of meds right now are as follows; Metronidazole, Forti-Flora, Tramadol, Methocarbamol, Carprofen, and Ace as needed for sedation. I gave him half of a 25mg Ace today and he looks so sad and squinty. We're going to rest him for 7 days, I'll keep him as quiet as I can. I really just want him to heal up and feel better. I don't care about titling him in the sport, but I want him to be able to still play around with it because it's something he really enjoys, not to mention he loves playing ball and he loves the springpole... he loves anything involving being crazy and active.

Crazy Sepp - taken by Danielle.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dog Aggression

I started this blog because I wanted to prepare other people out there - like me- who are either thinking about getting a Pit Bull or have one fall into their lap. I started thinking that I would have appreciated having a blog to read that talked about the adventures and occasional frustrating times that come along with this breed. I just wanted to be helpful to people wondering if a Pit Bull is the right choice for them.

I'll openly admit I was not as prepared for this adventure as I thought I was. I have learned so much and have expanded my views on so many things. I feel as a dog person I've really grown a lot, who knew one dog could do that to you?

Following up on my "World War" post. So far everyone is getting along fine. I have chosen to be cautious with this situation because this is the first time the dogs have gotten into it and it has been more than "just words". I don't want to take things overly seriously, but it is bothersome that both dogs ended up with wounds, which to me says this could have been a more serious argument. Regardless, supervising everyone today they act as if nothing is changed. After I got off of work I threw the ball for Sepp until he was super tired, then we came home, hung out for a while, and then I played ball with both Sepp and Seth. Just trying to keep in mind tired dogs are good dogs!

Let's get down to the nitty gritty!

Pit Bulls have a long history of various jobs, I would say most notably they were bred to partake in dog fighting. I don't really care where you get your dog - dog aggression is something you have to think about and consider. I constantly see ads on craigslist for dogs under 2yrs of age - they all say the same thing "Great with cats and other dogs!" I always think the same thing "Yeah, but wait until they are 2yrs old!" It doesn't matter how you raise them or how much you "socialize" them. These dogs can be fine and as they start maturing decide to "turn on" or become other animal aggressive. I would say you're more likely to see a problem if your dog has a high prey drive - if you're dog doesn't have a lot of prey drive I think the chance of DA[dog aggression] lessens. Really, ANY dog of ANY breed is not truly 'who they will be' until they have at least hit 2 or 3 years of age. I feel in most cases by age 3 the personality is set. My dog LiLo is a little bit of a weirdo and she went through a personality change when she was 5yrs old. A late bloomer I guess.

The thing is, across the board, any dog can be DA. However, I have to stress with this breed your chances of your dog being DA are much higher, than say, getting a hound, or a pug or something.

So is Seppel DA?

You did just read that he munched my other dog right?

I consider Seppel to be dog selective, maybe a small amount of him borders DA, but when I think of straight DA I think of the dog not liking other dogs, period.

Generally speaking, unless it's small and fluffy, I'm fairly confident Sepp would not haul off and attack another dog. For the most part he doesn't care about other dogs, it's taken a lot of time and training/relationship building but I feel that he's at a point where we can work around dogs without issue.

BUT... when it comes to one on one dog interaction his behavior can be questionable. I tried introducing him to my friend's puppy and he came at the pup with his mouth OPEN - like, he didn't even both to sniff, he was just like "Get in my mouth!"

My friend had her dog Karmann outside, she is another Pit Bull type dog. We didn't introduce them at first but Sepp kept barking at her and running around like he wanted to play. I remember we finally just let them meet and they were flirty and wanting to play it was no big deal.

Overall I am very cautious with our introductions because he had shown me in other interactions that he can be picky and want to eat certain dogs.

The reality of this breed is that they are powerful. Working in a veterinary clinic we see all kinds of dogs come in, various breeds are dog aggressive or seriously dog reactive. You'd be surprised how many labs are not friendly with other dogs[or with people for that matter!]. Unfortunately because the Pit Bull is so powerful they can cause a lot of damage, moreso than say a Jack Russell or Chihuahua. I've read instances of Pit Bulls killing dogs they have lived with for many years - without issue. This is why Sepp does not have free run of the house at night - so there is no risk of him getting into it with one of the other dogs or trying to go after the cat.

In my situation Seppel is a high drive Pit Bull. He has a very high prey drive and the energy to back it up. There are many "pit bulls" out there, primarily dogs with a lot of AmStaff or dogs that have been crossed with American Bulldogs/UKC Pit Bulls/English Bulldogs to create the American Bully - many of these dogs have lower prey drive and have a tendency to be less DA - but they are not what I consider the true Pit Bull.

If you are looking to get an authentic Pit Bull, looking to get an ADBA type Pit Bull, or are just considering looking at some Pit Bulls at your shelter that are high ball and prey drive dog aggression is something you need to consider - especially if you get a dog of unknown history/lineage because then you really have no idea where the dog came from and what their temperament may be like as they mature, towards other dogs.

I always thought it was 'how you raised them' that DA could be socialized out of them, the Pit Bull is what it is. Your Pit Bull will be who he is going to be, they aren't bashful about who they are and they are true to themselves. You just have to take and accept them for who they are, and as in my case - love them for it.

Pic taken by my friend Kay :)

World War I?

I debated on even posting about this, on the off chance my house does become a crate & rotate house I want to remember the event that probably became the beginning. *dramatic music*

Hopefully C&R isn't in my near future - living with my parents makes it really hard because if I have to ask them to participate, my mom especially, might be difficult to have deal with the dogs.

Anyway, yesterday we had a bit of an incident. I gave the dogs soup bones. Our side yard is fenced off so I gave Sepp his bone - which he took to the garage. I gave Seth and LiLo their bones on the side yard. Seth and LiLo generally don't have issues with high prize items, toys are a bit of a different story these days, but they are generally fine together with bones - they give each other space. About an hour had passed when I went out to check on the dogs. Sepp was chewing on a bone remnant and LiLo was sitting about 20ft in front leaning against the gate. She decided to run under a piece of fence that is between the house and a big white tent building my dad has. I threw Sepp's piece away, went out to collect Seth's bone, I then proceeded to walk the front yard to see if I could find LiLo's bone. My search left me empty handed. I went back in the house to work on something I was making for dinner. Several minutes later... probably 10-15 I heard this awful noise, it's LiLo and Seppel getting into it.

My dad and I run outside - the dogs stop. LiLo ends up with a lip puncture, Sepp ends up with a leg puncture and a little abrasion over his nose. I threw Sepp in the house. Gave it a few minutes and then brought the dogs out together. LiLo ran right up to him - she's a vocal dog and she was making some noise but neither dog seemed to have hard feelings. Later I brought them all out again, LiLo offered a play bow to Seppel, they played a little bit, but Sepp was being cautious - LiLo was being very vocal at this point, she was definitely attempting play but you could tell Sepp wasn't super sure about it.

I'm not sure what happened. They all seem to be fine today. They went out to go potty supervised, I then put all of them on the treadmill this morning. I think this is going to be the start of our new routine. We're going to go back to square one. No unsupervised outside time, if they can't be watched, rotating them out to potty. AND a serious exercise regime. Unfortunately LiLo cannot be exercised until she's tired because of her hips, but I did give her some treadmill time this morning. The weather is a bit gloomy but as long as it's dry we'll play ball and do some spring pole. I also plan on putting together a flirt pole - I'm pretty sure both Sepp and LiLo would play with it, Sepp for sure.

I knew when getting a Pit Bull Crating and Rotating might be in our future. However, I really hope this is just a little bump in the road. LiLo and Seth have never gotten into it like that - I'm still asking myself if it has just been the two of them, would I be taking this so seriously? Would it bother me so much if it wasn't Sepp and it was Seth? It's hard to say, but I feel like it's better to be cautious than sorry.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Bite work, agility, and loose dogs!

Yesterday was a lot of fun at training!

We came early to do some bite work. We did what we normally do, bites, transports, etc. Other than doing some serious forging in heel he was actually really good. He had no problem outing the sleeve, I think playing lots of ball has helped reinforce his out. I think he's learning if he outs, he gets another bite. Kind of like, drop the ball and I'll throw another one for you. There was also a point where I went to go get my camera, I had him in a down in front of Ryan and he didn't move! Ryan said he even shifted weight/moved around a bit and Sepp just kept watching him. It's pretty impressive to me how much more impulse control he has and it's awesome to see how much he has grown in training. We have so much fun out there, he just LOVES it.

After bite work we had about 20mins to sit and chill. Thursday is a different class, minus the stupid labradoodle guy who was there! Ugh, bane of my existence! Apparently, he comes Tuesdays and his wife normally comes in Thursdays, but she just had surgery and can't work the dog apparently. *eye roll* The class was pretty small in size again, there was three GSDs, the doodle, us, a small doodle thing, a small black spaniel type mix, and two labradors. All three of the GSDs were out of control. One female GSD pretty much decided she was done and actually left the building several times while in heel. She also went running around the room, somehow avoiding coming up to us [but I was ready!].

We worked on the drop on recall. Sepp was actually pretty on, other than not staying when I told him too [stinker!]. It was very frustrating waiting for everyone to go because some of these people are not serious enough with their dogs. The guy with the female who kept taking off would walking into the dog for her down, he was close enough that he could have popped her into the ground, but he didn't. He tried three or four times, and the dog was like "Meh, I don't really have to do this!". Then there was another guy with a GSD that would NOT stay. He kept telling the dog "no, no, no, no..." when it broke. I'm thinking "Tell him to sit or down!" I mean, 'no' wasn't really effective, the dog didn't stop. He finally grabbed the dog because he wouldn't stay and he grabbed the collar, and used his left hand to move the dog's butt around, the dog totally whipped his head around like he was considering mouthing the guy. No thanks!

We did a down out of motion as well as a sit out of motion and walked the room. Sepp was GREAT for the down and didn't move, however for the sit he did stand up. Lucky for me, no one announced it to the room that the 'vicious pit bull' had gotten up.

I'm also lucky that one lady was nice enough to ask if he dog could visit with mine. I politely declined, explaining that he's fine, but I'm really cautious with him, AND that I really appreciated her asking me. The people in this class apparently though it was the dog park because several people were letting their dogs sniff and interact. *insert mass eye roll*

We ended with agility as we usually do. Sepp went over everything. I do think his back was bothering him a bit when going over the A-frames. He hesitated on the first A-frame, like I had a hold of his tab and urged him over. I really can't see any other reason why he might not have liked it other than it just being hard to go over because he's sore. Poor guy.

Yesterday was awesome and I can't wait to get back into our bite work full time! There's a trial coming up in June and the BH is only $40! Unfortunately I don't belong to a club or DVG which totally blows because Sepp could totally get his BH. In due time I suppose, gotta be patient ;)

Anyway here is a video of the agility portion:
Youtube/blogger is sucking major booty and won't find my video - so here is the link :)
Sepp trying some Agility!

 And here are some pics of bite work!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Loose dog!!!

I think we only have three obedience classes left! We're also going this Thursday so we can do bitework beforehand... guess that means I need to practice over the next two days hehe.

Seppel was pretty good tonight. When he got out of the car I felt like he was abnormally subdued. I palpated him a little bit and he seemed back sore. Danielle confirmed it tonight when we got home. I gave him some carprofen and we'll see how he's feeling tomorrow. It's not a huge deal, but I don't want him to be sore.

Anyway, class was really small tonight. There were only five of us. Sepp did most of what I asked, we did an out of motion down and were told to walk the room. Sepp got up and the guy who has the 'labradoodle' was like "DOG'S UP! HE'S UP! HE'S MOVING!" I'm like... where the hell were you last week when the GSD came barreling up to my dog?!

Like I was telling a friend, as much as I don't want to be all particular, I'm pretty sure he was freaking out because Seppel is a Pit Bull. No one said a single word last week when that dog broke and came at my dog, not a single word. But my dog moves because he was looking for me and it's a huge deal.

After class we got to play with more agility equipment. It was at that moment that I really realized why I love this breed of dog. Don't get me wrong, Seppel has seen some of the equipment out there, however it's been almost a year since he has gotten a chance to play with any of it. The dogs in class today were us, a labradoodle, a small rat terrier mix, a GSD, and a doberman. The doodle was pretty forth going but most of the dogs hesitated for most of the obstacles. I mean, they did well after they got it, but they were unsure at first. What I love about Sepp is that he's super gung-ho. Like, let's do this! Who cares if there's a drop off on the other side, let's jump it! I've mentioned before I feel like this breed puts 110% into everything that it does. They ask questions later, which can be a pain in the butt if your dog is trying to kill something, but otherwise I absolutely love that spirit and drive!

This post is a bit short, hopefully I'll have some more to talk about Thursday and maybe I can even talk my dad into taking some video!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I really love this dog!

Tuesday night was dog class and I'm not sure where the real Seppel went, because the dog that was with me was a rockstar!

The awesomeness started with out of motion stands. I didn't think Sepp would understand this, especially because we had been practicing out of motion sits and downs, BUT, he totally got it! Really, with every exercise we did last night he was behaving really well. We were between the nasty malamute and a small Fox Terrier type dog named Sullivan. He never tried to eat the small dog, and was really good about heeling and listening.

We had just finished an out of motion stand and were told to stand directly in front of our dogs. I went to do this when a GSD named Zora came flying from out of nowhere. I didn't mention her in my last post but she belongs to an elderly woman and is in training at the kennel. Last class she basically decided she was done, I think she's 1.5yrs... maybe younger, she's definitely not fully grown yet and she was breaking her heel and running up to the trainer. You could really tell that this young dog was just checked out and just wanted to romp and play and be a goofball. Anyway, last night, she came flying over to Seppel. I grabbed his face because I don't trust him 100% to not eat another dog, he's actually been alright lately, but you never know. Zora proceeded to muzzle punch him and jump back and forth all over him, he handled this very well with his head in my hands, it was all so fast but slow at the same time. When I finally 'thought' about what was going on I went to try to grab the dog but she was too quick and about that time the assistant trainer, who was working with her, finally grabbed her. Sepp recovered quickly from the incident, thankfully. I had to take a few deep breaths myself because my adrenaline was pumping, his willingness to move forward and recover really made me proud.

The rest of the class went well. We got to try the 'drop on recall' which is where we put them in a stay, called them, and then told them to down. Sepp got it pretty well twice - this is something we have practiced in our Schutzhund training with a toy, so it wasn't a completely foreign exercise.

The homework for this week is to work on the stand out of motion and the drop on recall.

After the obedience portion we ended with our Agility, they got to go up an A frame as well as do a few jumps. Sepp has done most of the obstacles out there and he really seems to enjoy it. I'm going to look into doing an agility class - I think it would be fun to try, and fun to learn to do, not to mention I think it would be good mental work for him as well.

Not to get ridiculously squishy, but I really adore this dog.

As I have mentioned previously [at least I think I have!] I thought he had lymphoma before I got him. I was willing to take him because I wanted to treat the cancer and figured it would be a short comittment. Now I cannot imagine life without him. I remember thinking he would 'just be a dog' and would live out his days in my home as a tribute to his former owner, I never thought we would actually be attempting to try dog sport, I certainly never thought we would be trying agility, and as I have mentioned many times, I had never thought that we would be where we are today. I am so completely thankful and blessed to have this dog in my life.