In which Cesar Milan 2 tries to encourage me to let my greyhound off the lead… kind of!

“Are you going to let her off then?” said Cesar 2.

We – Cesar Milan 2, his two dogs, my dog – The Daisy Dog and I were idling our Saturday morning away in the field. A field that Cesar 2( my nickname for this fellow dog owner who had been on numerous dog training courses and who admired Cesar Milan and his techniques) classed as being safe and secure enough to let my relatively young greyhound off the lead for the VERY first time!

He smiled his most persuasive smile. This guy clearly knew his stuff and his dogs were proof of that.

However, he didn’t know my dog… I did.

“No, not here and not now.” I told him.

His disappointment was visible. I think he genuinely wanted to help, but, I needed to do things in my time and my own way.

Fast forward to last week.

On a warm, sunny morning the Daisy Dog and I headed twenty minutes down the lane, to a field where I was fairly sure we wouldn’t be disturbed. I was right, there wasn’t a soul in sight. I put a harness on The Daisy Dog… and  she refused to walk in it. I put her collar back on and she walked fine… even though the new training lead was still attached to the harness.

I fed some of the lead out of a new bag that I have purchased to house the monster of a lead( which extends to about three miles!). In the new bag were water bottles for the dog and I, doggy poo bags, about three pounds of sausages and turkey, for training purposes, a picnic – for when I got peckish and  a sleeping bag – for when I got tired. I was a brownie, (Sixer of the Gnomes, to be exact) as a child and my motto still is be prepared! It’s just  these days the preparation has to be housed in a bigger, bag and I sometimes struggle to carry my preparedness. It flops around all over the place and sticks out way too much, and sometimes I trip up over it!

Anyhow, I tied off the lead, to stop it pulling out uncontrollably… and me tripping up over that as well. The Daisy Dog didn’t really seem to realise that she had the freedom to run a bit further from me. In fact she shadowed me all around the field, in much the same way she always does. It could have been something to do with the huge shadow that I was casting. Why bake in the hot sun when you have a huge shadow of preparedness to cool down in?  So, no recall training was done on that outing.

Towards the end of the walk, hot and sticky trudge in the field, in an over zealous attempt to give her some more lead, I got the lead in the bag very tangled up. I also needed the toilet and I’d forgotten to pack one. ( Brown Owl would be so distraught!)

So, I put her back on to her shorter lead and we headed home. Over a cuppa I untangled my messy lead, whilst the Daisy Dog snored loudly on her part of the sofa. Yes, she has her own section of the sofa. No, she isn’t spoilt at all!

I haven’t seen Cesar 2 recently.

Credit: gifsoup.com

I feel sure if I do, he’ll have some advice for me. I wonder if he can give some pointers on how to stop my three miles of training lead getting tangled up in my bag?

The training of the Daisy Dog continues… watch this rather erratic space!

How about you?

Do any of you use training leads for your pooches?

Any bits of advice?

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

In which I meet Cesar Milan… kind of!

I’m working on a commission, writing about cats. So I’m taking a break from cats and writing about greyhounds on here. In particular, one little lady and her mates.

*********************************************************************************************************

So, it’s a Saturday morning and the Daisy Dog and I are on one of our plods. We’ve plodded through castle field, past the remains of the castle and down into Forge Valley: an ancient wooded valley, which was formed during the last ice age.

We follow the grassy path, along the edge of the river Derwent. The Daisy Dog reads the numerous doggy newspapers, written by her doggy friends and I look for otter tracks. I’m becoming a bit obsessed with them. I think I’ve found one and then I realise it’s a dog print.

We round the bend and there they are… Cesar Milan and his pack of dogs.

Credit: giphy.com

 

This guy is walking two dogs, off their leads and we get talking, as dog walkers do. One of the dogs, who has some lurcher in him, is a rescue dog. I listen to a bite-size ( sorry!) tale of his previous life. Cesar 2 as I mentally christen him is really into dogs and has been on just about every dog training course he could go on. And it shows… his dogs are calm, friendly and great around the Daisy Dog, who is on her lead. He mentions Cesar Milan and how he is over here at the moment and I swear his eyes glaze over. I must be psychic… how did I know he was a fan of Cesar?

We talk about Cesar 1. I too love watching his TV shows. He has an amazing way with dogs and I marvel at how he gets away with some of the things he does. Oh… a dog bit him? Well, you can’t win them all.

“She has a bit of a nervous look about her,” says Cesar 2.

“Do you think?” says I

Cesar 2’s appraisal of the Daisy Dog may well prove to be correct as just of lately she has been getting a bit mouthy  (make that a lot mouthy!) occasionally,with other dogs. The other dogs just stand and look at her and Mr Whale and I have been wondering whether it is a case of nerves.

I still have a fistful of sausages, lamb or pork whenever I’m out with the Daisy Dog. I smell bloody amazing to dogs and they come from miles around to see me. This is probably not helping the Daisy Dog and her nerves, as they come charging across fields at ridiculous speeds to check out Mrs Sausage Woman!

Meanwhile, back to the sunny pasture where  everything is settled. Cesar 2 has been telling me a few tricks he has learnt about dogs and I’ve been on a brief dog psychology course. It’s all interesting stuff and he seems to know his stuff.

But, I’ve slipped up and told him about my plans to do some recall training with the Daisy Dog… when I get my training lead. I couldn’t help it. He’s been  saying how sad a life it is for dogs that never go off the lead.

My dog is not sad and I do want her to run free… but, not off and away. That is bloody irresponsible.

“So you haven’t  let her off the lead yet?”

“No,” I admit.” Not yet and it won’t be here.  The field is too big and she’ll likely clear off. There’s a definite little madam streak in the Daisy Dog. Besides I need to do some recall training first.

“She could go off here,” he says glancing around the doggy heaven that we are gossiping our Saturday morning away in.

Again, I tell him that I’m not ready to let her off and that it is not as enclosed as I would like. I quickly change the subject and ask him about his dogs.

He gives me a few more of his doggy tips.

Credit: gifsoup.com

His dogs wander around and sniff the grass. The Daisy Dog goes as far as she can on the lead. And I feel so damn guilty.

It’s too late… our Cesar 2 is a mind reader as well it seems.

“So,” says Cesar 2 ” Are you going to let her off then?”

I look around the tranquil, gated at each end field, with the river Derwent winding its way down the east side of it.

” Go on!” and Cesar 2 gives me his best, persuasive grin.

 

I’ll be back to tell you whether I did or I didn’t soon. How soon that soon is will depend on loads of things, that are, as usual out of my control.

I will try to make it back before Christmas.

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

 

 

 

 

A fistful of sausages: training the Daisy dog.

 

the-daisy-dog-1

For a few sausages more I’m hoping my greyhound will be good, not bad and certainly not get us into an ugly situation.

I’m out with the Daisy dog on a bright, late January afternoon. The birds are singing hopeful songs and a gentle, relaxing walk lies ahead of us.

We turn the corner and are immediately thrown into a standoff, not dissimilar to a scene from a spaghetti western – hence the title.

 

Photo credit: pyxurz.blogspot.com
Photo credit: pyxurz.blogspot.com

A beautiful, long-haired, border collie who goes by the name of Flossie leads her pack of two humans. They always trail several yards behind her. The music builds to a climax  in my aching head as I clock Daisy’s body language. She is eyeballing the Flossie and all her muscles have been tensed. Flossie stares the Daisy dog down and keeps coming at us.

There’s no time to retrieve the fistful of sausages in my glove ( yummy!) and I take evasive action by turning my pooch away from her perceived threat to face a wall, whilst calmly, but firmly telling her no… to defuse the situation. But, Daisy’s not having any of this and she lunges at the Flossie. I manage to pull her back in time and tell her no! She gives up and the standoff is over. Phew! The Flossie continues on her walk.

The rest of Flossie’s pack ambles up and a joint and judgemental ooh! is muttered by them and so the finger of blame wafts in my direction.

To say that I’m bloody furious is an understatement.

Standoffs with this Flossie are becoming a regular occurrence.  Usually, I get to deploy my weapon… sliced sausages. A request for the Daisy dog to watch me distracts her as she loves sausages. Don’t all dogs?  The Flossie passes us by and her pack of two loyal followers rush silently past us. Which is odd, to say the least. Most dog walkers like to pass comment on our various canine encounters. Or at least say ” Hello.”

In my quest to train our pooch, I go everywhere with my fists and pockets full of sausages, or bits of beef, pork and when I’m desperate liver. All cooked of course. I smell really yummy and dogs for miles around are thrilled to see me. They all want to stop and say hello. Which is fine… the Daisy dog gets to socialize with other dogs and I get to chat for England.

dog-walking-daisy-post-1

All except Flossie that is. Flossie doesn’t stop to chat, her pack never stop, or chat and the Irish Daisy dog thinks it’s highly amusing to shout “Feck off!” at her.

It is not.

This is not acceptable for a lady/female greyhound and so the training continues.

At this stage my husband and I ( one has been watching The Crown on Netflix and is feeling rather regal) can’t decide whether it’s the pack leader thing that is the problem, or the rubber ring that Flossie has rammed in her mouth, at all times. The Daisy dog has lots of toys and things to chew… other than chair legs, mobile phones, pairs of glasses and false teeth, but no rubber ring.

Yet another day and Daisy and I round the corner to be confronted by the Flossie. This time I quickly cross the road, with a very verbal and reluctant Daisy dog in tow. Flossie continues and her single pack member struggles to keep up with her.

I cross back over and explain to Flossie’s guy that it would be very helpful for them to have her on the lead, when we meet. He admits that he can’t walk her on the lead. She “pulls my shoulder out of its socket” he tells me.

We talk on, the Flossie keeps going… somewhere around the corner and walking along the side of the very busy, main road through our village. ( The thought of this scares me to death…  seemingly not him.)

He accuses me  of having a vicious dog. I point out that in all of our standoffs I’m the one that has to deal with both dogs. Never have they made any attempt to call the Flossie to heel. ( There’s no whistling of the pooch going on in this version of The Good , The Bad and The Ugly.) Nor do they put her on a lead; as other dog owners tend to do, when they see an approaching dog being walked on the lead. It evens things up a bit – in the canine world!  The Flossie is presumably still on the roam. Points made and taken, we go our separate ways.

december-2016-new

Several minutes later and the pooch and I are further down the road, and making my way round to the river when we meet…

Flossie leads again, he follows on. His anger is almost tangible.

This time the sausages are deployed, but we’re trapped in between another damn wall and them . He struts past. However, Flossie has stopped to sniff the grass. He shouts her five times, each time more frantically and angrily. Finally, she decides to join him. The Daisy dog is more of a lady this time and doesn’t swear, or attempt a lunge for the collie. She gets an extra-large piece of sausage and oodles of praise.

Bloody marvellous, I think… and head to the river for some chill out time.

dog-walking-daisy-post-3

The Daisy dog’s rubber ring arrives today.

Watch this space as I train our still adjusting to life as a family pet and so occasionally ever so slightly naughty, but absolutely adorable greyhound.

Do you have a free spirit dog? Or are you training your pooch? Feel free to share your experiences and words of wisdom/techniques .

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daisy dog hard at it.
The Daisy dog hard at it.