Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rally-FrEe pictures

Chimera and I are training for the sport of Rally-FrEe. He's got most of the Novice moves down; we just need to work on the playbow and paw lifts. Here are some promotional pictures I took of us practicing:

Left heel.

Starting circle around.

Finishing circle around.

Thru to left heel.

Thru to right heel.

Meerkat, one of our common Free Choice behaviors.

Left paw lift.

Right paw lift.

CCW spin.

CCW spin.

Recent pictures

He always looks so good when he's freshly bathed.

At Crissy Field.

Susanne let me use a pack of Bark Art Blow Pens that were at her training center. I put hot pink and purple streaks in Cai's tail. They are fading quickly, though.

Cuddling with his brother, Jasper.

Supplement magic

18 days ago, I started Chimera on L-theanine and lactium twice daily with his meals. I'd tried L-theanine before, but hadn't seen any effect even after a month. This time, I'm getting even better results than I'd hope for.

He's sleeping more often, in more places, and more deeply. He's less likely to jump up and follow me when I move around the house. He's slightly less reactive toward noises, and definitely less reactive toward the sight of other dogs. He is easier to redirect and calms down more quickly when he does have an outburst.

I don't know if it's the lactium itself, or the combination of both that's so important, but I'm not going to mess with his regimen. It ain't broke.

I'm so happy to see him feeling so much better, and of course our outings are much more enjoyable. Last Sunday I took him to a pet fair, last Tuesday we went to Crissy Field, on Friday he was able to deal with a new dog coming into the training building with minimal barking, and yesterday evening I took him hiking and was able to let him off leash because he was greeting dogs appropriately. And of course, the more often we go out in public, the better he gets, so now we're in a positive feedback loop. I also give him 1 Calming treat from Pet Naturals of Vermont when we're going out, and I think that helps take more of the edge off.

Now it's time to do more training in public, around new distractions!