We had 15 dogs join us for today’s Adventure!!! Sammy the Cattle Dog Mix, Tonka the Great Dane, Charlie the Goldendoodle, Sonny the Rat Terrier, Bruno the Boxer, Cooper the Golden, Higgins the Poodle, Satya the Bulldog, Kohengi and Pumba the Chinese Cresteds, Charlie the Black Lab, Annie the Lab Mix, Ellie the Jack Russell, with Bella and Sinbad the Cavaliers. With this wonderful breezy weather, we decided to visit an old favorite: the Dock at Deering Estate in Old Cutler Road!
It was the perfect day to be out there, with the wind blowing our faces, and lots of kids off on Summer Camp or visiting the dock biking and fishing to provide distractions. We saw quite a strangers, even some with dogs, had several bikes go past us from the bike path, and practiced our loose leash walking and long stays in some pretty unusual places like the wooden dock (which provides some mild stress and distraction as it rocks slightly with the tides) and posing for photos on the benches. It was a great outing, and the pups got to practice stays next to each other, and were all quite tired from the walk.
For the afternoon, we headed back to paws for some training sessions and off leash play! The AC was a blessing as usual, and many of the Explorers took some naps in their crates, to recharge batteries for the playtime 🙂 Some even got to practice some agility exercises! It was great to be able to mix sizes and personalities – not to mention breeds, again! Tonka the Great Dane pup is getting HUGE, and we feel, he provides a unique opportunity to many of our Explorers, specially the bigger ones, since its pretty rare for them to see a dog that’s bigger than them 🙂 Tonka is the SWEETEST giant, and so, provides them with a great positive exposure to a dog of this breed.
We welcomed three new Explorers to our Adventures today: housemates Charlie the Black Labrador Retriever and Annie the Lab Mix, and young Abull the American Bulldog, litter-mate to Kaine who visited us last week. They joined Bruno the Boxer, Satya the English Bulldog, Higgins the Poodle, Straya the American Bulldog, Cooper the Golden, Sonny the Rat Terrier, Ellie the Jack Russell, Sammy the Cattle Dog Mix, along with Sinbad and Bella the Cavaliers.
The day started perfectly overcast if a bit humid, so we decided to revisit the Village of Palmetto greens with our Explorers. The morning group, had a nice stroll on the bike path around the lake, practicing loose leash walking, and stopping to enjoy the sights and the beautiful flowers. We practiced walking in pairs, and some of our newest Explorers got a chance to work one-on-one with our trainers.
The afternoon group took a different path of the Village through a more wooded area, walking in bigger teams of three or four. We managed to beat the downpour, and give Explorers some fun exercise. It path was very dense, but well cared for, nice and shady, and wide enough for everyone to feel comfortable.
The fresh air, the sights, the company of their peers and the guidance of their Expedition Leaders. There really is no better way to build pack relationships than to enjoy a stroll in the park, and the Village greens are really a marvelous place to do it. They have some wonderful paths, plenty of parking space, Frisbee golf baskets, beautiful flowers, and fascinating wildlife. It really is a fun place to enjoy an invigorating stroll with your canine partner. We really suggest you try it sometime!
From there, it was back to Paws in Motion for our afternoon training session. The topic for the day: Canine Good Citizen review! Paws in Motion will be offering the AKC’s CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certification test this Sunday, May 20th from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm. Because of this, we decided to run our Explorers through a review of the exercises involved in the test. There are 10 separate tests in the CGC:
Joining us for Adventures today were Flash the Schnauzer, Millie the Ridgeback Mix, Straya the American Bulldog, Satya the Bulldog, Bruno the Boxer, Ellie the Jack Russell, Cooper the Golden, Kohengi the Chinese Crested, Sinbad and Bella the Cavaliers, Sammy the Cattle Dog Mix and Higgins the Poodle.
The weather having been so bad the whole week, we expected rain for Adventure Day, but ended up having a really nice morning. We headed out with a group of our Explorers to the dog park at Mayor Roscoe Warren Municipal Park. The place is brand new, and is perfect for a fun outing. The dog park has separate large dog and small dog enclosures, complete with agility equipment!. The dogs had a chance to play and explore and meet some new dogs and people.
Regrettably, we got rained out, so we headed back to Paws In Motion to execute our “Rain Day Plan”….indoor play and romp and Dog Agility training! Agility is a sport where dog and handler must move through an obstacle course, in a race against time. Obstacles include Jumps, Tunnels, Ramps, Dog Walks, Weave Poles, Tire and a Teeter Totter.
The Explorers all got to experience the beginning stages of Teeter Totter training. Some really caught on fast, others needed a bit more encouragement. Those Explorers already acquainted with Agility, did some ore advanced exercises, practicing with distractions and working for the enjoyment and to encourage speed.
After the agility training, they all had an extra play session indoors, and away from the rain 🙂 It was really great to see some of our newer Explorers, easing into the games and routine, and some of our more nervous ones gaining confidence and joining in the play.
A great Rain Day Adventure!
Today we welcomed Straya the American Bulldog to our Paws In Motion Adventure Day. Joining her were Higgins the Poodle, Bruno the Boxer, Satya the Bulldog, Kohengi the Chinese Crested, Sammy the Cattle Dog Mix, Cooper the Golden, Ellie the Jack Russell, and the Cavalier Twins Bella and Sinbad. Because we have two new Explorers that need slow introduction to the pack, and some of our regulars who could use some positive experiences in new environments, today’s focus was socialization, practicing loose leash walking, and building good pack relationships by enjoying a relaxed group walk in the company of their peers.
For lots of socialization and exposure to sounds and new sights, few places are as effective and accessible as strip malls. They provide exposure to new people, and a variety of sounds from traffic, carts, automatic doors, cafe chairs, strollers, even people in scooters, bikes, skates. It was a new place to practice their basic behaviors with distractions, and to enjoy some attention from strangers. We visited the Suniland Shopping Center on South Dixie Highway and basically just sat in the cafe, relaxed on their benches and strolled in front of the stores, with the dogs. Everyone had something to say about the nice dogs hanging around the stores and laying nicely by our feet! Each dog got some one-on-one training time to practice their obedience and make some positive associations.
From there, we headed to the city buildings of the Village of Palmetto Bay. They have BEAUTIFUL grounds, a lake (no swimming, fishing or boating allowed on account of the crocodile!), with paths and trails. Dogs are allowed on the grounds as long as they are on leash, and we had some wonderful pack walks with our Explorers, to enjoy the sights. The wildlife was pretty surprising: we got to see everything from crabs and turtles, to fish and even a huge crocodile! The mosquitoes were quite horrible, so for the future, we’ll need to remember to pack the repellent spray 🙂 Still, it was the perfect day for nature walks, and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely.
Another Adventure Day at Paws in Motion is gone and past, and boy did we have FUN! Joining for the first time this day was Ellie the Jack Russell Terrier! This tiny little girl is full of personality and spunk, and came to camp to learn some better canine social skills and enjoy the new experiences and interaction. On her first day, she joins: Millie the Ridgeback Mix, Maya the German Shepherd, Bruno the Boxer, Cooper the Golden, Kohengi the Chinese Crested, Sinbad the Cavalier, Sammy the Cattle Dog Mix, and Satya the Bulldog. WELCOME Ellie, we hope you had a great time and are looking forward to your next session, we know we are!
After seeing the great interaction among our Explorers last week at Lourdes’s house, we decided to let them have a long off leash session in the morning. They played together for quite some time in a fully fenced back yard, and we were able to introduce little Ellie to our full pack of Explorers, who were all running loose together off leash! It was quite an exciting morning, and we made sure to give them breaks and to interrupt any who got over excited. During this play time, they also got to meet two visiting dogs: Zohe the 14 year old Labrador who gave everyone some lessons on living life to the fullest, and Elphie the Black Pug who gave the group a run for their money! All the Explorers were GREAT with the new additions, and showed appropriate greeting and play behaviors. It is very rewarding to see all these dogs interacting together, and to see how their social skills progress and mature from session to session. How some of them have learned to enjoy play and time with other dogs, and how some others have learned to tamper their excitement and rough play to make another feel more comfortable. Dogs really are amazingly adaptable and learning constantly. Its great to see an example of how, with consistent guidance, they can adjust to any rules and routine. Some of the dogs in the program had never even been crated, now they come in first thing in the morning and walk right into their crates and settle down to wait for other Explorers to come in! Amazing!
After the exciting morning session, Explorers headed back to Paws In Motion for a well deserved break in the A/C 🙂 The plan for the afternoon was to focus again on the sport of Rally Obedience. Rally is an AKC recognized sport, in which a handler and dog team must heel, while following a sequence of signs, performing the behaviors designated by each. Its a sport that is measured by accuracy and speed, and its main purpose is to prepare a dog to walk nicely by its handler’s side and follow directions. A great activity to challenge the dogs’ loose leash walking skills and response to basic commands.
Depending on their specific needs and progress, we had different criteria for each dog while going through the course. Some of the Explorers practiced “Braced Rally”, while others performed individually so we could focus on teaching some of the behaviors or improving their performance. Ms. Ellie even got to “hang out” so she could get accustomed to the signs, the cones, the props of the sport, that can be a bit overwhelming for first-timers. In Braced Rally a team of 2 dogs and one handler walk through the exercises together. This was great practice for some of the more nervous dogs who need the reassurance of another of their peers, or a good challenge for the more advanced dogs who must perform even if they’d rather be playing with their canine partner. The competition factor among the dogs also provides them with incentive to perform better, so they can get the “cookie” first, which makes for faster sits, more responsiveness, and better overall performance. Its also good practice to prevent resource guarding, since they are inevitably learning to wait their turn to get their treat, and that they can’t protect stuff from one another. Positive associations are inevitable – for most, the lesson becomes: if I obey commands when I’m around other dogs, I get cookies! A very POWERFUL message!
Once everyone had gone through their Rally training, it was again time for some FUN! We let the dogs have a bonus play session, and were gratified with the results….Bruno the Boxer, a shy and nervous Rescue, who’s in camp for the socialization and the different experiences, who on his first day was too scared to be part of most of the activities, gave us a glimpse of the playful and engaging dog he can be when he relaxes completely. He wasn’t just hanging out with the other dogs, he wasn’t just completely off leash with the other Explorers….oh, no….He play-bowed, he flirted, he chased, he pawed, he was full out soliciting play with the other dogs!!!!! It was impossible to see him and not know that he was HAPPY!!!! Such a monumental step for this boy!!!! Hopefully we’ll be able to reproduce this feeling for him many more times to come!
It’s so WONDERFUL to see the differences in our Explorers and how they have improved from session to session. Maya was quite EAGER to go in her crate, to jump in the car, to PARTICIPATE! Millie and Cooper performed the Rally Course well enough that they would have earned a qualifying score if it had been a real competition. Sammy again was a perfect gentleman all day, after a tiny spasm of naughtiness in the morning – not to mention how QUIET and relaxed he was in his crate during the car rides and breaks – this was the puppy who didn’t stop crying in the crate the first day he was here! Kohengi is another one who not only has improved tremendously in the crate, but his canine manners have gotten SO MUCH better, he’s no longer afraid of big dogs on site, and was actually able to concentrate and perform BEAUTIFULLY during his Rally round! Cooper was of course PERFECT, he’s a great role model that we often use to help some of our nervous Explorers, so with him we focused on accuracy and prompt response to commands. He was HAPPY to rise to the challenge 🙂 Simbad is being very good around the other dogs, is no longer growling at other males or posturing, and was actually quite happy to play with Kohengi, another intact male. Satya was SOOOOOO happy to be able to join fully and completely in the off leash play! She was recently spayed, so the past few weeks, we’ve been very careful not to let her overdo it. This week, we finally let her off the hook, and let her play to her hearts content – even roll in the mud like a piglet 🙂 We’re looking forward to seeing more of these changes as they continue to learn and EXPLORE!!!!!