Ranger the model

A couple weekends ago GPAC (Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada) held a studio photo shoot fundraiser for their rescue and of course I brought Ranger along. His BFF Gauge also came and we spent some time at the studio getting photos taken.

I am always up for photos of my pets (as people could see from my FB account; alllllll animal photos) and studio shots were something that I could never do myself. I was expecting some nice shots, but was blown away by how awesome they are!

dog laying down

My handsome man credit: Kelly Lynn Martell

Photographing dark dogs can always be tricky, but I think she really caught him in each photo.

dog sitting

Regal and majestic (for about three seconds) credit: Kelly Lynn Martell

His white chest stands out so well against his black coat and the switch to Acana dry food has made it even softer and shinier than before.

dog standing

Ready to play? credit: Kelly Lynn Martell

This last photo is my favourite. It shows everything that I see in my dog when we are out together doing something (anything). He’s always willing to do his best, even if it’s performing his tricks in a strange studio with flashing lights, strange people, and many dog smells.

dog in play bow

love him credit: Kelly Lynn Martell

And of course I have to add in my favourite picture of his BFF. Gauge also behaved so well and I managed with a combination of calmness, patience, and treats to get him posing too.

dog sitting with tongue out

A little bit of derp makes every dog better! credit: Kelly Lynn Martell

Happy Birthday Gauge

Ranger was invited to his first doggy birthday party for his “brother with a different mother” the Labnado.

dog birthday cake

awesome cake from Three Dog Bakery

I arrived a little early so that Gauge and Ranger could have a quick run first in their rough style before the other dogs arrived. The ‘guests’ were Ranger, Buddy (who comes and plays sometimes), and Scar (a HUGE boxer/gsd cross that ran like a gazelle). Ranger had an amazing time and for once there was a dog too fast for him to overtake.

dogs running in yard

Ranger has found a worthy opponent

dogs playing in yard

Racing across the yard

dogs in yard

lolling tongues and happy dogs

dog with cake

mmmm, birthday cake!

 

Remember these nights

I didn’t bring my camera, but I don’t suppose it would have mattered as it couldn’t have caught what was so special about tonight.

Ranger and I went over to the school for a long line run and since there was some kibble in my pocket I threw in some training exercises in between. Ranger worked fantastic dragging the leash with sit and down stays – without and without recalls. He was happy and focused the entire time.

I think for the next little while I will just make his walks a little bit longer and insert a few mini training session within them. He really seemed to appreciate the break to run, smell, roll on the ground like he’s having a seizure, and generally act goofy.

Although he didn’t want to have anything to do with retrieving tonight…but I’ll take what I can get.

Final agility class of the session

dog laying down

Waiting his turn for the jump work

Today was Ranger’s final class for this agility session. Starting in two weeks we will be joining the Wednesday night classes at 6:30pm.

After starting with our warm up we did some work on foot awareness (on pivoting turns), keeping our dogs off leash but engaged with us, and some four jump bounce lines. Being in a class with two shelties means that everything needs to be put out farther for Ranger’s big stride, but it didn’t seem to matter the first couple times as he took jumps 3 and 4 as a veeery wide oxer. We ended up having to go back with me rewarding at jump three a few times before adding the last jump.

Ranger was great at the table with plenty of enthusiasm to leap up onto it and then be lured into the down. He also exploded off it with the release cue. We also worked on the stability ball today which he hasn’t seen since our Skills 2 course. He actually bounded right over to it and hopped on without being asked. We got a solid sit and down on it with him comfortably taking treats from me. His release was great too and didn’t involve a flurry of legs.

Over these weeks I have developed an appreciation for how hard he tries. We’ve come a lot farther than I had expected and his off leash work continues to impress me. I never thought in a million years he’d be able to stay focused on me with other dogs in the ring, but here we are.

Moving forward I need to work on more foot awareness, working him on the right side, and keeping him challenged.

boy feeding dog a treat

Ranger practising his commands with T

After agility we headed out to Gauge’s for a quick blast around for the dogs. I can walk Ranger as much as I want, but nothing gives him the physical energy release like rough housing with his chocolate friend. They chased sticks, chewed on each other, and had a good time.

dogs trotting away from camera

off to find some trouble to cause

This week should have plenty of nice weather to get out. Hoping to do some recall work tomorrow behind the school.

 

Agility #5 and new foster sister

At agility class this week the instructor had her two shelties and little terrier pup with her. Ranger was so excited to meet them all and of course played with the puppy. Which of course got him excited and barking (the young girl’s mother even said how loud and scary his bark was *rolls eyes* My dog’s bark is insane).

He seemed more focused on the cavaletti, with only the final pole or two being trickier as he tried to regain my eye contact. The crawl tunnel was lower and he willingly went through; his hips wanted to take the tunnel with him a bit though haha.

We worked on having the dogs work round a circle of jumps with us on the inside; just walking with them off leash and using our bodies to keep them in the right area. Ranger did well when he wasn’t watching me, and went past the other two waiting dogs (I think the aussie has left our class meaning it’s Ranger and two little shelties remaining) continuing over the jumps…I was so proud!

Worked more on the one-jump exercise. Ranger has a tendency to drag his hind legs through (slide the inside leg over the bar) so we’re keeping the treat out 2 feet until he gets his front legs over giving him some extra room to work. It did help and I’m now thinking a single jump at home to work with would be a great asset.

Things to work on with Ranger…yes, we got homework!

– precision sits (sitting into his front leg position – tucking bum – instead of rocking back)

– starting position (between legs circling round side from front).

– eye contact with treats in both hands held away from body (she used him as the demo: offered different behaviours, including jumping on her *d’oh* before working it out. Impulse control games are always a good bet for him)

Next week is our last session and then our new class will be on Wednesday evenings. The people in that class have moved a little slower and we’re moving a little faster so hopefully we meet right in the middle.

***

The new foster arrived. A withdrawn, growly, 5 year old lab mix. She hated the rescue worker for the whole drive until she realized she was being left with new people at which point she clung to her like white dog hair on a black skirt. She has no interest in Ranger and has made it quite clear. Luckily, Ranger takes growling very seriously and she is getting all the space she needs. She’s living in the kitchen right now, which means Ranger isn’t missing out on night-time cuddles or other attention.

I’m just so impressed with my lunk head interacting with her. Originally she didn’t want him even within eyesight, but slowly he’s worked his way up to the hallway entrance  without upsetting her. He listens to me if I ask him to back up, and enjoys all the extra treats he’s been getting.

Winter is back

In typical East Coast fashion we had a taste of spring at the beginning of the week; and in typical East Coast fashion, Wednesday was a massive snow storm. Ranger doesn’t mind what the weather is like (until it’s above +24) so we’ve had some great time out enjoying all types of weather.

dog playing with glove

Sometimes when you don’t have a toy, your glove will have to do.

dog rolling in dried grass

Gotta get a good coating of dead grass before the snow comes

Wednesday was the now scheduled dumping of snow. Apparently it was horrific out there and there had been calls for 40+cm but from my vantage point (I think I got as close to the outside as opening the door to let Ranger out potty) it didn’t seem as bad as previous Wednesday storms. The backyard didn’t fill up nearly as much, but that may have been due to the wind. Will and Ranger had their traditional wrestling match in the backyard after the walk had been shovelled.

man playing with dog in snow

Ranger wins!

And of course, the wrestling matches inside.

man and dog playing in house

Shady looking nonplussed (or would it be nonpussed lol)

Thankfully they were able to keep each other pretty entertained while the storm went on outside.

Yesterday we headed out to the school yard. Ranger has so much fun in the snow that this is the first year I think I have actually not minded it as much. Despite the freeze your face off windchill it was sunny and Ranger blew off all the pent up energy from the day before.

Dog running in snow

Zoom!

We were out for about 40 minutes and it seems that Ranger has finally had a breakthrough regarding fetch. He actually went out and returned the Kong Wubba over a dozen times before I called it quits (not that I wanted to, but the last thing I need is ending on a bad note by over doing it).

dog resting in snow

derpy dog is tired

Ranger was fine plowing through the deep snow and even today doesn’t seem stiff or sore. I however had a little incident with Ranger slamming into my hand and have a nice little bruise to show for it. It didn’t get any darker yet so not that impressive.

This morning our walk took much longer than normal since the trail had yet to be broken. Trying to break trail with a dog on a longline who prefers to walk DIRECTLY in front of you in case the deer make an appearance makes everything take a lot longer and I needed to stop for frequent breaks.

dog on trail being walked

Breaking the trail should be a combined effort

Heard from the rescue today that we might be getting a new foster in soon. Excitement.