Posts tagged ‘treat’

HWVA Show.

diane-instructing-phoenix-at-hwva-open-show

Diane Instructs....Phoenix Listens.

Today, Tim and Phoenix headed North to attend the annual Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla Open Show. There were around 53 HWV’s in competition plus anther dozen or so pups in attendance and it was an utter delight to see so many whiskery faces in one place.  Phoenix was still a month or so too young for the show itself but it proved an extremely useful and instructive exercise for both parties. Through the course of the day she moved from full-on “Tigger” mode to eventually curling up and going to sleep right beside the ring which was quite an achievement in itself.

Most useful of all however, was the chance to meet up with Diane Parry, human companion of Mallard – Phoenix’s sire – who, besides being all round Queen of the HWV, was also judging at the show. Diane was kind enough to give Tim and Phoenix a few intensive and very necessary lessons in showcraft, after which their combined showmanship efforts improved dramatically.

19/04/2009 at 21:26 Leave a comment

How to get Your Dog to Do Whatever You Want.

All of these except the chive flavoured one.

All of these except the chive flavoured one.

Who knew that Primula Cheese contained a secret ingredient that initially captures your dog’s attention and then cunningly hypnotises it into doing whatever you want. One squeeze of the tube and your animal companion is your cheesy chopped love slave forever more… Hurrah!

Mmmm! Cheesy Goodness.

Mmmm! Cheesy Goodness.

In perhaps not an unrelated link, we weighed Phoenix today and she comes in at 14.1 kilos which is quite a lot for her breed and her age. She’s gonna be a big gal (as nearly everyone who meets her says after glimpsing the size of her paws.)

21/02/2009 at 16:01 Leave a comment

Ice is Nice.

Walking on Water.

Walking on Water.

First journey around the land – we live on five acres of land which is planted up with around 1900 trees and shrubs. There’s also a river and a woodland. This was the first time our pond had frozen up – Adam took a chance and walked out into the middle. Phoenix decided it looked like fun and slip-walked her way out too, causing mild heart attacks all round. The words “hip dysplasia” and “astronomical vet bills” echoed in our heads as Phoenix effortlessly glided over the ice.  Luckily, she soon wandered onto land again.

Phoenix is more or less toilet trained now – apart from an occasional accident. It’s been the use of the crate that has regulated her bladder,we were unsure about the whole crate thing as it seemed like we were caging her up, but she has found it a place of safety and comfort, retreating whenever she needed to. A bit like a den in the wild.

This, along with clicking and treating at the right moment, in the right place, has worked really quickly and really well.

She seems to be a smart cookie this one…but then we would say that wouldn’t we?!

09/01/2009 at 11:11 Leave a comment

Party Animal

Tim trying out new sling indoors.

Tim trying out new sling indoors.

First attempts at “stacking” using the clicker and treat method – as a preparation for Phoenix’s big turn in the (future?) show ring…show-biz is calling.

… we had a semi hunger strike on our hands. Phoenix took  a look at her biscuit based breakfast and basically refused to eat – where’s the good stuff? Y’know the meaty stuff. Biscuits no longer working as a treat – not cutting the mustard anymore. Luckily we’d already stocked a freezer up with her specialist raw food. We made a 50/50 blend of raw food and biscuit, mixing them up. This was accepted without any problem.

There were only a couple of other dogs at the puppy party – organised by the lovely nurses at the vets in their own time – seven were expected and only two turned up.  A springer-spaniel called Sasha (who barked a lot – an unfortunate trick which Phoenix immediately took up as her own. Arf and indeed Arf!). The other party animal was a beautifully trained 14 month old rescue border collie belonging to one of the nurses.

Sasha was quite timid and over-awed by the whole thing and also by Phoenix’s confidence and bouncy demeanour.  Phoenix and the collie had an intensive play session and as usual she gave as good as she got…

Sleep update: not much of a problem, a bit of a howl at night but then all is well.

Chewing: oh, the chewing! We have been following the advice of Ian Dunbar (“Before and After Getting Your Puppy”) who says you should allow your dog to bite you in order to give appropriate feedback as to the intensity of the bite, so they can gradually soften the bite pressure. This is called bite inhibition. She seems to be softening her bite: only mouthing gently…

08/01/2009 at 17:36 Leave a comment

Car Frolics.

Phoenix, Indi and Annabel

Phoenix, Indi and Annabel

Phoenix met Meg, our neighbour’s border collie as well as Eric (our nearest neighbour and Meg’s human companion). Tim took Phoenix out in the car for  four very short runs to desensitise her, this, combined with nibbly treats, led to a calmer and more accepting attitude, Phoenix has started to associate the car with good, rather than bad things.

08/01/2009 at 14:33 Leave a comment

Vet Visit.

Phoenix at six weeks.

Phoenix at six weeks.

Today, Phoenix went to the Vets for her first injection. Only the second time ever in the car: she still wasn’t crazy about it. She didn’t mind being in the car, it was the sight of the landscape speeding by that tipped her over the edge. Treats worked well to distract her.

Once we got to the vets, she loved it. Everybody made a huge fuss of her, staff and visitors.  Carolyn the vet, noted on her record that she was a “lovely and extremely well socialised pup”. Phoenix was microchipped and, like her injection,  she didn’t notice it happening at all, being much more interested in the biscuit bribe that the vet offered her.

Phoenix was given a clean bill of health, the vet commented that Phoenix was big for her age and wasn’t she actually ten weeks old rather than eight weeks!

Phoenix was invited to two puppy parties.

06/01/2009 at 17:21 Leave a comment

So it begins…

Camouflaged amongst the chair legs.

Camouflaged amongst the chair legs.

Day 2:  Phoenix woke up every hour on the hour, not much sleep for Daddy A (Tim) and Daddy X (Adam) Phoenix was introduced to the world of clicker and treat today, Phoenix learnt her name, and learnt to sit. Toys were chewed.

First contact was made with the cats, who didn’t want to play. At all. Phoenix couldn’t really understand why her new fluffy puppy friends didn’t want to rumble.

First trip outdoors: Phoenix was overwhelmed by being outdoors. It was really cold and frosty too, in contrast to her supreme confidence in every other situation.

Toilet Training bulletin: a bit hit and miss but give her a break it is day one in a new home!  A few puddles. We put in a turf filled tray for her to use but she didn’t know what grass was! Let alone frozen grass.

05/01/2009 at 17:14 Leave a comment


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