Friday, April 10, 2009

Logan's Run

We have a new member in our family. His name is Logan and he's a black and tan 10 month old Kelpie cross. Judging by the size of him he might be crossed with a great dane! He has a lovely nature - really quiet and friendly. He's a really intelligent dog too, which is a blessing as that means he'll be easy to train. That's the theory anyway. First of all we have to get him to come to his name and pay attention when we give him a command.

Logan is Lauren's new dog so he's living with her. She's just spent months and a fortune getting her yard landscaped and fenced so she could have a dog and Logan has already worked out how to escape the six foot fence. On Wednesday he went for an unsupervised run for 4-1/2 hours. Lauren chased him on foot for two suburbs but then lost him. He was eventually picked up another two suburbs away. Thankfully he's microchipped and wearing a tag so that made it a bit easier. The good news was, the walk tired him enough that he paid attention to training for a little while.

I suspect part of the problem is that he's 10 months old and hasn't had much training at all. He has bad habits. He's a working dog so will need lots of exercise and stimulation.

Poor Lauren is at wit's end, even after only three days with the new dog. He's digging up her new grass, digging under the fence and not paying attention to her. I suspect that's what's bothering Lauren the most - she like to be in control. It's been 14 years since she had a puppy and she's forgotten about all the work, and all the years, she put in to get her dog to be the perfectly behaved companion. She needs support.

So, even though I'm not a dog person, and I'm not an outdoors person, I went with her last night to take Logan for a run. We took turns running him around the park just to wear him out enough that he might pay attention when we speak his name and realise he has to listen. We met with mixed success.
  1. He doesn't like his 'halti', the harness over his head we use to lead him with, but we won't use anything else that might hurt him. He'll just have to get used to it.
  2. He doesn't want to pay attention to anything other than all the interesting smells in the dog park. Too bad - he has to learn to do as he's told.
  3. He was just starting to get the routine of going for a jog and then back to one of us when we called 'come' and it started raining. He would have kept going but Lauren has a bad cold and I didn't want her out in the rain with it.

Lauren has bought Logan a whole heap of toys to keep him occupied when she's at work and she's booked in for dog obedience classes, starting the 20th, so that'll be good. She'll learn a lot of tricks that will help her with her training. She's also contacted the RSPCA who've been really helpful and sent out a whole heap of information on keeping dogs in enclosed yards when they love digging and jumping and escaping.

Meanwhile I'll keep going with her for his runs. I won't be taking over - I'm no martyr and don't want to own a dog - but I will yell out encouragement and instructions to keep her focused on moving ahead and not on how he won't listen to her yet. Between us we should see the beginnings of a happy, well-trained dog soon.