'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Friday, 29 June 2012

That Friday Feeling.

I went on a nice two mile walk with Lola this evening. We went up to the sheep fields, and she got to stare at some sheep and then go run around amongst a lot of sheep poop. She enjoyed herself immensely, and showed just how much of a poser she is.

Recalling excitedly even amidst all the sheep poop.

This stone structure... thing... was bigger than me! I didn't let her stay on for long in case she jumped.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012


Rather than just having Lola attached to me via the leash looped around my wrist, she got to pull on the bike today. She had a lot of fun! I'm looking into getting/making a bikejor attachment to keep a long bungee line off of the front wheel, so she can run and pull more.

We biked for over 9 miles today, in two sessions (6ish this morning and 3.5 in the early evening). Dog is very tired and very happy right now.

We've done a bit of protocol for relaxation, but not a huge amount. Things have been a bit crazy here. I will be restarting again as soon as everything goes back to normal.

In the meantime... guess who passed her second year of university!! I'm now officially gonna be a third year student!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Protocol for Relaxation: Day One.

Happy tricky t-day! In lieu of a trick, I'm providing this.

As of yesterday, we're starting Protocol for Relaxation, in an attempt to help Lola chill. Or something like that! We did two sessions of day one PfR today, the second of which I recorded. Yesterday, we were just working on sit & treat, sit & treat, sit & treat... Lola likes this game!

Protocol for Relaxation: Day One: Dog's Tasks
Sit for 5 seconds
Sit for 10 seconds
Sit while you take 1 step back and return
Sit while you take 2 steps back and return
Sit for 10 seconds
Sit while you take 1 step to the right and return
Sit while you take 1 step to the left and return
Sit for 10 seconds
Sit while you take 2 steps back and return
Sit while you take 2 steps to the right and return
Sit for 15 seconds
Sit while you take 2 steps to the left and return
Sit while you clap your hands softly once
Sit while you take 3 steps back and return
Sit while you count out loud to 10
Sit while you clap your hands softly once
Sit while you count out loud to 20
Sit while you take 3 steps to the right and return
Sit while you clap your hands softly twice
( V not done in today's videos, BUT was done in today's earlier session with no problem)
Sit for 3 seconds
Sit for 5 seconds
Sit while you take 1 step back and return
Sit for 3 seconds
Sit for 10 seconds
Sit for 5 seconds
Sit for 3 seconds
( ^ not done in today's videos, BUT was done in today's earlier session with no problem) 

Interestingly, you can see Lola reacts negatively to the clap at the end of the second video (startling) which she didn't do earlier in the video, or in the previous session. Watching the videos now, I have to say that I shouldn't have treated Lola for her flinch to begin with, and shouldn't have let her turn it into an arousing/worrying game. I should have moved straight on to conditioning.

I decided immediately after ending the second PfR video to forgo the final few parts of PfR, which were pretty much sit for x seconds and a sit/step away, to work on conditioning.

Don't worry--I'm usually much more enthusiastic in training than this! I was trying to keep Lola as low key as possible by keeping my behaviour and body calm and fairly still. If she'd gotten too hyped up, she wouldn't have been able to think.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Kong Wobbler.

When I first started giving Lola her meals in treat dispensers, I got a basic treat ball from Pets At Home. The ball was okay, but there was no real way to change the difficulty. It was possible to change how big the opening was for treats to fall out--but I wasn't the only one who could change it! It took perhaps a fortnight, at most, for Lola to learn how to manipulate the opening so that it was as easy as possible.

After that, we moved on to a treat ball found at the local feed store. This ball had to be pulled apart to change the difficulty, so Lola couldn't make it easier on herself. There were two downsides to this ball though: it was difficult to entirely fill the ball, as the difficulty section divided the ball very crudely; and furthermore, the ball itself had a habit of sticking and having to be pried apart with brute force. Not good!

Recently, we got a Kong Wobbler. So far, it's great! Lola absolutely loves it. The wobbler twists apart, and has no way of changing difficulty so there's no way that she can cheat it. However--as said--there isn't a way to change the difficulty, beyond simply increasing the size of the food inside. That's the only downside, though; as it twists apart, it is very easy to clean (unlike the basic Pets At Home treat ball, as that could not be pulled apart).

If your dog likes to eat its meal from treat dispensers, go get a kong wobbler!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Mice Post.

A couple days ago, I had to remove one of my girl mice from the group because she'd been bitten a couple times. Her face was swollen, and the skin around her eyes was very red and sore looking. After a vet trip, I made the decision to keep her separate until her face has nearly or fully healed.

Currently, the mice are set up like this, but I have another cage (a third Penthouse 3 Storey Hamster Cage) on the way. I'm planning to split my girls up into two groups of two--I just need to decide who to put in with Flower!

Sorry for the lack of dog updates, but we really aren't doing much of anything at the moment. The weather is atrocious!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Tricky T-Day post.

It's been a while since we've done a tricky t-day post, but I'm looking to get back into it.

Right now, I'm teaching Lola "line up" - cue for a right finish. It'll be a handy cue to have to then send her off into other behaviours. I was starting to teach her to weave between my legs, but because she knows other behaviours around my legs ("circle", "peekaboo") she was defaulting to them a little too much. I'm hoping to teach her to "line up" so that I can release her into a weave/figure eight, and also as the beginning of a heel.

Stay tuned for more to come!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Lola and Wheatley.

Drawn by Turpentine Caz (SA).

I requested a picture of Lola and Wheatley, and look how cute they are! I just had to share it.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.

This post isn't dog (or even pet) related--so feel free to skip it! But here are some photos from my  recent trip to the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. It was a very cool place.

"Baby", the first computer

A re-created textile mill

Dolls... of some kind?

Some electric thing


Big engine thing

Showroom - living room from the 1950s

Showroom - kitchen from the 1930s(?)

Showroom - kitchen from the 1950s (?)



Gas gallery: this place STUNK of gas. Ew!

Gas lamp

Cement gun

Coal/miner man

Gas oven and a very cool apron/dress thing

Lamp-lighter man

Awesome looking engine part

The BEST bicycle