"Worrying about tomorrow means that you are missing some of today" Corey Allan of Simple Marriage

Monday, April 08, 2013

Getting braver

Our new dog, Max-a-million is an absolute handful.  We have only had him for 3 months so I really shouldn't expect miracles, but man, he is HARD work.

Of course, having had a bit of trouble with him, I haven't exactly been brave, so a lot of it is my fault.  And I don't spend THAT much time training him, but still ...

He's not dangerous, in case that is what you were thinking, but he is FAST and if he gets onto a scent, his ears switch off.  And then if he actually see's the cause of the scent, he's off and he's not coming back.  Definitely no ears in this case.

He's not so bad with the birds, they just fly away and he watches, and gives up.

Rabbits are another story,  Maxi is just gone, gone, gone.  Fast.  And I mean SUPER FAST.  He outruns the quad bike when TJL is driving it.  He's fast!

And so most of his walks are spent on a 15M rope, which is a shame when we live on a farm and he could be having a lot more exercise.  But we have pregnant cows, and 6 month old calves, and dairy farm fencing, which means access to neighbours pregnant cows is super easy.  And so he spends his walks on a lead so we don't have any chaos.

He does have free rein around the house of course, which is better now I have blocked his latest escape route.  Fortunately when he does escape, it's just to go down to the milking shed to scavenge any old milk he can find, which is NOTHING since we have now dried off.

However, the last three days I have let him off lead for walks in a few of the Western paddocks, once I have checked that the neighbours haven't got stock in neighbouring paddocks.  I'm so, so brave, and so far, so good.  We haven't encountered a rabbit yet, which will make me panic.  But I'm happy he has had a bit more of a chance to have a run and a good ol' sniff around.

Part of training is getting him to come to my whistle, at which point he gets a liver treat.  He loves his liver treat (ol' fatty dog Stella loves them more and just sits at my side waiting for me to blow the whistle so she gets one).  He does ignore the whistle when on a scent though, so we still have a lot of work to do.  Biggest trouble is that I can't always get a sound out of my whistle, and I really don't have anywhere to practice, as I expect him to come every time he hears it, and he's to get a treat every time he comes when he hears it, so I can't practice blowing it when he's within earshot, which is all the time.

Why oh why do I get myself into these situations! 
I should stick to puppies and kittens.  
Oh, and the chickens have been 'attacking' me at meal times too. 

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