New Dog (Re-)Search Begins

I have decided: it is time to plan for a second dog!
I will look for a dog to be a good helper & demo dog for my basic pet obedience training classes & private sessions. Of course, they’ll need to be a great companion and house dog to join in with the fun stuff we like to do around here!
Reya, my current dog is a brilliant 6 year old kelpie. She is an awesome demo dog and partner in my work to teach people dog training skills. Reya is very dog social, so I suspect she’ll enjoy a buddy around the house. She’s got a definite preference for playing with boys (though gets on fine with most girls). She does not “do” wrestling play styles. She’s also jealous of human attention. That means I’ll need to plan ahead to make sure the new dog fits in well.
Reya is sensitive (she’s a rescue dog, she’s allowed to be..) and does not like to get barked at or biffed by puppies. 😉 It would be good to have a #2 dog to call on when there’s a large, insensitive pup; or a reactive dog hurling “verbal” abuse that need some serious ignoring or putting up with – without much stress. Again, I’ll need to do my homework to make this a likely outcome.
So I’m on the hunt for a dog with a stable temperament that is dog and people sociable. To get that, a pup has to be well socialised. But to get real confidence and resilience, dogs need the right genetics too. I’m also looking for a dog who can adapt to a variety of play styles, and that tends to be breed specific. My chances of getting a rescue dog that fits all of the above are slim, so looks like I’m going to be choosing a breed, a type within a breed, a breeder and then (gasp!) a puppy!
I run puppy classes. I like puppies! But I tell you what – raising a pup is a daunting idea. :-0 The last time I raised a puppy was back in 2006. I look forward to extreme vigilance, fencing in the house, “surprise” cleanings, interrupted sleep, and things I’d rather not have teeth marks in (including me).. It’s a good thing puppies are so durn cute. 😉

German shep pup

Amika, 2006!

Dog Training During Pandemic

This meme helps me keep going.


Move forward despite doubts..

Learning New Tricks

This dog (and people) trainer likes to learn new tricks. I’ve just come across a new web site to geek out on. They write about things like building duration by using behaviour chains:

There’s lots of videos a new game to play and tech-speak to keep me entertained. Here’s a quick video of teaching a complex behaviour using a marker signal:

Fortunately for anyone who brings their dog to me for help, I don’t need to go into the technical details to show you good ways to teach stuff. 😀

Brilliant dog TV article

ABC TV comes up with some great stuff. Personally, I don’t own a TV, but some dog training contacts told me about the show and I looked it up on their web site:


I’m looking forward to part 2.


Crash Test Doggies!?

I just came across this amazing research and testing site that shows what happens when a car is in a 50km/h collision. They’ve got slow mo’ video of harnesses and crates, and of course the hapless crash test doggies (not real dogs, obviously). Please don’t watch if you are prone to anxiety. 🙂

Centre for Pet Safety

At the moment, very few products will save your large dog, or the people in the dog’s path, in a crash. Even the smaller dogs get damaged not only by being airborne, but by their harnesses snapping or constricting their bodies during the impact. A flying dog is every bit as dangerous as any other cargo.

The testers found that most products that claim some form of testing do not hold up in actual crash testing (nor are there requirements for them to). Crates made of wire buckle and open to throw the dog out, and plastic crates shatter as the dog’s body hurtles through the side. Their only value is that they’ll absolutely stop your dog causing an accident by jumping on you while you are driving.

The products that worked are listed on the site. In all cases, the most important factor seems to be really heavy duty restraints that don’t have slack in them. The harness does not allow the dog to look out the window, and the crate is right up against the back of the cargo bay.