Dog training classes online, that is a new thing for us!
In this blog, I’ll share some more about the why, what, and what we’re learning.
With all my dogs, I’ve been interested in dog training and sports both for their mental/physical health as for fun. I love working with dogs but I’m not the biggest fan of most dog schools. Still, I did check out some options here in Sweden but didn’t find anything that matched my interest and type of dogs. There is a lot to do for puppies or hunting dogs and most courses are just for a few weeks. Then when we found out that Oona was really struggling (separation anxiety/trauma) we couldn’t find a decent trainer, not even in a radius of 3-4 hours driving. Most never replied to my messages and those who did, had no experience with anything but puppies.
So back then I went for a Belgian dog trainer that I knew and I also went to a Belgian vet to discuss her medication.
Except for some mental struggles, we also noticed that Oona was very clumsy. In the first few months that she lived here, she would fall off the bed about every morning just by stretching out or moving she did not seem to understand that her body is more than just the head. She would also wake up, stand up, and pee immediately. With the little knowledge that I had used for training more regular pups on body awareness, Oona and I did make huge progress. But to give an example compared to Lizzie: when a few weeks ago, Lizzie and Oona were playing in the garden and running around, Lizzie ran towards the dock that goes up in the lake. I saw it happening an just as I had warned Joeri about Oona’s move, we heard a giant “splash!” and a little later a completely wet and muddy Oona appeared, followed by a clean and dry Lizzie.
A while ago, Dogs 4 motion had an online challenge on Instagram that the dogs liked a lot, so I kept practicing some of those exercises and signed up for the online program. For myself to understand the dogs better, for Oona to increase her mobility, patience, and awareness, for Mogwai to strengthen her muscles as she gets older and for Lizzie to built a good foundation and patience.
At this moment we’re still learning the basic skills. It’s a foundation of about 25 movements to built up the exercises later in weekly programs. While my dogs learn the movements, I’m learning about balance, where to keep rewards, how muscles work, how to adjust exercises, and much much more.
Mogwai usually gets it quickly she’s so nice and easy to work with. Oona is the opposite who runs into everything, drools all over, and has no idea where her legs are going. I always start with her when I have the most energy because she’s chaos. Normally we don’t need many tools for the course but according to the suggestions I got some extra target pads and tools for different heights, and even with those that should be non-slippery, they fly around the room. The hardest thing for Oona is probably the exercise where she has to stand still with nicely aligned front and back legs. I’m training with the targets now but perhaps I should consider glue 😀 😀
But one great thing about her is that she’s never giving up. She keeps trying, and she’s always eager to work together so I think that if I can give her this awareness and a bit of patience, it will be really fun to train together.
While I am very curious about the rest of the program, I try to be patient as well and give Oona a chance to learn the basics and catch up.
BTW, Joeri made some pictures of my session with Oona too but the background was just a tad too sharp to still see the action that was going on 😀 – so we’ll try again later.