Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cooper the chocolate lab

Second day with my new foster dog, Cooper

From Cooper Chocolate Lab
Morning Run

At about seven thirty in the morning I took Cooper for his run along the golf cart. I put my two small dogs on the goft cart in their dog harnesses and ran Cooper alongside on a four foot leash and a choke collar.  Just like yesterday evening he ran fast and enjoyed the running.  When we went alongside the pasture with the cows he was interested but also frighten of them at first. I stopped so the cow and Cooper could get closer to each other by the fence.  Cooper lost interest when the cows just stood there not moving and started to sniff the grass clumps. 

Over weight

Cooper is a bit on the pudgy side and needs to lose some fat. He will lose it fast with our daily runs. Too many dogs in the US are over weight and that is not good for their health. The main reasons many dogs are over weight is that they are over fed and under exercised. All dogs need daily exercise and most labs are active dogs that need more exercise then some other breeds of dogs. But since most labs like to retrieve balls they can be easier to exercise than a dog that doesn't care for retrieving. 


Duringthe  breathing breaks on the morning run with the goft cart I started Cooper on DOWN and STAY lessons . I was able to get him to go into the DOWN position rather easy and he also started to get the idea that I wanted him to stay in that position quite fast too even when I moved a small distance away. Cooper seems to be a smart dog and so far it looks like he will be easy to train.  He likes the hot dog pieces and takes the treats nicely from my hands.

I put him back in his crate when I took my dogs for their morning walk. Cooper barked and whined while we were leaving him, but didn't seem to keep it up once we were way down the street and out of his sight.

Lunch time lessons

At about 12:30 am I took Cooper out of this crate and put in the dog head collar (a Gentle Leader Headcollar). He let me put it on without a struggle and only attempted to remove it a few times as we walked around. I like to try out different training tools on the dogs and see what they do and what works best for each dog. I also like to switch around on using the different collars so the dog learns that no matter which one he is wearing I still want him to listen to my commands. 

Cry baby

After the lunchtime lessons I placed him back into his crate. He was quiet until my son left to go down the road to my Mother's house using the golf cart. Then Cooper started to whine and bark. He continued for about five mintues and I wondered if he also had to pee so I went out to his crate. He clawed at the crate dog and barked at me. I just stood there in front of his crate until he settled down and sat looking at me without barking. Then I clicked and open the crate door. 

You have let the dog learn that all his noise and fussing is not going to make the door open any faster. If you wait each time then you wait less as time goes on.  Dogs are learning all the time and many people end up being taught to listen to their dog instead of the dog learning to listen to the person. 

Evening Run

In the evening I took Cooper for another road run. He likes to run and fast! With these workouts he will be loosing his extra weight (fat) quickly. 

If you don't have a golf cart and a quiet road to run on you might want to look into biking with your dog. There are a few different dog walking devices you might want to check info. I like the looks of "WalkyDog®" dog bike leash. These devices help you bike with your dog safer than just trying to ride along holding on to their leash.


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