Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Third Day with Cooper the Lab

Hump day with my foster lab - Cooper

From Cooper Chocolate Lab
Morning Run

Cooper is getting very excited when I pull out the golf cart for his road running. He cries, barks, and claws at the crate door. I make sure to wait until he is quiet and sitting before clicking and letting him out of he crate. I also did a little heeling lesson with him and then let him find a spot to pee before starting the run. Boy, he does like speed and I can drive the golf cart as fast as it will go down the hills and Cooper can keep up with me. He as good lungs and fast moving legs. 

On the breathing breaks I ask for a DOWN and a STAY from Cooper. He is doing pretty well with this but I am not moving too far away from him right now. He is in a DOWN-STAY in the above photo that I took this morning. I also ask for him to stay in the down position while I return to him and pet him all over. 

I run him up and then down the road. I stopped at a deep puddle and let him walk in it to cool off, but unlike the other two foster labs I had Cooper doesn't flop down into the water to get wet. I will have to try him at the pond and see if he will fetch the ball from the water. 

After the run I put him back in his crate and gave him a little dog kibble on while I took my dogs for their morning walk. Cooper barked for a while while we walked down the road away from him.

Dog Yard -- Fussy Fit

When I got back I put Cooper in his dog yard next to Howie the Hound my other foster dog. I gave them both a large raw beef bone to chew on. At first Cooper was busy with the bone and didn't bark when I walked away, but that didn't last long soon he was whining and barking up a storm. I just waited to see how long he would keep it up. After about 15 minutes or so he stopped barking and must have went back to chewing on his bone. Then after about 15-20 mintues he went back into his frenzied barking and whining again which he kept up for about 20-30 mintues until I finally went and got him and put him back in his crate. I was tired of hearing him bark and worried that he would get overheated with all that activity. 

Maybe he has spent too much time in the vet kennel and the dog yard causes him a lot of anxiety. He does well in the dog crate most of the time -- does bark and whine when I go out and he sees me and wants to demand that I let him out.

Visiting the Neighbors

I took Cooper on a run along to my mom's house down the road to check on my two ponies in her pasture. Cooper was just mildly interested in the ponies and a little worried about them when they ran along the fence with us on the other side. He didn't bark or growl at them just sniffed at them a bit when they stopped at their feed bowl to eat the food I gave them. 

I ran Cooper back and forth to the ponies' yard to the the pump shed to fill up buckets to fill up their large water bucket. Then I clipped Cooper to a picnic table so I could go inside to visit with my Mother. I thought that he would throw a fit like he did in his dog yard but he surprised me and just laid down quietly and waited for me to return. My two small dogs were close by hooked on the golf cart.  I was inside about 12-15 mintues and Cooper didn't bark once. When I returned home I put him in his crate. 

Evening Fun - Fetching Toys

I let Cooper loose out of his crate and showed him a Tennis ball. He got excited about the ball and jumped up and tried to grab it. I asked for a SIT and then clicked and tossed the ball. He likes this game runs fast to go and retrieve the ball. He is not consistent in returning the ball back to me. Sometimes he gets close and just drops it and then walks around sniffing the grass. I would pick up the ball and get his attention and ask again for a SIT. He would give the sit pretty fast and then I would throw the ball again. 

Once the ball went in the tall brushy area and he would not go in it to look for the ball. The area has some thorny blackberry bushes in it so that maybe the reason. I had to go and find another toy to toss for him. A couple of times in his excitement Cooper jumped up to grab at the ball before I could toss it.  I started asking for a SIT and even a DOWN before I would toss it. He would sit but I had to help him into a DOWN to get him to do that. Will have to work on DOWN more when he is excited and challenged. 

I also took Cooper for an evening road run too. He should sleep well tonight from his busy day. 

From Cooper Chocolate Lab
Notice that in the photo above that Cooper is wearing a "Gentle Leader Headcollar". 




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