Friday, March 14, 2008

This is NOT what pneumonia looks like

Obviously I have been remiss in keeping Oscar's fans up to date on his recovery. I've gotten no fewer than a dozen phone calls, e-mails and various messages asking how the beast is doing. I can't tell you how much that tickles me!

One week after diagnosis, we went to his regular (non-emergency) vet for a follow-up. We'd taken the week off completely from class, training or walks. When the vet asked how he was doing, I responded with "you either need to give me permission to walk him or a frying pan to knock him out." She gave us permission to walk at 50% for the next week (she actually said "well, we did have some Pampered Chef dropped off in the back...) and said we could resume regular activity after that.

So to our knowledge, he's 100% better now. Monday morning we went back to full walks, and in fact I walked five miles a day Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week. Oscar and I have a very big weekend ahead of us (I may tell you about that next week) so we took off today and will probably take off Monday as well.

But once we were given permission to walk and train again, we went back to training on that formal heel I mentioned a few weeks ago - where he's supposed to be looking at me. He's improved a great deal, and here's proof!

For those unfamiliar with doggy bling, the training collar he's wearing looks pretty harsh - it's not. It's called a prong collar, many trainers recommend them (when used properly) and a slight tug on the leash pinches ever so slightly on his neck to clue him in. If you'll watch, you'll see I don't need to do that all that often. (It's not pushing into his neck, that's a shadow - I have rubber tips on his because otherwise he gets ring around the collar from the metal.)

He's really improved a lot at both looking at me and not leaning. If you watch his elbows when I ask him to down, you'll see his little cheat - he levitates there until I say "all the way". About halfway through the video you'll see me intentionally drop a bunch of treats on the ground in front of us, then move on to what we've been working on most recently - the about face, in which I spin to my left, but he comes around behind me and ends up back in the heel position. A moment later, you'll also see me stop and down him right on top of the treats - Oscar for the most part ignores those, until I point them out to him directly. That's what he's supposed to do, so he did good.

Even if you aren't interested in the training, you may want to take a peek at the very end to see what happens when I say "YAY!" to Oscar. You gotta admit, that's a cute dog.

And the tail never stops wagging.


Blogger Jane said...

Awwww! Glad he's all better!

9:32 PM  
Blogger bySarah said...

Amie, I KNOW what kind of practice that kind of obiedience took...YOU ROCK the dog training!

7:21 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

That is VERY good training. Now if everyone would spend the kind of effort you do on training their dog, the world would be such a better place.
And that tail is like a metronome on at double time. Too funny!

11:42 AM  
Blogger Kim in Oregon said...

Great update, thanks!

We had a training collar like that for Cody when he was younger. We called the 'schwein' collar because once we were in a small town in Germany and went to the torture museum (stay with me, Amie) and there was a drawing of a poor soul wearing a similar collar holding a sign that read "Ich Bin Ein Schwein"...I am a pig!!

But yes, they work very well and are good for the pup.

Good luck with all your work! Puppy hugs to the O!

1:29 PM  
Blogger Agnes said...

The image quality is so good! Oh I love watching the training video! He was doing so well. Would it be possible to watch the cats too? :D

6:52 PM  
Blogger RC said...

Yeah Oscar!!!!!! Great training, you guys look awesome!
So glad he's better... (I almost worte feeling better- but with that tail wagging, how can you tell?)
He's a champ!

9:06 PM  
Blogger vi said...

i would rather a pinch then a choke anyday

before we put the pinch on kiss, they put it on me
it was not bad at all
compared to a choke ( i made them do me that too)

kiss got a pinch but....... she only got corrected once

after that i just told her ( dangling the collar) do you want your prong?

she'd settle down

i miss my dog

tell oscar i am so glad he is better
and that he did himself and his momma handsome at the rescue dog school

6:11 PM  

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