Miscellaneous Updates

Hello to any who might still be checking this blog!  I know I’ve been quite lax in posting new blogs, and I apologize for that.  This posting is going to be a hodge-podge of random updates, so bear with me!

First of all, I’d like to say that the Bumi toy I posted about in my last update is still very much alive and kicking.  There is not a blemish on it and Inara still loves playing with it.  That toy is going to remain a definite recommendation for people with destructive dogs.  Thank you West Paw Design for making such a great toy!

Secondly, Brad of ST Leathercraft once again hooked up me with another quality piece of equipment.  You all remember Inara’s oxblood leather collar I posted about ( https://inaradog.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/new-collar-time/ ), well, I finally got around to ordering a matching leash and backup connector for safety (had little hardware malfunction at a VERY inopportune time – fortunately I have ninja-like skills and disaster was averted).  Being who he is (a perfectionist when it comes to his work), Brad did a lovely job.  The leash is supple yet strong, with a smaller handle than “normal” leashes to fit my smaller hands.  He special-ordered a locking clasp for me.  And the connector is small yet strong, basic yet very pretty.  He shaped the leather a bit to round the edges some so it had some style.  And of course it was all dyed to match Inara’s collar perfectly.  Here’s a pic of the leash and backup connector:

Lovely oxblood equipment!!!

Nice, right?  I can’t stress it enough – if you need/want strong yet stylish leather equipment for your dog, please consider ST Leathercraft.

Inara and I have started a new class.  It’s called “Relax Class” and it’s for dogs that have a tendency to over-react to other dogs, whether it’s aggression or hypermotivation to meet the other dog.  There are only 4 dogs permitted in the class, which is awesome.  Tomorrow will be our 3rd week and I’m pretty excited.  The first class was pretty rough, with Inara acting like a total ass with no manners whatsoever.  The second class she had vastly improved – still a little barking but much better able to focus on me.  We’re working a lot on getting Inara to stop being so hypervigilant, and she’s on a new supplement called l-theanine that is supposed to help her with that, along with the behavior mod.  She’s only been on it for a week though, and it takes 2-4 to kick in so no results yet!  We’re attending class at a local place called Fortunate Fido.  The instructor, Ginger, is phenomenal and I just wish I’d found her sooner.

I’ve begun volunteering at a local animal shelter.  I think it’s the only one in the county that actually adopts out pit bulls, so that’s why I chose it.  It’s small, but very clean and the animals are well-cared for.  All the volunteer staff I’ve met so far are fantastic.  I really like it there.  🙂

I think that’s about it.  Thanks for sticking around if you’ve been here before, and thanks for stopping by if this is your first visit!  And to end on a good note, Inara:

Ahhh, the rough life she leads!
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New collar time!

We got our collar this week from Brad at ST Leathercraft (http://smalltownamericanbulldogs.com/STleather.html). It’s gorgeous!!! The leather is very flexible yet solid. And it’s silly, but I love the keeper that holds the excess down – it’s just nice and thick and looks sharp. So here’s pics!

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1 1/2" Oxblood leather with the d-ring in the back!

Weaning off head halter

I am officially sick and tired of using the Gentle Leader and/or Halti on Inara. It’s time she (and I) wean ourselves off of it. She is 3 1/2 years old now and fully capable of having manners on a flat collar. Right? Right!

We’ve been working on loose leash walking plus a more formal attention heel, all on flat collar, in the yard and driveway. She’s doing fantastically, though I’m still using a crapload of treats as she’s still learning. The second I step onto the street though, she forgets I’m there. I mean as soon as all four feet are on the street (inches away from the driveway that she pays attention in!) she totally disconnects from me.

I’ve been continuing to do most of our training in the yard/driveway because I know it’s a good idea to get a task solid in one place before moving on, but I do have a question. Should I suck it up and put the GL back on her for some long walks, or are the shorter training sessions with lots of mental stimulation enough? She’s tired after our training sessions, but I feel bad that she’s seeing the exact same scenery every day. However, I don’t want to set back our training by allowing poor leash behavior on the GL just so we get a longer walk. Does that make sense?

The only reason I’m hesitating is because she’s begun acting like an ass even on the GL – pulling like crazy and just annoying the crap out of me. From this point on I don’t ever want her to think she can pull on leash. 

So, cliffs notes version (since I write too much!): short training sessions so she is set up to succeed, or put on the GL and suffer through longer walks so she gets a change of scenery?

P.S. Is it wrong of me to be highly entertained that my neighbors’ Yorkies freak out and shriek and yap the entire time I’m working with Inara outside? Inara ignores them completely. I hear the neighbors getting pissed at the Yorkies.

P.P.S. Check out Brad’s website – he’s getting his leatherwork business up and running.  I ordered a collar from him and will let you know as soon as I get it!

Dirty dog after rolling in, well, I don't want to know what it was!
Dirty dog after rolling in, well, I don't want to know what it was!