Two years ago we took Duke home! Its been another year of learning, training and developing; for all three of us! There has been loads of challenges but a lot of successes too.
The hardest part of the year has been Karl’s bad back, a very bad back, in fact he has just had surgery. So, Duke And I have pretty much been on our own walking and training for the last 9 months. Duke has also had to learn to be gentle and calm around his dad and not knock him over!
Because we have been on our own, we haven’t gone to as many places as we had hope for this year or introduced Duke to as many new things as we would have liked. But that hasn’t stopped us exploring. So, despite the setbacks this year has been a busy one. And the following year we have many more adventures planned and once Karl’s back heals, he will be coming with us!
Duke has gotten much calmer over the last year. He’s definitely grown up a little more. He’s has learnt to behave …. Most of the time…. when we are out and about in new places. He still isn’t the biggest fan of bikes and motor bikes, but he has stopped jumping at cars and lorries which is a blessing.
In his second year with us he has stopped chewing things that aren’t toys! YAY, well one or two beds did get chewed but on the whole much less destruction than the previous year. We even had the Christmas tree in the living room this year with out his chewing it!
Over the last year we have tackled a few issues:
Duke’s fear of strangers. This one isn’t completely sorted. But he is doing much better. He has even been much more excepting of strangers coming up to us on walks and interacting with him and me. Night time is our biggest struggle as he just sees the dark shadows moving in the dark.
Recall. Duke’s recall was spot on not too long ago. Until we had an incident on the beach! it wasn’t Duke’s fault, but it has impacted my confidence. As a result, I am working on Duke’s attention. When he is off the lead, I want his attention to be on me and me alone. Its been hard work getting back to that stage as my confidence took such a knock!
Running with me without getting over excited. Really we have been working on over excitement in general! Teaching Duke that he doesn’t need to get so excited about things and to be able control his excitement so that he doesn’t get himself in trouble. In general he is doing pretty well! We use a calm command and a stop command. We are still working on it, but he has made loads and loads of progress.
We have learnt a few new things:
Agility. Duke has been learning to run, jump, weave and barrel through tunnels on command. We started in March and by the time we stopped for winter he was doing pretty well. He learnt to stop jumping and mouthing me with excitement when we ran around the course which is a win. He’s also been doing the course off the lead. We started slowly with one command and piece of equipment at a time and moved up to several things at a time.
Being calm in busy places. He’s doing so well at this one. He is much less jumpy. The key to keeping him calm has been allowing him to carry around his trusty ball! It seems to make him feel much more secure.
Duke’s second year with us has been another busy one.
We moved house and discovered lots of new things! Like squirrels which are his new favourite thing to watch and stalk.
Duke had his first visit to pets at home and discovered how exciting the bunnies are.
He also managed a trip to town, without playing up or jumping at anything! He did carry his ball around the whole time for security.
We went on some pretty beautiful walks.
Met new friends and played lots with old ones.
There was loads and loads of snow.
He went in a lot of puddles.
Stayed at grandpa’s and nanna’s house when we went to London. This was his first overnight stay with out us! He was such a good boy. I couldn’t have hope for more…. He can’t have scared my dad and step mum off too much as they have just gotten their own puppy!
We started going off lead on a busy beach.
He got pretty good at agility…. If still a bit crazy and spontaneous.
He was in his first dog show and showed off his obedience and new skills in a demonstration.
He had a photo shoot
He had lots of adventures with his best pal missy.
He chased a badger and dragged me trough a bush in the process! a bush full of prickles, nettles and thorns.
Oh yeah and Duke set up his own Instagram (Okay, okay I set it up for him, but the captions are all his idea!)
What’s the plan for Duke’s 3rd year with us ….. Adventures! Lots and lots of adventures.