Monday, October 13, 2008

Lessons From The Weekend

SUMMARY: Thoughts on achievements and challenges.

  • Photography: MM, who is a semipro photographer (as in makes money at it but I dont think makes most of her income from it), commented about how she didn't feel like bringing her camera this weekend because she didn't think she'd have time to shoot anything and she didn't want to make the effort to get it ready and bring in, and then was inundated with requests for photos and there was no photog here at all, all weekend, said that the lesson is: Just always bring your camera. My version is: If you have your camera around your neck, you will use it. If it is sitting next to your dogs' crates and you're working score table and running 2 dogs all weekend and the days are long, you won't. Can you believe I was at a trial all weekend and this is the only photo I took?

    Because these rustic rural greater-than-life-sized carved wood statues are new to this site, and they stood out like sore carved-wood thumbs against the underside of the modern all-metal bleachers where they store large steel barrels for trash. You couldn't not notice these guys welcoming you as you walked through the gate to go to the restroom
  • Boost weaves: Twice this weekend, I was ahead of Boost at the weave entry and she entered correctly but so hard that she bounced off the 2nd pole and skipped one. Something to work on. We had some other weave issues this weekend of the random sort, but I still count hr weaves as successful when she's not popping out at the end, which she never did.
  • Boost staying in crate: I came back to my crates after working the score table for a full round and discovered that I had never zipped Boost's crate, and she was still inside. What a good girl! Training does pay! (Although I can't picture that working for Tika...)
  • Boost bars: Grumble. Both gambles executed perfectly except for knocked bars. That's not supposed to be the hard part! Must work more.
  • Boost elbows off table: On Saturday, she never did get her elbows down on the table. (But we had already Eed, so it didn't matter.) Sunday, we worked on excited down-stays on the ground before going into the ring, and her table down was perfect. Same result as last weekend. Training does pay! Need to remember to do this before every Standard round!
  • Boost smooth runs: I see some progress. Our Standard run Sunday was so close--no runouts or refusals or knocked bars--but she left the table early when I led wayyy out and ended with an off-course. But I was still happy with it. Jumpers Sunday was also close, with just a bar and an issue on the lead-out pivot (which isn't the same thing as when we're running). So practice does pay. Just need to keep at it.
  • Boost practice with lots of space: Things that I need to work on up at Power Paws or somewhere where there's lots of space: Lead-out pivots more more more. Just sending her ahead of me over long lines of jumps. She's still turning back to me and then eventually waiting, resulting in refusals or runouts. Can work on a little bit of jump-focus rather than me-focus here at home, but still I'll bet that just running in a huge U of jumps around the entire field would be a good thing to do many times.
  • My brain: Forgot Tika's course twice this weekend. Didn't feel stressed, they weren't particularly important or stand-out runs. It's very odd. I wonder if there's a trend? Something to ponder. It's also funny, because one of them I had just run correctly with Boost. That alone cost me two Qs this weekend.
  • Tika's contacts: She does them so fast & such good 2 on/2off in training. I've let them completely go to heck in competition. Do I want to try to fix them? Aframes I can force her to get a foot or two in if I get in front of her as she's coming down, so if I can plan the course so that I'm front crossing or running past, she's fast and hits it. Maybe it's good because it forces me to keep moving ahead of her. But it's bad when I can't, as in Saturday's Steeplechase, with 2 Aframes, where she was way ahead of me both times and wasn't even close to getting a toe in. Maybe I just need to run faster! But contacts alone cost us 2 Qs this weekend.
  • Tika's bars: Knocked a bar in Snooker opening, so we definitely wouldn't have Super-Qed. Knocked a bar in both Saturday's and Sunday's Jumpers. Bars alone cost us two Qs this weekend.
  • Trust all your senses; even measuring tools lie: Quite a few dogs didn't make time on Saturday's Master Standard course. When dogs who moved pretty smoothly through the course on Sunday were also over time by 5 or 10 seconds or more, there was considerable debate about whether the calculations were correct. The judge, after listening to several complaints, did finally say that the yardage for the course seemed odd for what she had laid out. So someone walked the measuring wheel along a 50-foot measuring tape and came up with 41 feet. That poor scoretable. Fortunately it was only Saturday's and Sunday's Masters Standards that they had to review for over-time dogs; nothing else in that ring to that point had required the measuring wheel.
  • I'm happy with two dogs: All kinds of people have new puppies! Blue merle Border Collies! Blue merle Pyrenean Shepherd! They are VERY cute and quite beautiful. And, no, I don't find that I have any urge at all right now to add a puppy to my clan.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Why Dogs Should Not Be Loose in Your Vehicle

SUMMARY: Save their lives, and maybe yours, too.

If your dogs travel loose in your car when you drive, please read this whole post. Please.

My dogs used to travel loose in my car. They never traveled a lot; occasional jaunts to someone's house or maybe to a nearby park. As I did more and more agility, however, covering thousands of miles a year, I started to wonder: Children up to 60 pounds are required by law to use special restraints in the car (not loose like we were as kids) for their own safety, and adults are required by law to wear seat belts; what was I thinking by endangering my dogs' lives--and mine--when there were such easy fixes?

In case you haven't already thought about it--and please tell me that you have--here are the bare facts of why dogs should be restrained in cars, as taken from

"In an accident, an unrestrained animal is dangerous to the human passengers as well. Even in an accident of only 30 mph, ... 60-pound dog can cause an impact of 2,700 pounds, slamming into a car seat, a windshield, or another passenger. Even if the animal survives, it can impede the progress of rescue workers for whom every moment is precious.

"Unrestrained pets can also distract the driver, and cause an accident. Even pets that are normally well behaved could be frightened by something unusual and dive for the driver's feet or lap. Following a car accident, an unrestrained pet could escape and be hit by another vehicle or cause another collision. A frightened dog may attack strangers who are trying to help."

Another, recent article provides a summary on traveling with dogs:
"Paws on Board" by Teresa Odle
. Basically, dogs should be:

* In well-designed harnesses attached to seatbelts or other secure restraints in the vehicle, or
* In crates that are secured to the car (my dogs now ride in crates that are strapped either to D-rings in the car floor or to seat belts).

The article also mentions a new California bill passed by the assembly that "outlaws pets sitting in a driver's lap while driving."

But after the basic facts--well, you can dismiss it and say that you drive safely and you'd never do anything dangerous with your dogs in the car. Instead, let me give you several stories.

Someone Else's Mistake #1

My fears were consolidated when another student at Power Paws died when her car rolled over (she wasn't driving) on the way home from an agility trial. Her husband brought the dogs' crates to show us why having dogs in crates is a good thing: His wife was dead, the crates were mangled, but the dogs were unharmed. Unharmed. Looking at those bent and crushed crates, my heart nearly crumbled imagining what could have happened to the dogs if they had been loose, and at what I was letting my dogs in for without any restraint.

She wasn't the only one to suffer a similar fate. This is about the time that I picked up this "Don't Drive Drowsy" sticker from the "Live to run again" foundation. It's on my driver's-side window, and I try to look at that sticker every time I get into my car.

Also at that time, for my dogs, I started with harnesses that I bought at the SPCA, but changed to sturdier, safer ones after reading my friend Holly's research on dog harnesses (an excellent article if you're thinking about dog "seat belts").

Someone Else's Mistake #2

From my former housemate, now living in L.A. (with her little black dog Casey, whom I wrote about when he lived here), July 22, 2008:

I'll give you the gory details later, if you want them, but I was in a serious car accident Friday night.

For once in my life Casey was not with me. Seriously, Ellen, it is a miracle that I am alive and not even any broken bones. Had Casey been in the car there is no f... way he would have survived.

Please tell me what you know about seat belts for pets. The best kind, what to look for, where to find them, etc. I am buying one immediately.

(The gory details)
We were rear-ended. HARD. So hard it pushed us into the back of an 18-wheeler. The ambulance arrived pretty quickly. By that time some good samaritans saw that we were in a car filling with smoke and unable to get out. Somehow they managed to get the doors open and drag us to safety. We were taken to a local hospital in the ambulance. I had a nasty cut on my right leg. (A good two inches of my shin bone was exposed - it was sickening.) They were afraid that [my friend] Robot had internal bleeding because of the way the seat belt sliced him across his torso, but after tests he was sent home. I was x-rayed and somehow that ER doctor managed to take the mangled mess of meat that was my leg and stitch it back together. Just 32 sutures in an almost perfect "V" on my right shin.

Robot is bruised and sore, but left to go back to Texas this morning. Robot & I both feel incredibly lucky to be alive, much less to be in one piece! My entire body hurts, but nothing is broken. If Casey had been in the car, which he is about 95% of the time, he would not have survived. No way, no how. I am currently shopping for pet seat belts.

I'm sure airbags saved our lives.
I am very happy with my Hyundai. (Well, what used to be my Hyundai)
Always wear a seatbelt.
Make sure your insurance payments are up to date.
Secure your pets in the car if they ride with you.
Live each day as if it is your last, because it damn well could be.

Someone Else's Mistake #3

From my occasional agility-traveling friend (Scully and Sparkle's mom), about her sister, who also does agility, August 15, 2008:

Pam's car was totaled yesterday and she was very, very lucky. She was driving home from work and some guy came up from behind way too fast. He tried to swerve around her, cut in too soon and hit her rear quarter panel. Pam ended up shooting across two lanes of traffic and up an embankment. The car rolled at least twice on the way back down and landed driver's door down. Pam climbed out the passenger door and passers by got the dogs' crates out and moved them to a safe distance. Pam's business partner came and took Pam and the dogs back to the vet hospital while our brother came and dealt with the tow truck people. [About the dogs:] Haiden is fine and Raina has a chipped bone on her hock. She sees a surgeon today but the hope is she can get by with just a splint. She did not reinjure her spine which is excellent news. Pam is sore but seems to have no serious injuries.

Taj MuttHall adds: What if the dogs hadn't been in crates?

Someone Else's Mistake #4

Added: Aug 22, 5:10 p.m. From Scully and Sparkle's mom again:
Years ago Mom was driving her van with a dog crated in the back. Traffic on the freeway came to a dead stop but the driver behind her didn't notice and plowed into her at 60mph. Mom's van was shoved forward into the car ahead of her, the back doors popped open and the crate landed on the freeway. The van was totaled but the dog was fine.

Last Story

I don't remember the details. (Maybe someone out there knows? This is how I remember it.) Two people traveling from an agility trial in southern California rolled the vehicle in the wild mountains across the Grapevine. Their unrestrained dogs got loose. They were lucky that none ran out onto the freeway, but one vanished and was never found.

Please don't leave your dogs loose in the vehicle.

Update: Aug 26, 2008, 3 p.m.: Also visit Johann the Dog's Car Safety For Dogs! page.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Crate Training

In its most succinct definition, crate training is simply getting a dog used to a crate and, preferably, so that the dog enjoys being in the crate.

Susan Garrett is one of the preeminent agility trainers and lecturers in North America. She's extremely popular in California, although she's from Ontario (the one in Canada, not the one in southern CA).

She does crate training using Crate Games, her name for her specific, step-by-step method. Here is my interpretation of Crate Games.

NOTE: Once you start this process, dog must not leave crate for any reason until you get to the end.

GOAL: Dog must sit near the back of the crate whenever you start to open the door.

  1. Crack the door and feed at the top back of the crate. Repeat 5x (some dogs need more).
    1. Dog in (preferably) wire crate.
    2. Kneel in front of crate with goodie in hand opposite the door's hinges.
    3. Using arm closest to hinges, open door just wide enough to shove your goodie hand in to the upper back of the crate. Allow the dog to take goodie. Remove arm and close door. (No verbal cues or praise at any time.)
    4. Take hand off door. Wait about 5 seconds.

    NOTE: Dog must not be able to leave crate or even get a nose outside door at any time; if dog attempts to do so, immediately and calmly close door (don't slam it on his nose).

    NOTE: Dog might already be thinking about sitting in the back when you put hand on door.
  2. Open door halfway; hesitate for *half a second*. If dog doesn't try to get out, reach in, feed; close door. Repeat about 5x.
    1. Repeat until dog is waiting inside rather than lunging towards door.

  3. Open door all the way, wait a second or two, feed in back, close door. Repeat about 5x.
    1. Keep hand on door when it's open. Now you can start feeding thru the top instead of putting your arm in).

    NOTE: By now, dog might be sitting as soon as you touch door. If not, try waiting, wiggling handle a bit, waiting. Feeding in back towards top should be forcing the dog into a sit.

  4. Start adding distractions. Feed quickly after each success.
    1. Stand up. If dog doesn't move, feed, close door. Open door. Wait. feed. Pick up leash. Feed. Close door. (In other words, start stringing a couple of distractions together, but reward after each one.) Drop a goodie outside the crate. If dog stays put, pick it up and feed it to him in the back.

  5. When you get to where you can put the dog's leash on and stand up and dog doesn't move, open door, stand on leash, give release word to let dog out of crate, wait for him to go back into crate, praise profusely.
    1. Stand on side of open door facing the door (so that you and the open door form a channel back into the crate). Stand on the leash so there's just enough slack for the dog to get out of the crate.
    2. Give your chosen release work (e.g., "Break"). If dog doesn't come out of crate, encourage (pat legs, verbal encouragement--no more commands).
    3. When dog comes out of crate, ignore him. When he turns and goes back into crate, lavish him with goodies and praise.
    4. If dog doesn't go back in within 2 minutes, limit his choices--e.g., hold his collar so that he's facing the crate and can't move anywhere except into the crate; as soon as he steps in that direction, release him so he can go in. Praise enthusiastically & give goodies.

  6. Repeat until dog is coming out on release word and immediately going back in.
  7. When dog gets to where he won't come out, add something to make him come out, e.g., a low-value goodie, then wait for him to go back in, etc.
At this point, when dog is bouncing in and out of crate after a few times, NOW you're done with the starting crate game!

Boost's training

I used basically this method when I first got Boost; worked great. The first time I released her from the crate, it must've taken 5 minutes before she went back in. I had to have her in one position, keeping her from sitting, for about 5 minutes before she went back in, but then after that it was a cake-walk.

However, over time I let up on the getting-excited-about-going-back-in bit, so although she'll go in on her own often, and she (usually) goes in on command, the "usually" is not ideal, and she doesn't drive into it like it's the best place in the world, which is what you want.

So I did Boost at a Susan Garrett seminar yesterday from scratch. First, she's so good about sitting when I open the door and waiting for the release that she wouldn't stretch enough to take the goodie out of my hand, even though it was hot dogs, which she hardly ever gets. Eventually she did, but that got us off to a slow start.

The middle part of the process went pretty quickly, because she already knows the routine. But when we got to where she came out of the crate, she didn't go back in! She looked around at the whole world at the end of her short leash, never even looked at the crate entrance. When I finally took her collar and held her in place, she immediately plonked into a sit and just sat there for almost another 2 minutes; just when I was ready to start forcing her into a stand, she finally got up and went in.

After that, she was fine, bouncing in and out for me.

Tika's training

Soooo--since I didn't do this with Tika when I first got her (basically used goodies tossed into the back of the crate), and since she's so wired that she has a horrible time staying in the crate when the door is opened, I decided to start from scratch with her today. Wow, what an adventure.

Understand that she has a horrible time with self-control. Can't stay lying down or sitting down for more than a couple of seconds if there's food involved. All my other dogs (Boost included) learned very quickly that, if the crate door is open and I have food of any kind, they get some if they're lying down. (Same thing with popcorn while watching TV.) Tika slams into a down, but leaps to her feet if nothing is forthcoming within a second or two, then she watches me toss food to the other dogs, salivating--then eventually slams herself into a down, then leaps to her feet to lunge forward and grab the food when I toss it her way, then stands there, quivering, moving front feet in and out of the crate, watching as I give the other dogs food... you maybe get the picture. A litttttle overstimulated.

So, today, here's how we went:
  1. Crack door, 5 treats in the back. Dog might already start getting idea that goodies will be coming into the back.
    1. Getting the first five treats into the back of the crate were easy, because she simply followed my hand to the back of the crate and took the goodie, being forced into a sit, although she tried extremely hard not to have to actually put her butt down.
    2. Still, each time, she frantically followed my hand as I removed it from the crate.
    3. Then she started nosing at the door, not picking up the clue about the back of the crate.

    From there to where I was opening the door all the way?-- I must've gone through more than a hundred repetitions with her before I could start leaving the door open, and she's still not sitting reliably when I put my hand on the door--she tends to lie down instead, and it's funny how we got there.

  2. Open door partway, hesitate half a second, feed if dog doesn't try to go through door. Repeat 5x.
    1. She's in some ways a fairly "operant" dog--in Susan's terms, that means that when I get the clicker and goodies out, she starts offering behaviors. So that's what she started doing, spinning and backing up and lying down and bowing and doing nose touches to various parts of the door (not the floor--hmmmm), anything at all, desperate to get a goodie.
    2. As soon as her nose was away from the door, I'd try to open it partially for half a second; most of the time, she'd lunge forward to shove her nose out the door.
    3. But when she'd actually hesitate before doing that, I'd feed her immediately in the back of the crate and close the door. Then she'd start nosing and pushing at the door...
    4. and on and on, maybe 40 or 50 times.

  3. Open the door for half a second before feeding, if dog doesn't move towards door.
    1. took forever--as soon as I put my hand on the door, she'd start nosing at it.
    2. Or, when she finally stopped nosing at it, the second the door opened, she'd start to shove her nose out the door and I'd close it again.
    3. It took a dozen or more tries each time before I'd be able to get the door open.

      I tried to be excruciatingly consistent--if her nose came thru the door even half an inch, I closed it again, because I *know* she'll be one, if given a millimeter, to take a mile.

    4. But the most likely time for her to be not pushing at the door was when she was lying down, so after a few times of me opening the door right after she slammed into a down, she decided that's the position I wanted. It didn't matter that she had to sit up and swing around to the back of the crate to get her goodie every time--she'd immediately swing her nose right back to the front of the crate after I gave her the goodie.
    5. I gave her dozens in the back of the crate--swing to the front, swing back to get the goodie, swing to the front, swing back to get the goodie, swing front, swing to the back for the goodie, lie down, get up and swing to the back, lie down, get up and swing to the back...

      And I've always said she was a quick learner! I didn't time it, but I think it was half an hour from when we started (I was getting a little tired!) before we finally got to the part where she'd be sitting far enough back from the door that I could open the door and wait, then feed.

  4. Add distractions.
      Details: But from there it seemed to go pretty quickly to where I could drop a goodie, put on her leash, all that stuff, and she stayed away from the door (that's a miracle with her!).

  5. Stand on leash, release dog, wait for her to go back in.
    1. Here's another funny part--remember how long it took Boost to go back into the crate? With Tika, I opened the door and released her--she came out, barely slowed down--then spun and dashed right back in!

      Susan had made the point that giving hundreds of goodies for desired behavior before ever allowing a dog the choice of an unwanted behavior almost guaranteed that they'd try to do the right thing or return to that environment--and, sure enough, Tika sure associated the crate with hot dogs! So the next couple of times I had to actually encourage her to come out before she then spun and went back in.

She was just so funny, swinging all the way to the back of the crate, then all the way to the front, every five seconds as I reopened the door, never deciding to stay towards the back! This is a dog who doesn't really care about the reward cost (is that the term susan used? I keep thinking "return on investment"!), she has so much energy to burn! (The theory is that the dog will quickly figure out that, to get the goodie, they have to be sitting in the back of the crate, and the "reward cost" of standing up, swinging to the back, swinging to the front, etc. each time is too high and will do the smart thing and just wait there for it. Ha!)

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Monday, April 25, 2005

Crate Training and Sharp Dewclaws

The crate-training games proceed apace. Not only will she sit if she's standing when I put my hand on the crate, but she's getting to where she'll actually sit up if she's lying down (a tougher concept) --and it works for the plastic/wire crate, the zippered fabric crate, and the wire x-pen! So she has generalized well. I'm proofing long & longer times with her sitting there, and me being in different positions. I'm afraid maybe I'm moving too quickly, as she's starting to stand up and head for the door before the release. So I'll have to take it easy.

I started to introduce her to the Dremel tool for doing her nails. It went reasonably well the first night but somehow we jumped from one instance where she was quietly accepting of the vibrating tool touching her toenail (not the tool part yet, just the handle) to her yelping and grabbing violently at it. So the next night I worked very very very slowly and was at the point where I could hold her toenail and touch it with the vibrating handle and immediately give her a goodie without her struggling, but it took dozens and dozens of doggie junk food to get there. And in the early struggled, she slashed my wrist with one of the very dewclaws I need to trim down--they are *very* sharp puppy dewclaws, like miniature scythes.

Then yesterday there was a work crew here all day working on my yard and I never had a chance to move to the next step. Dangerous little doggie feet!

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Thursday, December 16, 2004

About Crate Training

I just wrote all of this elsewhere in response to a comment from someone that he didn't like to lock his dogs up and that was probably why he didn't pursue crate training enough to be successful at it.

One challenge in getting people to crate train successfully is in getting over the idea that one is "locking up" one's dog. There are many reasons as to why it's a good idea to have a dog who is comfortable and relaxed in a crate. The thing to keep in mind is that almost all dogs are most relaxed in an enclosed place. My dogs prefer sleeping under a desk or a table--and if there's a long tablecloth over the table, all the better. The small dog in the house loves to crawl under the bookcase headboard of the bed rather than sleeping on the open floor. One dog liked sleeping in the closet. The psychological key for the human is to realize that one is simply training the dog to use a controlled crate rather than one of their own choosing, just as one trains them to sit, lie down, or stay under control rather than wandering around uncontrolled at all times with behavior of their own choosing. The crate should never be used as a harsh punishment. It should be a safe place for comfortable relaxing, and in that context can occasionally be used for a "time out" in training.

Let one converted dog owner tell her story. (That's me.) When I planned to go to my first dog agility event (not just training at the training facility), I discovered that it was not practical to have my dog on a leash on my wrist at all times. It was a long day, there were other dogs everywhere (and not all of them perfectly behaved), I had things that I needed to do without my dog and there were places where my dog was not allowed (e.g., walking the course ahead of time; cafeteria; restrooms...). Tying the dog up somewhere wasn't practical--other than there being nowhere to tie the dog, even a portable stick-in-the-ground post left the dog exposed to other dogs, other people, object flying in their direction (thrown toys, things blown by the wind, etc.). It just wasn't even an option, especially in crowded conditions with only a few feet of space for each person to set up in.

Plus, in trying to keep the dog with me, he never lay down, never relaxed, was always alert and on guard.

So with great reluctance, not wanting to "lock my dog up" in a crate, I purchased the largest metal exercise pen that I could find--I think about 4 feet by 4 feet. Here's what he did:

Stood up and leaned against the side closest to the door. All day. Sometimes he sat. Mostly he stood up, watching everything that was going on. Eventually I figured out that, if I draped a sheet over the top & sides of the pen, leaving only the front open, he would lie down--against one side of the pen--and sleep off and on.

Huh, so I was lugging around this heavy exercise pen and occupying 16 square feet for a dog who was occupying no more space than all of the other dogs comfortably resting in their crates. So after a year and a half I broke down and bought a crate and taught him what a fun place it was. So, when put into his crate (after his first run of the day, before which he NEVER relaxed), he'd immediately relax, lie down, get comfy, snooze, stretch his legs out.

I was converted.

Since then, I've found that crates are useful almost anywhere I go with my dogs; we've been invited to participate in a wide variety of events. Sometimes we're backstage, where there are 20 or 30 dogs in a space about 50 feet long. You have to have the dogs in crates in that situation. My assorted dogs have had to stay at the vet's for a variety of ailments over the years, and the vets always like them because they don't fight about going into the crates, they don't paw or bite endlessly at the doors, they wait for a release before barging out of the crate, and they relax once they're in there.

In the car, a strapped-in crate is probably the safest way to transport dogs. (Some of my dogs use harnesses instead, but I believe they'd be safer in an accident in a crate.)

At home, I acquired a dog who really does not like small children. After a few thousand good games of fetch, he goes right into his crate, where I can close him in and he can relax because he doesn't have to be on guard against the small children--and I can relax because he's not on guard against the small children.

I have an extremely energetic younger dog. When she can't manage enough self-control to be around guests, she can go into her crate. When she was much younger and I didn't know what she might pick up and chew up, I could put her into her crate while I worked at my desk and neither of us were stressed about life, the universe, and everything.

Most dogs sleep most of the day anyway--if you're home a lot and not active, just watch: I believe that 18 hours or more of a dog's day is spent snoozing. That's even for energetic, athletic dogs. They could just as easily be snoozing in a crate as under your feet at your desk.

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Wednesday, June 29, 1994

Crates and Remington the Half-way Dog

SUMMARY: No crate for Remington; stopping halfway

Backfill: Oct 22, 2007
Didn't buy a crate, although I've pondered it many times. What we did with sheba way back when was to install a dog run--essentially a wire between 2 trees with a pully and a leash attached, so she had about 30 linear feet by about 6 feet that she could move around in.

Unfortunately one of the trees we used for sheba is no longer there, so we'd have to construct some other way to fasten the other end of the wire. No easy answers anywhere...

Remington is learning ever so slowly. He heels pretty good now--in the driveway! The real world is still FAR too distracting. Obedience class starts July 11 and i can hardly wait. He also has this quirky way of doing things HALFway that I've never seen with any other dog. When he sits, he gets halfway down--and stops. When he lies down, he gets halfway down--and stops. Looks pretty stupid, and I've told him so, but I think he just forgets what he's doing. (REALLY short short-term memory.)

So we keep working.

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