We are getting closer and closer to the CGC. Marge has progressed, but I'm not sure if it's enough. The later weeks of Beginner 2 are pretty much centered on the CGC, so we should get more practice time in then. In the meantime, I'm going to try to make Petsmart visits a bit more frequent, and maybe take a trip down to PetCo, too, just for a subtle change of scenery.
Monday, March 2, 2009
So doG went and had a foot of snow dumped on us. It was too much for Marge to try to eat, so I don't think she enjoyed it as much as she did all the other times. In some places, she was up to her knees.
She did play with her ball in the backyard a bit. It's still laying somewhere out there, completely covered up and hopefully not chewed up by the snowblower.
We tried going into Miller Field, but only stayed there about 5 minutes. Marge really wasn't having the whole "let me go and run around on my 20 foot leash like a maniac" thing today.
Marge growled at my dad last night. I think it was more of a grumble than anything, because it sounded pretty similar to what she does when he's giving her treats. At least no fights ensued this time, for the most part.
It may have been my fault - I grabbed Marge's collar when he got home. It might have wound her up. My guess is that it was just another once in a while kind of thing, and she'll be alright for some extended time period.
Obedience was pretty good last night. Most of what we practiced Marge already knows - finishing, heeling, and that kind of thing.
We do need to work on keeping attention despite distractions. The bag of Charlee Bears was enough to get her eyes goin' in another direction.
We also worked on approaching another handler/dog team, which Marge did well with. At the end of class, one of the instructors from last class came in (maybe to teach the next class?) and simply by holding up a treat and telling Marge to sit, she was able to pet her. I don't know who the woman is (I know lots of faces, but few names at obedience) but I remember in Beginner 1 that she scared Marge and Marge growled at her. So this was an improvement. She wagged her tail at her this time.
No matter what, I'm proud of her.
MargeBlog started in early 2009 as a training journal for my newly adopted, skittish Lab mix, Marge. Marge's world was small back then; her fears really limited the things I could do with her. Aside from trips to the park and attending beginner training classes, Marge was mostly a stay at home gal - not because either of us wanted her to be, just because the demons from her unsuitable upbringing continued to haunt her.
Slowly, the fear diminished, her world grew. Now, Marge is a fun-loving, squirrel-chasing, winning Agility and Rally dog who accompanies me to a wide variety of places. Here, you will frequently find detailed training updates, snippets from Marge's every day life at home, and photo-filled posts detailing our many outdoor adventures.
This is more than just a dog blog - it is an actual look in to what one shelter dog's life ultimately became when she found her first and forever home and began to blossom.
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A rescue from Georgia bounced around from shelter to shelter and state to state with her siblings, Marge did not have the luxury of living in a home - my home - until just past her first birthday. A life behind bars had taken its toll on Marge, whose obvious fear of people, noise, and city life in general left a lot for her to learn about how to get by in New York.
Marge is a different dog now than she was back then. It took years of new, positive life experiences, but her fears, which used to consume everything we did, are now only one theme in a great big book of adventures.
These days, Marge enjoys going to training classes, taking trips to agility trials, having play dates with friends, and eating anything that's even remotely edible - not bad for a dog who spent her puppy days in cages.
My time with Marge has been a learning experience for which I am ever grateful. As my first dog, she has taught me and continues to teach me so much more than I ever imagined about dogs, training, and behavioral/fear issues. She's a fun dog with a sense of humor who loves life and learning.
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