Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gromit walking on a Loose Leash

The walk is paramount in helping to create the pack bond. We learn from a young age to walk nicely with Mum, it is acceptable to walk by her side or slightly behind her, but not out ahead of her. Unless we are "freed" to walk anyway we like, we have to walk nicely by her side. 
Gromit has learned to walk without pulling on the leash. He is also learning to walk with 2 other dogs and to walk nicely in order. He is a very strong dog and if he decides to pull, it can be very treacherous for Mum, but now that he is trained to walk nicely, he will be a pleasure to walk with.

Hopefully Gromit's pack will benefit from all the training we've done and hopefully, they will enforce the rules of the pack too, so that Gromit will be a well balanced dog.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snowshoeing in the SNOW

 Airedales like us are natural in the snow. I just love the snow. Rummy chased me up and down the hill when we went snowshoeing.
 Gromit does the playbow in the snow, initiating more chase games with Rummy. This was Rummy's first time snowshoeing, and I think he just loved it. He covered himself in snow, and never showed any fear when he sunk into the deep snow. He just popped his head out and off he went, hopping like a snow bunny.
 Kimi (in blue), Gromit (in orange) and Rummy (in yellow)
 Rummy and I
Our facial furnishings were totally crusted with snow and it was fun.

 The hike trail wasn't too steep, but the hills we were hiking on were steep going uphill and downhill from us. It didn't stop us from going off trail and frolicking in the snow when we had a chance.
 Gromit kisses me and we put our noses together

 Playing bitey face in the snow is fun too, because even if we tumble and fall, it doesn't hurt.
 Gromit chews on my neck and Rummy does a full body slam on me. Two against one isn't fair...
 Hiking behind the pack leader
 Mum Sheila and us
 Rob gives affection to Gromit because he came when he was called. He stayed close to the pack while we hiked offleash, and showed very good behavior even though he was offleash and formally untrained. Because he is being 'reset' at our home, teaching Gromit to hike nicely with the pack was paramount in inculcating pack mentality. A pack that hikes together, stays together. It enforces the bond and trust within our pack.
 Airedales playing in the snow

 Rummy sitting on the hill off to the high side of the snow trail.

 Gromit says "Hey guys, why are you taking your own sweet time, Rob and I are waiting"
 Hiking nicely behind the other pack leader in an orderly fashion


 "Hey Rummy, what have you found?" Gromit and Kimi look on.
Rummy is closer to his terrier roots than I am. He loves to dig around and bury his head into the ground. Here he seems to have found a scent, he dug himself quite deep into the snow, till his whole head and shoulders could fit in it.
 Hiking uphill toward some icy waterfalls. It was so beautiful. The icicles flowed down and we could hear the trickle of water.

 Kimi looks at Gromit who has just covered his snout with snow.
 Kimi watches over baby brother Rummy
 Yay... this is so fun!! White stuff called snow.
 Hiking downhill


 And then hiking uphill




 Snow covered muzzle
 Rummy Cubs
Let's do this again soon. We love the snow...


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sleepy Time

At night, Gromit loves to sleep in his crate with us in the room. He is an indoor dog, just like us. We Airedales are meant to be indoor dogs, we love to be with our humans. We love to be involved in all the human activities too.

 Rummy goes into Gromit's big crate space and tries to cuddle with him in the tight space. Like I said, Rummy and Gromit are now chums. Real buddies. Gromit doesn't mind sharing his space with Rummy.

For Gromit to sleep in the room with us also helps to assimilate him into our pack faster and more efficiently. That way, he will learn our routines, body rhythm, and rules and expectations much faster, and be a better adjusted dog faster. He wouldn't feel left out, or cry in the night because he is stressed out. He can hear us shuffle in bed, hear us snore and make sleepy sounds. He doesn't seem to miss his humans or his other canine pack member Tucker in the least bit. He loves to stay with us. I think Gromit feels very fulfilled in our pack. We love having Gromit as a guest. He is so much fun.


Learning Table Manners

 From left, Gromit, Rummy and Kimi
All waiting for the release command to eat.

 We all learn to eat close to each other.

 Gromit chomping down on a large pork rib bone with meat.
He uses his molars to chomp the pieces into smaller pieces easier to swallow. The meat goes from his left jaw to the right and back, until the piece gets smaller and smaller.

 Gromit learns to eat while Rummy comes very close to him, and he doesn't show any signs of food possession or aggression. He is polite and compliant in spite of Rummy being so close to his own food bowl. This could be also because Rummy and him are now chums.
 Gromit tolerates it, as Rummy goes through his food bowl. Learning to share by eating out of each other's bowls helps reinforce good pack behavior.

Bowl swapping


Gromit Learns the Door Manners

Most dogs rush to the doors, and then rush outside, without any manners. At our house, there are many rules to follow, and some of the rules are incorporated at the door, upon entry and exit. These are very important too, in helping to establish pack hierarchy, to teach doggie manners, and instill self control.

This is because, alpha dogs most often go ahead first, they also control tight spaces, and have the right of way. They control the movements of subordinate dogs as well, through the use of body language, eye contact and energy.
 Kimi, Gromit and Rummy.

We wait at the door, while Mum or Rob gives the "Free" command, meaning it is now ok, to go out. We are either to stand, sit or down, while we wait to go outside. Upon entering, we also always wait till the humans have gone inside, before we go in. We are not allowed to push past the humans to rush in.
 Kimi looks back for assurance

Kimi the beloved.