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29/06/2011 / Julie

Eso day 2 – Introducing the wall

It is now the end of day 2. The day started out in the backyard where Eso and Bajnok were allowed to do as they pleased as long as they didn’t bother anyone and stayed on the line. A lazy start to the day, in other words. While we were outdoors, Eso was a bit reactive. Luckily this was very early. Long before the rest of the street start using their backyards, so there wasn’t a lot to bark at, and I got to reward and reinforce good behaviour. Soon the rain came and we went indoors. I didn’t sleep for many hours last night, and so had a little nap when we got inside.

After the nap I loaded up with sausages and took the dogs for a walk. Bajnok was his happy self, and Eso leaned heavily on him. We walked to the wall in the street below. Before we got to the wall, Eso was very nervous and reactive. His body language was very low, and he reacted to every sound. This is a wall that Bajnok has had a lot of fun on. A solid stone wall, that is wide enough to walk on, has leveled ground on one side and is high enough to challenge Eso on the other side.

I sent Bajnok up there, actually he jumped up, and Eso followed with light persuasion. Eso’s body language was low. His head was low, his tail was low and he was generally not comfortable. However he followed Bajnok, he explored and ate treats. The whole wall is about 10 metres long and has an arch to it. The first part of it went very well, and he got half way without any treats, but then it got to high. He went a few steps back, and jumped off. I got him up again, but this time he wouldn’t walk without treats, so I placed them on the path in front of him. This worked quite well.

I got him all the way over, but at the end there was an obstruction. Bajnok just ran straight through it, it’s a game to him at this point. Eso wasn’t so sure. He tried to turn around, but I got him back with treats. Soon I got him through. After he had gotten through the obstruction the rest of the walk went a lot better. His body language was much more free. His tail was up, he was almost trotting and he was alert in a very different way.

Our next obstacle was a metal staircase. He stopped at the top when we got to it. Stood there for a while, and with a little persausion he walked down it.

One thing that concerns me a little is his movement. He waddles a bit. When he moves, he swings his whole body from side to side. It might just be that he is bad muscled, however I think there might be something more there. He has made some weird movements with his back leg.

We went for one last walk today. Off lead in the woods. He really seemed to enjoy himself here. He followed Bajnok around and explored the jungle. After the walk we had a little session with the clicker. I sat down on the step of the stairs, and clicked for contact. I felt Eso was avoiding my eyes a bit and I want to teach him new behaviours while he’s here. The session went rather well.

For the future I need to plan one on one time with Bajnok. He seemes to be getting a bit tired of the new teenager hanging on his tail. I will challenge Eso more than I have. For now he has handled it extremely well, and the more he accomplishes, the better he feels.

Now for the people who read this blog, do you have any tips for me? It’s early days yet, but I haven’t much time and I want to make the best of it. Please give me all the tips you have!

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