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02/11/2012 / Julie

Hallowe’en marks the anniversary

Been with me a few hours, and all ready settled in on the bed

The blog has been silent and damper lately. Just the way it is. I’m a bit late with this blog, and I apologise for that to anyone who may have been waiting. On All hallows’ eve Derria had stayed with us a whole year.

I lived at Evenstad when I got her. I had a lot of time on my hands, nothing but forest outside my door, and she was a sweetheart. Bajnok and Derria were great playmates from the start.

The first few days were stressfull. I was off school, on fall break, and Derria was having a hard time understanding that I don’t get up at 6 o’clock when I’m off school. The first day I thought she had to go out, so I let her out. However, she didn’t settle afterwards either, so the next couple of days, I didn’t let her out, and soon she was snoozing until ten. Then we got up, fixed breakfast and eventually headed out. For the first few meters, they were on lead. Now, Bajnok doesn’t pull. He doesn’t until you pick up speed, then he will start. Derria on the other hand, was rehomed for pulling. I worked on it in baby steps.

Slim and lanky, and why I thought there might be hound in her.

There were few distractions toward the woods, and I would usually let Bajnok off a little early. This way I could work with Derria until she put a little less pressure on the lead, then I’d unhook it, and there’s her reward. It worked rather well. If I needed her on lead longer than I thought she could handle, I’d put on a pulling harness and let her pull. This way she’d also slowly learn the difference between a walking harness and a pulling harness.

Our life at Evenstad was pretty simple; do as you please, when you please, pretty much. Then I decided to try skijoring with the dousesome, which was an enormous hit. The speed for Bajnok, and the pulling and speed for Derria.

On snow…

As long as we didn’t stay still, they were both enjoying it.

They showed great promise in this sport. When I was home at my parents’ I tried hooking them in front of a … (don’t know name in English)because skies on the road doesn’t really work that well. It was a hoot, and luckily Bajnok knows the

… and ice. Had to put rope between them, or they’d veer out to different sides or tangle the lines.

difference between left and right, because it was pretty darn dangerous. He wasn’t too assured to begin with, though and sometimes it ended with falls, but I can take a fall or nine. Soon we came into our stride, and the dogs loved it, and I loved it. It was brilliant fun.

At the same time I was working on her lead walking. It was definitely improving up there in the woods. I no longer had to almost lie on my back for a short walk, but she still couldn’t walk much more than a hundred meters with no distractions. Then we moved back to town. She now really needed to learn, and it was time for me to get properly frustrated at times. We soon discaovered the Halti no pull harness, not the thing around the

When the snow disappeared, we had to come up with alternatives

snout, but a harness (Halti is brand, for those who don’t know. They make humane training equipment). I brought it home to try it out, and it was a great tool. It’s not a miracle cure, but it helps. Instead of having 40 lbs of animal always pulling, she can’t pull at full force, because she’ll get turned around. It’s much easier to make contact with your dog, and for many dogs, it calms them down. There is no pain, no force, just a tactical design. It has hepled us to gradually, over several months, make the transition to a regular harness. We’re still working on lead walking, and during hightened stress she can still pull quite a lot, but she is much easier to handle while walking regularly.Bajnok has also enjoyed this harness. We use it at dog shows, and it makes him feel more comfortable. Which is quite a feat for a harness.
Derria still is a bit afraid of people. Luckily it’s only if we meet them outside our house. If they’ve rung our doorbell, tey must be the coolest people to have ever walked the face of the Earth! Which is nice. It wasn’t like this in the beginning, what we’ve done to get it like this, I don’t know. But she greats anyone who walks in like they were old friends. Maybe it is because most of them she has met before. Because if she has met the person only once before, then they are the coolest people in the world.

Physically she has gone through changes. When she came she was slightly unerweight, nothing major, but she had no muscle mass and would gallopp everywhere. Trotting was unheard of. After a month or two of running around in the woods and building muscle on 2-5 hour walks/day, she started to trot. Since then she has built muscles like a star. She has gained a size in Non-Stop harness. She destroyed the old one while she was tied up, and was wheezing a bit when breathing, so I decided to try a size larger. It has worked very well. When she came she could even fit into Bajnok’s harness. Anatomically her front looks a whole lot better with muscle on it, her back legs are schexy, and she is a fit dog. I did spay her for the sanity of my boys. It was not very nice when she was in heat.

She also lost a tiny piece of her ear in a fight with another dog. Both dogs are fine. Just a thing that happens.

She is challenging, annoying and smart. We still have work to do, but we’re getting there. Baby steps. She has over the last year tried tracking, agility and joring. I believe joring is the absolute favorite, though tracking and agility is definitely fun as well. She’s a great girl, and she’s here to stay.
Derria schweisshund tracking

Derria on human track

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4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Jen / Nov 2 2012 19:53

    Congratulations on your addition! Derria is a pretty girl, and she sounds like she’s a good fit for you and your house. I’m glad to hear about your success with the no-pull harness; I’ve never used one myself, but I did recommend it to a person I know with a crazy-girl dog (an Aussie-Border Collie mix) and she’s seemed pretty happy with it.

    I’m happy to read your entries, regardless of any delays 😉

  2. Kaja / Mar 6 2013 14:18

    Jeg må bare spørre om hvilken oppdretter du har kjøpt Mudien din fra! Jeg er på utkikk etter en, så det hadde vært supert å vite (:
    *Super blogg! (utrolig fine hunder du har<3)

    • Julie / Mar 6 2013 20:59

      Han er fra Sigerdriva i Skien. http://www.sigerdriva.no Takk for komplimenter:)

      • Kaja / Mar 7 2013 09:51

        Det var det jeg tenkte meg! Har snakket med henne over mail (: Eneste oppdretter i Norge, hvis det ikke har kommet noen de siste månedene. Han var utrolig fin! Tenker meg en sånn en selv som neste (:
        Tusen takk for svar 😀

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