Kaylee’s Training Log – Day 2 – Doggy Day Out

(3 May 2008) Took Kaylee for her very first train ride today on the DART Light rail- she did GREAT.

Drove to the Skillman Station and waited about 10 minutes for the train- Kaylee did excellent while we were waiting, mildly curious but not overly interested in the people there. No vocalization, even when some kids running and yelling were playing tag on the platform. No reaction to the trains coming in or out of the station, and excellent job with boarding. She was a little unsure about the rocking of the train, but the noise didn’t seem to bother her at all. Some lip licking and slightly elevated respiration, but eyes weren’t dilated and no vocalization. 10 minutes into the ride, she relaxed, laid down, and took a nap. Wish I could have- there was a guy who was pestering me for my phone number that was really irritating- I mean, he was probably a perfectly nice guy, but I never know how to deal with that sort of thing. “I don’t give out my phone number, sorry.” seems pretty clear to me, but… yeah. Anyway, when we got to the end of the line where we were meeting Lindsay and her service dog Grady, we stepped off the train to find her, made a quick stop in the grass, and then got back on the train.

On the return trip, unfortunately, the car was much fuller. Because Kaylee doesn’t have a solid downstay yet and dogs are a significant distraction, I decided not to sit next to Lindsay and stood across the aisle in the standing area only, which worked fine. Kaylee wasn’t phased by the obnoxious, VERY loud teenagers at the back who made all sorts of weird noises (including barking, meowing, and a few other things) but my head was pounding by the time they got off the train. About 3/4 of the way through the ride, Lindsay swapped with me and stood in the standing section and I took the available seat.

After that, we got in the truck and drove down to the White Rock Lake Festival, held every year to raise money for the White Rock Lake Foundation. It was smaller this year than I remember it being in years past- maybe it was busier earlier in the day- we didn’t arrive until 6:30, and it ended at 8. Heard a few songs from a great band with a fantastic fiddler and a lady who does a GREAT cover of “Ring of Fire” and ran into a friend from a past obedience class and her Viszla Laney. We spent about 45 minutes walking around, during which Kaylee sniffed, stole a piece of hamburger off the ground (my fault, I didn’t see it at all), and generally was a cute, polite girl. Lindsay offered to sell her right eye for a million dollars to a guy from some church, or both eyes for 10 million, and he didn’t really seem to know how to deal with this. (It was his lead in to a “Eyes are the windows to the soul, what value do you place on THAT?” spiel; Lindsay and I side-tracked him into whether or not Ebay’s terms of service allows for the selling of souls (conclusion? No.) as they ARE body parts…) The WRL Festival runs tomorrow too, costs $2 for adults (free for kids!) and benefits a great cause, so if you’re local, check it out! The music was awesome, and if we’d been hungry, the food smelled DELICIOUS.

We made a quick stop by Half Price Books (and resisted purchasing anything, very tough!) and spent a bit of time in the dog section. The largest Half Price Books in the world is located here in Dallas, and while it’s got nothing on Powell’s, it’s still pretty good sized. It’s also dog-friendly, so it’s a great place to take service dogs in training to practice good manners without the higher stress (to the handler) of a ‘real’ access environment or the tempting distractions and smells of a pet supply store. The dog book section isn’t great- it’s pretty big but most of it is pet-oriented. Every once in a while, though, we find a training gem- I picked up a copy of “Off to a Good Start” here and am slowly amassing a collection of good breed books (mostly the “Complete (breed)” and “New Complete (breed)” series.)

Afterwards, we went out to dinner, but Kaylee is in NO way ready for that, so that was the end of her outing. Billy (Lindsay’s SO) picked her up at Denny’s (our favorite Denny’s is under new management and we’re not very pleased) and I headed back to the apartment with Kaylee. Did one more session- sits and downs again, this time doing speed trials. Like most collies, she seems to learn very well from watching other dogs, and it probably doesn’t hurt that there’s some rivalry between her and Malcolm- 3 repetitions of watching him get treats for sitting (he’s working on straight fronts at the moment), she shoved in and proved she could do it too. Go Kaylee!

Behaviors worked on: Leash manners, leave it, sit, down
Total Time worked: 4 hours


3 Responses to Kaylee’s Training Log – Day 2 – Doggy Day Out

  1. greatdaneservicedog says:

    four hours training time!! Wow. My little SDit is still just 4 months old, so four hours seems miraculous! I’m adding you to my favorites, for sure, and see if I can learn a few things! What a good girl, Kaylee.

    Cait’s response
    This is one of the major benefits of getting an older puppy or young adult for a SD prospect- Kaylee, like my friend’s SDIT Caden, has all the socialization that a young show dog will get, house manners, and comes prepared with a longer attention span right out the gate than a puppy. Plus, you can get all the benefits of purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder, too! There’s some downsides, of course- you miss that brilliant period between 8 and 12 weeks when they learn like little sponges, and aren’t available in quite such a planned way as pet-quality puppies are. But it can be worth the time and energy to find one, especially for an owner trainer who’s disability means they aren’t up to dealing with the sheer energy a puppy takes. (Probably less of an issue in the breeds that people KNOW you have to train quickly like Danes, but in most of the herding breeds, look out!)

  2. greatdaneservicedog says:

    You are so right about energy demands of a puppy. I wouldn’t have taken a higher energy breed puppy because of it. I caught alot of flak for not getting a lab, a collie, or a golden. But I knew I there was no way I could handle the wild excitement they have a tendency towards.
    I was very nitpicky when looking for little Kenai–I spent 6 months of looking at breeders every day before I settled on one. She’s a show breeder who has had several pups become service and therapy dogs, but ohhh the price. I also was glad she was the type of breeder who kept track of her puppies, and I could verify that none of them had ever developed the inheritable illnesses that Danes are prone to. The life span is short enough, without adding illness.
    I told her I really needed a calm, bombproof puppy and boy did she deliver: Kenai has been the easiest, lowest exercise demand puppy I’ve ever had. He’s never knocked anything over, broken anything, or torn anything up.
    I really enjoyed his 2 month old period, and he had all his commands down BEFORE he went to puppy class. But we do have to go through the teething and work on consistently increasing his attention span. For me, it’s worth it. But not everyone wants to go through all that. If I was as sick as I have been in the past, I couldn’t. But I wouldn’t have gotten a dog at all in that kind of shape.
    Give Kaylee a big slobbery lick from Kenai!

  3. mittelspitz says:

    I think you’d be surprised at the collie energy level – one of the reasons I adore the breed is that they really tend to be FAIRLY calm from a pretty young age. (Ditto Goldens, although that’s more of a crapshoot, but with good breeders like Summit or Sunfire, the temperament is spectacular.)

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