30 June 2014

Front feet, back feet, walking around the forest.

It's hot in the evening now, and hot in the forest. Even in the shade. We can walk around for a long time, because the dark still comes so late. Banksy has yet to meet any of our pals the deer, or the coyotes, or the bobcats, or the puma, or the bearded old guy who hoots at us like an owl. We do a hundred thousand recalls with her flying along with that long line dragging, and so far, without our other friends, her recall is doing amazing. I hear it goes away when she turns 6 months old, so we're trying to do 2 million of them before then, and in preparation for our first coyote run-in. Because she now loves treats, I bring a pocketful of cookies, and I hope the coyotes aren't trailing the smell, lurking in the trees.

I'm not sure how you train a puppy if you don't have a forest? It has everything you need. Places to hide, places to run. Logs for feet, front and back and all of them. Skinny trees for going round, fat ones for sitting under. Dead mummified moles to practice DROP with. We sprint up the wide paths and practice heeling on the skinny, steep one that goes down to the gulch. So far she's winning with advanced forest walking skills, and fits perfectly into the group. Sometimes out front with Gustavo, who took years to do what she does every day now, and sometimes in the back with us walkers, where she doesn't mind walking close and side. Since I taught her how to put certain feet on things, sitting and standing on logs is getting easier, thus the important skill of photoshoot starting to get better.

There's loads of dust in the forest, but she doesn't need to look at it, because she's a forest Banksy!


team small dog said...

That sounds super scary with a tooth on!! I have known bold coyotes like that too, and we always change our walk pattern for a while to see if they move to another spot, bold ones like that are really scary.

Adding a border collie to our family was partially based around coyotes. There are a few places we walk that have coyote alleys where they tend to hang out. A few months back I had a very big scare with 3 coyotes-one big adult and 2 smaller, while I had the 3 dogs. I think I didn't even write about it in here. It worked fine because all the dogs stayed with me and I held them on lie downs for a while, I got 2 of them leashed, Ruby didn't know what was going on and just stayed with me as usual. 3 coyotes in one group was terrifying, and they stood their ground and didn't run off when I threw rocks at them. We were able to slowly back up the trail and then change courses and they didn't follow us up the hill. A short walk turned into a much longer one that evening! When I was looking for a Banksy, I decided I wanted a dog that was not smaller than a coyote!!! And of a herding type breed that had a better chance of not being too interested in coyotes. She saw her first deer just last night, and was really good. So hopefully that is how it goes with her!

Anonymous said...

Egads! That's scary too! I've started to carry a large walking stick. One thing I did notice when he started getting very bold, the amount of scat on the road increased tremendously. The farmers saw another one with it's smaller friend the other day.

Unfortunately for me I have to walk the same way. It's an old farm road through an oak/poison oak grove and around a barn by the wine grapes. Little Noodle and I are alike in that we are stupidly stubborn and won't let those coyotes tell us where we can and can't walk:) Like you though, we're going to be carful... and carry a big stick!