Sprocket Update – Going off lead

Happy Sprocket

Meet Sprocket – the newest member of our family. He’s an 10 month old Terrier cross (We’re not sure what’s in the mix!) adopted puppy from Melbourne’s The Lost Dogs’ Home. Follow along as I share his and my story as a new dog owner learning how to raise a healthy and happy little dog. I’ll also be doing regular updates on JOY 94.9′s Pets-A-Loud about my experiences and what I learn along the way.

It’s Sprocket’s birthday! Well, we’re guessing it is – being a stray we’re not exactly sure when his birthday is so we’ve made a guesstimate for his first birthday. Sprocket is still very much a puppy – full of energy and curiosity and his infamous cheeky streak. At the moment obedience training is all about getting him to the point where we can take him off lead. Because he’s still quite young he doesn’t always pay attention or stay focused so the challenge is to keep him engaged and happy during training. Eventually we want to get to the point that he will listen to commands by voice, stay focused at a distance and trust him off lead – particularly with other dogs around!

The lesson I’ve taken out of our recent training is that it can be way too easy to get frustrated and the forget the most important part – have fun. He’s learned some basic commands and tricks, but as we get more complex it can be quite mentally taxing for both of us. Our obedience club makes a particular effort to teach us about enjoying training with our dogs and making sure your dog considers training to be a fun and positive experience.

With quite a hectic schedule in other parts of our lives (work, social life) it’s been hard to find regular training times so our upcoming priority is to get back into a routine of daily training so Sprocket can continue learning and maturing and so we can strengthen our connection together. He’s in the early stages of learning more flashy tricks like jumping through hoops and the like so I can’t wait to show off what he’s learned.

-JB

Sprocket update: First visit to dog dancing

Sprocket

Meet Sprocket – the newest member of our family. He’s an 10 month old Terrier cross (We’re not sure what’s in the mix!) adopted puppy from Melbourne’s The Lost Dogs’ Home. Follow along as I share his and my story as a new dog owner learning how to raise a healthy and happy little dog. I’ll also be doing regular updates on JOY 94.9′s Pets-A-Loud about my experiences and what I learn along the way.

Our lesson for this Sprocket update? Never leave the cupboard door open.

Our terrier cross Sprocket (the sneaky little bugger) has broken not once, but TWICE into his food and filled his belly up to the point he can barely move. As the months go on we can see more parts of Sprocket’s personality and his sneaky side is definitely a feature. We’ll be keeping a closer eye on the cupboard door in future! Sneaky is just one trait though – he’s a very affectionate pup (sometimes overly!) and loves to lick, lick, lick, lick, lick – particularly first thing in the morning to wake you up. When he’s tired he can be a bit of a grump, but loves nothing more than at the end of the day to jump up into your lap, curl up and have a bit of a snuggle and a snooze.

For the first time we’ve taken Sprocket to try dog dancing (Check out Kevin and Cynder’s work here) to see whether it’s something he enjoys. We’ve started teaching Sprocket some fun tricks such as spins and twirls, but what he really loves is standing up on his hind legs. Ever since we taught it to him – it’s all he wants to do! At dog dancing we learned about refining our techniques, back leg awareness and some of the basic building blocks that put together a routine. Dog dancing was fun, but because he’s still just a puppy he only got a little while in before getting a bit tired and distracted – though I reckon he loved all the attention…and treats!

My challenge ahead is keeping up a regular training schedule with Sprocket and making sure we fit the time in each day for at least five minutes. He’s progressing well with his training, but it’ll all be made much easier if we’re consistent. It’s been a few weeks since a proper obedience class, but we have been practising so I look forward to seeing how he goes in our next class.

-JB