All about Roger

Roger

Next few days it is all about Roger in my household. I didn’t realise until a few days ago that 21st July is approaching very fast. This will be always my special date as 21st July 2015 Roger came to my life as my pet. You can read more about how he planned to be my dog in a post: stories about the team.

He is a rescue who changed my life and finally I feel I am on good path feeling happy. As a rescue, he had a lot of behaviour problems including worst ever separation anxiety (he wouldn’t stay for 30sec by himself). I felt really bad about all that and especially knowing that one day I need to go back to do my full-time job. Luckily, when I took him I didn’t work so we had plenty time to train. I started from day one. I was hoping to teach him to stay in the crate, he totally refused and as we know it just doesn’t work for some dogs.

So we gave up on a crate, but I kept it so he knew it is his space if ever we go on holidays together then it will travel with us. Eventually, we progressed from the 30 seconds staying alone to more time. I gradually increased the time for him to be left alone, but I kept training him all day long. He chewed and collected all my clothes or shoes. I felt bad but I wanted to make sure he is ready.

Happy dog

A month later he wasn’t but I needed to go back to work. Somehow we managed. Then we have moved to a lovely flat and this has totally changed the game. Roger relaxed more and was one chilled dog. I found dog walker so he could walk him during lunch time. Two years later I see all that was so worth it. Roger stays at home for max up 7h without chewing or destroying the house (usually he stays max 5h alone). I have also started watching him on camera, while I am at work and he just sleeps and barks at strangers at the corridor. Super proud of him. Ohhh I should have mentioned exercised dog= tired dog= no problem to stay alone.

Training

So we were back to  http://pavingcrew.com/home/beforeandafter5/ Blairadam Forest for some social run with friends. As Laferra is “in heat” and it is all about Roger week, it was a perfect choice, as I mentioned before he just loves it. A nice wee 6km jaunt around was just a great fun.It was all about the start and stop and a lot of water stops due to very high temperature. I still think it was better than the day before when it was very humid.

Girls problem

All girls dogs’ owners have this problem. Once or twice a year bitches are in heat if not spayed. A personal decision: I am going to spey Laferra as when she is fully grown so still some time to wait for that. However, until then we need to deal with her hormones jumping up and down and make sure she is away from male dogs. This is the time that I started to think even more about canicross and how thankful I am to find it. This is the only way to exercise Laferra and get rid of her energy. Nothing like a big training, just small short 2km jaunt around the park. She is safe with me and has time to enjoy time running. A problem at home?! Yeah, girls can be messy, I spend 5 pounds on adjustable and washable female pet pantie (Amazon). I think that money was the best money I have ever spend.

You would think she looks awful. She doesn’t and actually it is great to keep the mess away from my carpets. Also, it comes in different colours and patterns and even better: she doesn’t try to take it off. I would definitely recommend those to any female dog owners.

Rest weekend

My rest weekend turned into MTB weekend and rest for dogs. Friday I have spent riding my bike around Glentress with Dirt School, which was awesome and a big boost for my MTB ego. I have been eaten by midgies and really suffering now, but sudocream does the magic.

The weekend brought an exciting trip to a new destination, where I took my bike only. It was robaxin 1500 mg Yair Forest.  I was gutted that Laferra couldn’t come as this place… Wow amazing and very quiet. but also not many sheep around. This forest is near Selkirk and has proper climbs for MTB. No shame in walking, right? Located just an hour away from Edinburgh, near Innerleithen and Glentress is a very nice treat for a new adventure.

It totally pushed me out of my comfort zone and those single tracks proved me that my hard work on MTB technique is worth. I didn’t manage to go off the bike at all. Nice day off and wee break away from dogs and my usual weekend’s routine. I am going back there for sure.

Time off- dog free evenings

I love my dogs a lot but sometimes I need a rest from them and focus just on me.

I started doing meditation and it helped me to clear head and be relaxed. This week our Yoga teacher decided to move the class outside. What an amazing idea that was.

It happened in  http://girlsintanktops.com/wp-json/oembed/1.0/embed?url=http://girlsintanktops.com/chanel-west-tank/ Holyrood Park,  the temperature was high so a lot of people, but we managed to hear birds and it was just spot on what I need after a busy day at work. Also, remember Yin Yoga increases your flexibility and as I learnt and experienced it Yin Yoga reduces stress and anxiety. Try it yourself!

Big day coming

It might sound lame but I am really super excited about 21st July. I think Roger is delighted that it is all about him this week. Another agility classes and wow we have managed to have Roger off a lead. Yes, I said we had him off a lead and Yes, he doesn’t have any recall when surrounded by livestock. I have doubts if this will ever be possible to teach that boy a recall around sheep or horses. Yesterday he proved that when he has job to do, he will do anything to please! Even out agility mentor said he is much more focus on me. Does this mean he enjoys agility?

I also realised that going to school for dogs is worth too. Last year we attended to  Paw Skills Edinburgh for tricks course. I thought tricks class will be ideal as his brain will work and he will learn funny things. Well how wrong I was, funny things maybe yes but how helpful they are on a daily basis and also very helpful at agility. If you have any doubts? Just do it, do one block it will change your dog and your life. The most importantly it will create amazing bonding between you two.

I know this post is all about Roger and I promise I didn’t have tears when I was writing it. He changed my life. Happy Gotcha Day Roger.

“A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad.”- Robert Wagner.

 

All about the training

Surprises everyday surprises

So after big lessons for myself and Laferra, I gave her chance to canicross with cani-fit class in Blairadam Forest, which is Roger’s favourite place due to so many scents. Lafie was amazing, I was in shock when she even led the group, or stayed behind others and overtook with no problems. She was showing off, or maybe she can read my mind?! She was pulling like a train and I can feel my legs. Well done Laferra. Another lesson learnt! Not every day she will be amazing. She is still young and learning her world, but also she can have bad days.

Roger was resting his wee paws for his Saturday class. I really cleared my head during that class after a crazy day at work. However my car added more to that day, parking brake appeared to have a problem, so I was stuck in Fife. Luckily with help of friends over the phone, we have managed to come back home and still have good rest for another day of fun.

Friday fun

Friday is the best day. It flies quickly at work and also it is our rest day in the evening (well most of the time until I decided free run at the beach is our rest day).

It is usually nice evening working on dogs obedience at home: tricks and just usual sit, lie down commands. Oh and I should mention it is a day of a massive homemade pizza for myself too.

 

Weekends are the best

I am lucky that I only work from Monday to Friday, which means I can always plan weekends to have some fun with my dogs. Unfortunately, due to not being able to be off lead in woods, sometimes Roger needs to stay at home when I have a blast on a bike with Lafie off the lead.

This time we had a chance to explore the area around Dunkeld but mainly Loch Ordie. I am speechless and definitely going back there for hiking with both dogs. There was no one there on an almost 15km ride, but we saw a herd of stags and a lot of amazing birds. It was great to see Laferra watching the stags and not even bothering to follow them. My two dogs are very opposite to each other in the way of being off lead! At least I can have one with me when out on a bike. Back to the Loch Ordie area. Scenery and lochs are just amazing and you really feel like on holidays for few hours.

Trail dog training

A lot of people are asking me about training for my trail dog Laferra. I have started with making Laferra familiar with the bike and what it does. She knows that it won’t hurt her if she stays off wheels. I started with short distance around the country park she knew well. Start and stop as I wanted her to learn that she needs to stay nearby. Usually, when I just walk she stays nearby, but on a bike, I can move faster. Over few days and weeks, we build up the distance and now I can proudly say she is fine to be my trail dog on 15km long route. She stills goes off to hunt birds and her own mission, but I have a whistle with me so she knows where I am and that whistle once and she needs to come back.

That training worked for me, but I made sure she had good recall before that and I have tested it when walking in that kind of places. Do small steps and be patient. Eventually, it will pay back.

Recall

It won’t work with all the dogs. It didn’t work for Roger, as a cross staffie/border collie, his recall in Country Park with sheep, cows, deer or even rabbits just doesn’t exist. His instincts are stronger than his love for me. Haha. I have tried simple recall training stages, and unfortunately, only one place he can be off lead is the beach. I am not giving up on Roger and still trying to teach him or at least improve his recall in different places than just beach. Hoping for the day that he can go for adventures up the mountain with Laferra and me.

Shakey video of Laferra running around Loch Ordie

Small things but it makes me happy

I feel that my training, time, effort and money that I put in this are so worth. Roger and I were travelling around UK to compete with BSSF at National Champs and we got the World Cup points (still big error on a website as we did 3 races, not 2). Within 2 races results, we have managed to get the 22nd place in Europe and Russia in World Cup (male/female/veteran/elite). I am super chuffed. I was a bit down with training, but this gave me a boost and motivation back. Time to work harder and finally aim for dream sub 20 minute.I am also super proud of Roger, as nothing can stop him and he always runs his socks off. Well done Rogerowski. The more races you do the more points you have, so even faster people can be below you. Next year I am hoping that I can travel and compete not only in UK at National Champs but also in Poland at National Champs so I get experience in different countries. This was big surprise as I didn’t know we will get even to World Cup ranking.

Already July!

The heart of the city

What a week that was. Most days that I was out and about the rain was pissing down. It didn’t rain, it was pissing down. No matter how good was your waterproof, you got soaked. As I live in Edinburgh it is a bit drive during rush hours, stuck in traffic to get to a nice country park. I totally forgot there are Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park about 5 min away from my place. In the heart the city, you can clear your mind and enjoy a bit hiking. I found nice soft trails and surprisingly tough hills. Even tho this place is in the city, there are a lot of wild animals there: birds and rabbits.

The advantage is that there is fresh water for dogs to drink (not loch water). Nice run around for approx 4km was enough in that rain. Especially Roger isn’t a big fan of paddles and mud. Surprisingly he did really well and wasn’t in a huff. I know Laferra always like to get dirty but yesterday she wasn’t really keen about paddles (maybe due to her pads not fully healed?). I think I will start running her first, as she is going to “break” my legs.Therefore I can’t cope with her speed, so time to play a different game and I need to work a bit harder running without dogs. Also, my conclusion of that late afternoon is that running in soaked clothes isn’t good fun at all.

Chatelherault Park in Lanarkshire

I really thought Scotland can’t surprise me anymore. Again how wrong I was. As usual, I took Roger first for a wee jaunt around this beautiful Country Park and as I allowed Roger to be fully a leader for our running trails, I needed to change that as we were running around a field with sheeps. Haha, I know what he is like! However, with my directions skills, we got lost and ran longer than I planned. The good side of being lost is that we really explore this place. Beautiful five-star visitor attraction is located just over an hour drive from Edinburgh. It has 500acres of countryside and woodland and over ten miles of routed pathways. I presume it has everything for everyone.

Good lesson

Next it was Laferra’s turn and what a lesson I got from my pup. Unfortunately, she is still shy with some dogs (apart from her favourite Nismo-she even tried to steal kisses from him) and she wasn’t herself at all. I decided to stay at the back, be calm and enjoy the nice environment. Sometimes those moments are hard and it is difficult to stay calm, but it is for the best. I must admit I even thought for a second to take her back and just stop cani-hiking. I am not patient at all. We had sticked to the classes and Laferra picked up again. Always remember that you need to be patient and understanding, our four-legged friends can have a bad day or a headache too. Always make sure you finish training, walk or hiking in a positive atmosphere. Your dog is trying best to please you, but sometimes they need more directions from us. I am really thankful to both my dogs for teaching me life lessons.

Always remember that you need to be patient and understanding, our four-legged friends can have a bad day or a headache too. Always make sure you finish training, walk or hiking in a positive atmosphere. Your dog is trying best to please you, but sometimes they need more directions from us. I am really thankful to both my dogs for teaching me life lessons.

Lazy Sunday

I know our lazy Sunday turned into fun at the beach from early morning. This was the first time after a week that I let Laferra off lead as her pads are much better. I love those moments when my dogs can be just dogs and have fun around.

Rain is back

Actually it is good to see rain back, it was getting dry in woods and not many water stops. I am not the biggest fan of rain, but when I go out and all the running is done, I feel really good and it was always fun as no one there. So we skipped agility and went out for some fun in rain. I wasn’t in the mood to drive far so we only went to Cammo Estate,  which is usually quiet.

Roger and Laferra in action

Happy Friday.