Baby Thor

Baby Thor

Training Thor

In January 2010, Thor, a 5-month-old weimaraner, came crashing into my life.

Here, I will outline the steps taken to train him to be a well-mannered dog,

to do agility, and to perform some service dog tasks.

At five months, he is pretty wild.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Better Day

Yesterday, when the sun was shining, I was feeling dark and ready to give up on Thor.  By the end of the day, he was being so demanding that I started to think he must be in pain.  He was drinking large amounts of water and wanting more.  I started to think about bloat, but it didn't fit with what I knew about bloat. 

I once saw a dog die of bloat. I was at an agility trial that was part of a larger canine fair.  There were two agility trials (USDAA & CPE) going on, a flyball competition, demonstrations and exhibits throughout large fairgrounds in New Hampshire.  Quite a few people had brought dogs that were not competing.  This was one of those dogs.  He was a large mixed breed.  When I saw him (and offered my cell phone to call a veterinarian), he was lying on his side and breathing heavily.  A veterinarian was reached and someone else offered to drive so the owner could ride with the dog.  I heard later that the dog had died.  I wasn't surprised.  He really had looked awful.

No bloat for Thor.  Not this time.  But knowing that it is a risk in the weimaraner breed is just one more reason that I would not have chosen to own this dog.

Today, grey and rainy, looks much brighter.  Thor has seemed happier and calmer.  And back to drinking a normal amount. 

We had our first successful walk to the mailbox!  With a front-clip harness on.  I used the Walk-Your-Dog-With-Love Harness because that is the one I had prepared by soaking it overnight in Bitter Apple (thnks Amy!  I now have a replacement Easy Walk as well but need to buy more bitter apple).  Although Thor walked well with the WYDWL harness, I was not impressed.  The leash never tightened; as a result, there was never any pressure on Thor's chest.  Instead, the harness seemed to work via its action behind the front legs.  I expect I'll be mostly using the Easy Walk.  I like the fit and action of the EW better.  :-)

Thor and I have been playing lots of Recall and Stay games.  Will plan to write about each of those next...

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