Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Happy Boy is Back

Ebon as the sun was going down outside of one of the campus buildings.
Went to campus again today. Had a lot of fun running around with Ebon and spent some time working on his leash manners. Before he hurt himself he was being a bit of a butthead on the leash, so today I did lots and lots of super positive and fun work with him. He got lots of cookies, pats, and "good boy!"s if he kept the leash loose and I froze in my tracks if he pulled, which he already knows as "stop that and get over here." He knows good leash manners but apparently needed a serious refresher course. By the end of the walk he was happily trotting on a loose leash. I have to remind myself what he's capable of with just a little encouragement sometimes because before I just kept getting grumpy with him when he started being a brat. Especially when he started bolting after squirrels and nearly sending me headfirst into the concrete. Some positive motivation can go such a long way.

Ebon in a down-stay on the soccer field. Yes, it's really that green.
Sit-stay by the Freshman dormitories.
It was cool so, unlike yesterday, Ebon was very happy: lots of tail wagging and that prancing walk he does when he's feeling peppy. If he's hot he'll often visibly droop in addition to the heavy panting. His walk will be heavier and his tail much slower or not wagging at all.

I also tested out how his vest worked over his harness. It fits quite nicely, actually, and the ring on the harness sits right below the zipper on the vest that's specifically there for people who walk their dogs in a harness. You unzip the little zipper and there's the ring. The loop on the back of the harness is also exposed, but just barely. I probably won't really ever do this again because I always walk Ebon with the leash on his collar. If I ever do use the harness by itself, the vest would only get in the way since I would want access to the handle. I've tested it out, and the harness is great for assisting your dog up and down. If I live in a rocky, hilly area it would be quite helpful. I can also pick Ebon up in it, which is good to know in case of an emergency. However, I wouldn't do it regularly since this harness isn't exactly made for it and the belly strap dug in a bit when I did my test (Ruffwear does make a harness that's better for the purpose). This might be partly due to Ebon's rather high tuck-up and how this might change the distribution of force as compared to a dog with a less deep chest. Surprisingly enough, Ebon actually has a slightly deeper chest when compared to his "waist" than my dad's greyhound!

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