Saturday, September 17, 2016


This is Ida.

She is a 19 month old unknown mix adopted as a 12 week old puppy from the local shelter (breed suspects: american eskimo dog and/or border collie cross).  She is about the sweetest dog you'll ever meet.  Her favourite things include: chasing balls big and small, stealing snacks, and people - any people.  Although she's not particularly cuddly, she will take pets and praise from strangers over just about anything else out there.  Her favourite colour is orange.  She's smart, athletic, and loves to work.  She is also timid, generally anxious, leash reactive to other dogs, and terrified of traffic.

Ida lives in the middle of a major city with a 12 year old American Eskimo Dog named Snowball, a cat named Murder Murdoch and two adult humans. Her house is in a cul-de-sac that opens onto a residential feeder street with multiple bus routes that travel down it.

And that, my friends, is why I am starting this blog.  We've been training in agility for around six months; at first, her leash reactivity was a huge barrier to her progression because we weren't able to work on exercises in a class setting.  I acquired equipment to work on at home, and switched to classes where only one dog is in the ring working at a time, and that has helped tremendously... but without the distractions of other dogs around, it because very clear to me that if she entered the facility stressed out, she would not be able to work. Period.  I've known since she was a puppy that she didn't like traffic noise or car rides, but it's taken me to this point to realise how much it actually affects her life.  In another home, where she wasn't expected go places and where sports weren't a thing, this wouldn't be an issue, but because I've started down this quicksand path into agility... I want to work through this boogeyman.

I know it is not going to be easy, or straightforward... but dog training never is.