I’m excited and inspired to see what you’re hoping to do with your dogs (and guinea pigs and birds and cats) this month.
I thought I’d show you my training challenge to
inspire you make you laugh at what a bad trainer I am.
Recently, our only car died. After months of talking about it, we are officially car-free.
It’s not as easy as when we lived in Philadelphia but with good bikes, a modest public transit system, and Car Share it’s certainly possible.
But some of our favorite places to go with Honey are too far to walk to. And the bus and Car Share are not dog-friendly options.
Luckily, I have an awesome Doggy Ride Bike Trailer.
My last dog, Shadow, wasn’t fond of the bike trailer. She’d rather run.
But the groceries, plants, and beach chairs I’ve transported in it never minded a bit.
Honey and the Bike Trailer
I knew from the start I’d like Honey to enjoy the trailer. That’s why we removed the wheels and parked it in the kitchen when she was a puppy. I’d hide treats and toys in there for her to find at random.
When Honey was a puppy, we took her for her first ride to the Red Bull Chariot races. It seemed like a fitting way to arrive at such an event. (By the way, if you’re a Cornell parent, you probably don’t want to click the link to see how your kids are spending $41,000 in annual tuition.)
Honey did ok getting to the races but she cried all the way home.
At last year’s beach vacation we tried again. We started with the clicker and treats outside with the trailer already hooked to the bike. Big mistake. Especially since my bike doesn’t have a kickstand. While we got her into the trailer after enough treats she was obviously not happy.
We gave up and haven’t revisited the trailer. Until now.
So we’re starting as if from scratch. The bike trailer is in the foyer. We feed her near it. I occasionally hide treats on it during nose work games.
But this month we’re going back to puppy steps.
The wheels are coming off so the trailer has no chance of moving. Every fun thing we do will have something to do with that trailer. And Pam will be very, very patient.
Now the stakes are higher.
A Fail Means We Lose Some of Our Favorites
It’s a great suggestion. And one that totally slipped from my mind because Honey’s breeder suggested we not do any running with her on hard surfaces until she’s at least 18 months to 2 years old. Honey will be 2 on January 27 so I guess we’re good to go.
But my favorite summer activity is to hang out on the edge of Cayuga Lake at Taughannock State Park.
It’s a hilly eight mile bike ride along a 55 mile per hour road. The shoulders are wide and probably fine for a bike with a trailer. But you obviously wouldn’t want to have a dog running alongside.
If Honey doesn’t get comfortable with the trailer, I’ll never be able to hang out at my favorite beach with her again.
Learning Life Skills
My goals for Honey, as for my earlier dogs, was just for them to live comfortably in our lives. We don’t do agility or tricks or tracking.
But I expect my dogs to have good life skills. To be able to travel comfortably to us and share our lives.
Honey expects me to be patient and to have the wisdom to know what life skills are most important.
I guess the Something Wagging Train Your Dog Challenge will be a time of learning for both of us.