Blog Archives

Training Update

Loki

   ~even though it looks like I’m just holding Loki, he is actually roped in!!!
Aamodt's Loki_5929Just wanted to give you a quick update on Loki’s eventful week! A week ago we got to rappel together for the first time– we train on ski patrol to evacuate the lift, should it ever be necessary, and we wanted to be sure that Loki could also be safely evacuated. For those who might be concerned, Loki and I were both wearing fully load-rated harnesses designed for such activities (that’s why his patrol uniform vest is load rated!). He did really well– he was a little reluctant to leave the security of the chair (a good thing, really), but as soon as I lifted him off, he relaxed, and we were lowered to the ground– no big deal! It’s fun to see training and socialization pay off.

Canine Good Citizen (CGC)Aamodt's Loki_5924

Speaking of such, Loki passed the CGC this weekend! His only difficulty was staying calm while being petted, but he made it and passed the rest of the test with flying colors. For others interested in taking the CGC, I’d highly recommend taking a class focused on the CGC. It really helped us fine-tune and figure out what we needed to work on.
Best wishes, Erica

Breeder Comment

What an achievement to be training at the level you are–impressive! We all applaud your efforts. For those who are challenged by getting the smallest compliance this must seem daunting–indeed, the level of commitment, knack, and whatnot is well beyond novice dog handler.
For those struggling, we suggest you not compare yourself to anyone else. Also, don’t let everyone tell you what to do. This journey you have embarked on with the Weimaraner is a personal one. We are each unique in our abilities. Our lifestyle differs. We sincerely hope you can accomplish the basics–loose leash hell, a strong recall, etc. These are essential components of anyone who finds success with their canine. The desire to please, as well as a respectful relationship, are equally important. Remember it is a journey–one step at a time. It remains to be seen what you can achieve. The process takes as long as it takes. Oh, yeah!

At Six Months

Updating You

     ~Loki’s Adventures

Now that spring seems to finally be here Loki and I are having all sorts of adventures. For the last month or so I’ve been working on introducing Loki to water. First, it was getting his toes wet, then the ankles, and so on. I’ve attached a video from this evening— we headed out to the lake after work. Needless to say, we’ve come a little ways from not getting our paws wet. You may notice the cord on the bumper— sometimes Loki needs to remember that the game is retrieving, not keep away, but the water work has seemed to really help this. Also great insurance in case he doesn’t go for it, so I don’t have to swim.

Aamodt's Loki_3761Other adventures include hide-and-go-seek at lunchtime on a trail system near my office. It’s a great game for anyone to play to help their pup remember to check in on hikes, but with Loki, in particular, we want to develop the idea that he can use his nose to find people. When we’re out on the trail, I wait until he gets just a little too far ahead of me, and I hide in the bushes next to the trail where I can still see him. He is quick to notice that I’m no longer in sight, so he runs back down the trail. He usually goes past me until he hits my scent (in the air), and then he usually works the scent cone back towards me. When he finds me, we enthusiastically play with his favorite toy.
Another new thing is teaching Loki to pull me on my longboard. I keep it short and easy so as to not stress his joints, but it’s a great way to practice verbal directive commands. And to take the edge off the wiggles!
Loki is also turning into quite a camping dog. Last week was his first tent camping adventure in Glacier National Park over Memorial Day weekend.
The two pictures I’m sharing here show our work on the down-stay (he’s not tied in either). You can see the drool starting to come with the cheese! That’s what happens to those who attempt to counter surf. He got no cheese.
Aamodt's Loki_3760As always, we constantly incorporate sit-down-stay-heel-come into our daily routine. The heel is finally taking hold— at least 50% loose-leash on a flat collar, and his off-leash heel is almost better. The red harness he’s wearing in the picture is his working harness and includes a handle to help keep him safe on the chairlift. We are working on associating it with good listening and lots of fun search games.
Anyway, I can’t believe he’s 6 months old already! It has gone so fast. ~ Erica

Breeder Comment

We are so delighted to see all that Loki has learned thus far–in such a short time. The development of his nose–scenting for the human is coming along nicely. The water work, the basic obedience, and all continue to come together. You are doing fantastic with him on every level. Thank you, for the diligent effort you are investing in training for the well-balanced (Search and Rescue ready) Weimaraner. Also, thank you for keeping us informed. We love being a part of the journey. We realize he is a typical Weimaraner in many ways (such as the counter-surfing thing); however, it remains to be seen what the two of you can become. Go Erica and Loki–we applaud your efforts.

On The Snow

Training for Avalanche Rescue

Aamodt_2262
Loki and I have spent much of the last few months frolicking in the snow. We’re training for avalanche rescue which means at this point that we’re spending as much time as we can on the mountain. Loki loves schmoozing the skiers and boarders around the main lodge, and yesterday he had his first ride on my shoulders while I skied.

Aamodt_2174This weekend we’ll be riding the chairlift. It’s hard to say what Loki’s favorite thing is about the ski hill, but riding down in a gondola filled with ski patrollers has got to be near the top of the list. As we say on the hill, he’s a real little powderhound.

When we’re not on the mountain, I’m working on developing his toy drive with short little breaks of fun, fun play throughout the day. We’ve also started some simple tracking drills and hide-and-go-seek games.

All the best, ~Erica

Breeder’s Comment

We are thrilled to hear the news of Loki’s progress as well as to find out he loves snow. It is interesting to get a peek into your world. Thank you, for taking the time to share with our readers and us.

Loki

More about our Adventure

     ~ Part ThreeSAR pupUps and Downs

We had some trouble early on with puppy biting. When I tried to correct Loki he would get angry, which worried me. I’ve since used your advice, Shela—a good screech stops him in his tracks! Since then, I’ve screeched and redirected him to something he’s allowed to chew on, and I haven’t had many issues this past week. I’m keeping Cliff’s trick in reserve in case we have more serious difficulties in the future, but for now, we’re on a good, positive track. Though Loki did well with the crate the first couple of weeks, he’s become more vocal this past week and I’ve temporarily revoked his office privileges (his crate is now in an area where his complaints won’t bother anyone). I imagine his increasing energy levels have something to do with it, so I’m making sure he gets more exercise, and he still gets some nice breaks from his crate throughout the day. I’m hoping this is just a phase, and that he learns that fussing won’t get him out of his crate (I’m also doing work to make sure that his crate is a positive place for him—he just objects to not being the center of attention, I think!).

The Vet

We had a nice visit with the vet for Loki’s 9-week shot. She was impressed with the detailed portfolio you sent and is supportive of the vaccine protocol. She is also happy that I’m feeding the Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Chow with the NuVet supplement. Good news—one of Loki’s testes has descended, and the other was in a good position, so I think we’re going to be just fine on that account. She is also an advocate of neutering closer to the 6-month mark rather than to wait longer.

tasty thumbIn Summary

those eyesLoki and I are getting along quite nicely. He’s already my little adventure buddy, and he’s always up for snuggle time at the end of the day. I love this little guy—he is so intelligent and energetic. Though I wrote a fair amount about training, to Loki it’s all fun and games, and I intend to keep it that way. Thank you for all your help in selecting Loki. We’ll be sure to keep you updated!

Click Here for Part One

Click Here for Part Two

Breeder Comment

Thanks, Erica, for providing so much information about your process and Loki. The photos were outstanding, too! We look forward to hearing from you in the future. Keep up the great work.