What we’ve been up to…
- Summer is coming to a slow and almost painful end (75F and sunny one day, rainy and foggy the next), so Wally and I have been spending more time outdoors before we head into 9 months of rain. In case you didn’t know this, WA has only two seasons: summer and rainy.
- Wally and I have been doing a lot more training, usually a few short sessions every morning and evening with the clicker. I forgot how much we both love it, and he’s so much more engaged even when we’re not training. We’ve been shaping random tricks like pushing a ball (or apple) with his nose or dancing on his hind legs. At some point I’ll work on something useful, like revisiting our obedience notes from Cathy Soule. :)
- Some of you may have seen this floating around the interwebs, but the Institute of Canine Biology has opened up a canine genetics course taught by Dr Carol Beauchat and Dr Claudia Melis. It’s directed towards breeders and helping them to understand population genetics so that they can make informed breeding decisions that are in the best long-term interest of the breed. There’s an all-breed course and some breed-specific courses — they cover the same material but the breed-specific classes address issues for those breeds. There’s no Border Terrier course so I signed up for the Doberman course (one day I hope to have a Dobie) and am excited to refresh my knowledge on the topic of genetics! I took genetics in college but that was years ago and not specifically about dogs — it’s going to be a lot more interesting when I can relate it directly to my favorite topic. I’ve already started in on the reading materials and videos. My hope is that the knowledge gained here will help me in my quest to be one of the “good” breeders who leaves their breed better off than they found it.
- And lastly, I’ve been trying to coordinate the accomplishment of Wally’s health testing (OFA, CERF, etc). Thankfully a friend of mine turned me on to Breeder Day at Steamboat Animal Hospital. Now we can go knock out everything in one shot: hips, patellas, heart, and eyes! With all that done Wally will be eligible for a CHIC number and could actually be bred (depending on the results, of course).
Aside from all that, Wally had a great play date with a friend’s Malinois puppy, which is awesome because it expands our play date buddy options. I just love how social Wally is and how spectacularly well he gets along with other dogs. It’s also fascinating to watch how, as he’s getting older, he’s starting to demonstrate his ability to enforce boundaries with puppies in a very patient way. I have the best dog ever.