Everyone that knows Beanie is probably aware that her once perfect recall started taking a nose-dive at around 5 months old. For about a month we could hardly let her off-lead at all. She improved a little and for a couple of months we’ve been managing fine if we only let her off-lead when there are other dogs to play with.
I’m pleased to say that all this week Paul has been managing to let her off-lead the moment he enters the park. I joined them in their morning walk today and I have to agree she’s as good as gold! She mostly comes when she’s called, and always stays close.
It’s hard to say what has resulted in the improvement. It could be just her age, but there are one or two things that I think have played a part.
- Paul has been doing the morning off-lead walks alone. He stays much calmer than me when Beanie plays up, and simply walks away from her when she doesn’t come when called. We both felt that she was playing up more when I was with them.
- We’ve been working on the ‘Natural Training’ exercises that Paul described here
- I’ve been taking her for long walks every evening on the lead. Part of the walk she has to walk nicely to heel, and the other part she gets to have a good sniff around on her extending lead. I’ve been working on recall then when I can enforce it.
Does my Bum Look Big in This ?
A couple of weeks ago we’d been to a Beagle Club event and all the Beagle owners we spoke to told us (nicely) that they thought Beanie was a bit too skinny. Our vet had always said she was in perfect shape, and we thought she looked good. We paid the vet a visit and the assured us things were fine. We hadn’t intended to feed her any more, but it’s been in the back of my mind and I’ve just been slipping a tiny bit of extra food in her dish at each meal. She’s definately fattened up a little bit and I think looks better for it.
I don’t doubt what the vet said about her being very healthy at the weight she was. From what I’ve read current thinking seems to be to keep pups nice and lean so that they develop slowly. Apparantly (according to some sources) this keeps them healthier as adults. It’s certainly true of kids, so it makes sense that it would apply to dogs too.
But I think the vet would be happy that Beanie is still nice and lean, but she’s got a little more flesh on her bones. So hopefully we’ve struck a happy medium :)