MEET OUR NEW AGILITY PUPS
We have a lot of new LCDA competitors and club members who are in the training stages. Some have made their debut this fall and others are getting ready. We've all seen most of them at the field for trials or classes, but here's a chance to get to know them a little better!
TTT: Let's start with the essentials: What's your pup's name, breed, and age.
LYNNE: Lupin, Taussie (Terrier-Aussie mix, aka All-American mutt), 20 mos.
|Lynne and Matt's Lupin|
TTT: Now a bit of the story: when, where, why, and how did this pup come to you and agility?
LYNNE: Matt has a 3-pet-rule for our house. When our oldest cat, Spooky, died in May 2013, we were down one. In October, I found a picture of a 10-week old Vandy, (the name given by the rescue Carolina Hearts Aussie Rescue (CHAR)). Matt said he looked like a little werewolf so would make a good "Remus Lupin," in keeping with our Harry Potter themed names. I contacted them, but he'd already found a home, so I kept looking but we couldn't fund another dog we both agreed on. About a week later, CHAR contacted us to say he'd been returned because the adopter had allergies. I think that was a clear sign that he was meant to be ours!
TTT: What's been the most difficult part of incorporating your newest family member into your household? The most rewarding?
LYNNE: The hardest part is that I hadn't had a puppy in more than 15 years, so forgot about the time and attention that takes. The most rewarding is how he instantly fit into our household. He and Muggle started hit it off the moment Lupin came into the yard, and he and Minerva are best friends--they play all day and curl up to sleep together at night.
TTT: What challenges have you faced training this dog compared with others? What did he or she excel at?
LYNNE: The biggest challenge is helping Lupin to overcome his fear. He's very timid with strangers and in new situations. Most of you have seen him go into full-panic-attack mode at trials if he sees a stranger. We're working on that. I think we're pretty lucky because he's never shown any aggression with his fear, but a lot of curiosity. Even when he's barking, his tail wags and he keeps going back to see the person or thing that scares him a little closer each time. So, I think we'll overcome that.
He excels at being enthusiastic about those he loves--people and other animals. He might take a while to warm up to strangers, but once he does, he's a big cuddle-bug.
TTT: What has your training regimen been for this dog?
LYNNE: We've taken quite a few classes already (although you might not always be able to tell!) We started with Basic Obedience with the Charleston Dog Training Club, and at the same time did an agility Foundations class with Lori Duncan--those two classes reinforced each other and were a good start. Then we did Intermediate Obedience at LCDA, and a Tricks class and "Diagnosis: Dog" class (for dealing with distractions) with Cindy Carter at Mindful Manners. We did Intro to Agility and Obstacles II in the fall/winter, and just started the 2X2 weaves class and Advanced Obstacles at LCDA. We try to practice at home in short, 5-10 minutes/day, but I'm pretty sporadic about training outside of classes, so do better when we're enrolled in a class.
TTT: What, if anything, have you learned or done training-wise with this dog that's new for you?
LYNNE: Everything has been different with Lupin! He learns quickly, but gets bored quickly, too. I can't do anything more than a couple times before he wanders off. He's very sniffy and curious--and I'm definitely less interesting than dirt to him. We've made a lot of progress from where we were even a month ago, so I'm quite proud of him, but we still have a long way to go!
TTT: Share your secrets: what's one silly thing you and your agility teammate do together when no one is looking?
LYNNE: He likes the TV, so I'll tell him, "where's the puppy?" and he'll sit up and watch, cocking his head from side to side whenever there are dogs or horses on.
TTT: One word that best describes this pup: