Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Canoe Dog? We'll see...

As I mentioned in a previous post, we recently got a new puppy.  Biscuit is a 3 month old Australian Cattle Dog, and he's bundle of energy and fun.  We hadn't planned to get a new dog until the fall, enjoying a dog free summer, but when our friends got a puppy...well, I just couldn't resist.  So we went looking, starting at the local shelters.  Unfortunately, all the dogs up for adoption were really big (except one but he had an aggression problem that would have been a really bad idea with two kids in the house.)  We wanted a dog that we could take in the canoe, and as cute as they were, they would have taken up way too much room, leaving none for the kids.

We also didn't want a really small dog.  We wanted a dog that is high energy enough that he or she would be willing to carry a doggie pack over portages, not one I'd have to carry along the trail.  We also didn't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money.  A search on Kijiji led us to a nearby farmer with ACD pups for sale and Chris immediately picked the one that was all over him like a hyper ball of spaziness.

So...here is Biscuit.  He bites and gnaws on us constantly, he's destroyed my running shoes, I've pulled an unimaginable array of things from his mouth (broken piece of an exacto-knife today) and he's obsessed with coffee even though he's never actually drank any.  He drinks my tea when I'm not looking, he hogs the bed and we love him to bits.

I've never trained a camping/canoe dog before, but I've read a few forum posts with suggestions, so what I'm going to be doing is posting our attempts and hopefully, we'll be able to offer some good advice about what to do and what not to do.

Step one is working on sit/stay.  He learned sit by the second day we had him, and he sits and waits for me to say "okay" at meal times, so that's a good start.  Why this is important is obvious.  You don't want your dog to leap out of the canoe after frogs, or a deer or moose on the shore.

Skills we are working on now...
coming consistently when called
not freaking out when he goes in the water!
wearing a doggie shirt so he's used to wearing things and won't balk at life jacket or doggie backpack
not.

Anyone who has experience taking dogs camping...if you have idea for other things we should work on with him, I'd love to hear your advice!

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