Well, Chuckit! Dog Toys UK asked me to write some blog posts about everyday life with my dogs here in Denmark for the new Chuckit! Blog so here goes.
This for us means posts about nature walks, about playing with other canine friends, about training and competitions. I am the lucky owner of two perfect (for me anyway!) dogs. So maybe I better start with a presentation of them, since they are the ones all the fuss is about.
My oldest dog is Miki. He is 7 years old and is a Havanese. He is also the reason why all my dog adventures even got started. Before I started looking for a dog of my own, I had always had an idea, that when I was ready for a dog, it was a Golden Retriever I should have. However when I was finally ready for a dog, I realised that I wanted a smaller dog, but still a dog that was ready for a lot of fun experiences, long walks and that would probably like agility.
I read by chance about the Havanese in a Danish dog magazine, and the description standing there convinced me, that it was the breed for me. The Havanese was described as a small, lively and very intelligent dog, a dog that was easy to train, a dog who wanted to come on walks and also a dog who was fond of water. A dog that was affectionate and charming while at the same time being a little clown. All in all, a perfect little dog.
I signed up for a puppy with a Danish breeder, and went through the long, long wait until the puppies reached the age of 8 weeks old and I could finally take my puppy home.
In the meantime I had signed Miki up for training in two local training clubs, since I had heard it might be hard to get in. However, to our surprise we eventually got a spot at the puppy teams of both clubs! We started together, Miki and I, both new to this thing called “training”.
We learned from the experienced coaches and tried as best we could. The plan was still to train towards agility, there was only agility in one of the clubs and therefore it was quite natural that we continued training in that club after the puppy training. In most areas Miki was a talented puppy, and the only problems we experienced was when Miki was a bit stubborn if the grass was too long or too wet he felt he could sit or lie down! In those early days Miki was also easily be distracted by new smells in the grass.
By chance we heard in the club about some clicker- training that would soon begin so we joined the team and it was a new beginning for us. We learned a training method that was perfect for us. With the clicker as a perfect tool to mark the correct behaviour to be reinforced, and with new ideas as for example to wait for the dog to offer contact and click for it instead of trying to lure the contact from the dog, and now we quickly got better and Miki’s contact improved.
In time we got ready to try out agility and so we started in beginners class, continued on to the intermediate training class, and at last started with competitions which we enjoyed for a few years. Then we started at a rally obedience (also known as Rally-O) team in the club alongside our agility training, and eventually rally obedience came to take more and more of our time. We started to compete in rally obedience and worked our way up through the classes and after a long fight in the expert class, Miki last year became the first Danish Havanese to become Danish Rally Obedience Champion
We have started with regular obedience training and now also some tracking (a form of scent training) and here I am in no doubt that I have found something that my dog loves. I think if Miki had to choose just one type of training, from everything we now do, without shadow of a doubt he would choose track-training. Which he confirmed when he (again as the first Danish Havanese) passed a Schweiss Dog Tracking test (high grade blood tracking test).
So as you might have already observed, Miki is a busy little guy . He's my guinea pig in all the different dog sports I want to try out and I am eternally grateful that he willingly participates in all of it with me.
Well there’s my introduction over with and next week I’ll introduce my other pooch so stay tuned.
Greetings from Denmark!