Puppy Boot Camp – Day 5 – Dom and His First Hike

Recently I wrote a blog post about the importance of taking your dog for a ramble, and how beneficial it is for his (and your) well-being. All dogs should enjoy an hour walk, or more, with their owner, several times a week. A tired dog is a happy dog.

Dom the GSD, photo by Ann Williams

Now that Dom has gotten comfortable with my dogs and me, today he got to go for his first ramble. I was lucky enough to meet up with my friend Ann and her Border Collie Splash, and she took some beautiful photos along the way.

Jasper and Til are both 8 years old.

The nice thing about having a couple of seasoned dogs is that a puppy will naturally attach himself to them and follow their lead. Dom had a wonderful time running and playing in the woods. It was a very low-stress outing, and revealed a few things about him, some good and some not so good.

  • First off, he still has a strong “puppy follow” instinct and wants to be part of the group.
  • He looks to the older dogs for guidance about entering and exiting the vehicle, even walking nicely in a brace with Jasper.
  • He is dog-appropriate, backing off when given a hearty warning by Ann’s dog Splash.
  • Once he settled down enough to pay attention, he still exhibited decent food drive.
  • He is taking treats more gently since our first lesson, so on the right track there.
  • His traveling in the car has improved markedly although he is still nervous upon arrival. But no more drooling and vomiting. Hallelujah.
  • On the down side, he responds to other hikers with fear aggression, barking hysterically, and
  • When outside in a distracting environment, he doesn’t seem to have a clue what his name is. We will be working hard on establishing a strong recall over the coming days.
Dom, by Ann Williams.

I brought the exhausted puppy home after a jaunt that lasted an hour or so. We worked a little more on the gentle mouth when we got back.

Taking treats!
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About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
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