Happy Gotcha Day and Training, Training, Training

First things first – today is Brody’s third Gotcha Day!

Happy Gotcha Day, buddy!

Three years ago, I went and picked up a 12 week old puppy that would change my whole life. If it wasn’t for that little ball of trouble, I would never have embarked on this crazy Malinois life and you wouldn’t be here reading this blog!

Besides celebrating Gotcha Days, we’ve been training, training, training.

I’m hoping to trial for Brody’s IGP2 in early Fall, which is actually only like two and half months away and wow…I just scared myself.

Fortunately, we’re pretty much on track.

He’s reliable in all of the exercises for B and C. I thought we might struggle a bit with the back-to-side transport transition, but so far so good on that front.

We’ve been working on showing him more variable sleeve presentations on the re-attacks, because he’s had a couple of funky grips lately, but again, so far so good.

Tracking, though.

Oh boy. Tracking.

So for the month leading up to the WKG Championships in May, we were tracking predominantly on dirt to prepare, and to my surprise, Brody took to the dirt tracking really well.

A little too well, as it turns out.

When we returned to tracking predominantly on cut turf, Brody basically gave me the middle finger, half-assed the track, and was just generally a belligerent butthole.

After some discussions with our training director, we decided to take him back to some basics.

Short (50-ish pace) tracks, food in every step, you *must* put your nose in every step and keep your mouth shut and *track*. We’ve added a small amount of e-collar stim to reinforce the *must*.

Surprisingly, Brody took to this more rigorous program really well. He’s been tracking beautifully and with intensity.

The plan is to give him another month or so of repeated short tracks, then we’ll start adding back in some distance and fading the food, hopefully peaking in time for a mid-late September trial.

So that’s the update on Brody.

I realized the other day that I hardly ever post about Rye!

Rye showing off her teeth in a bark and hold

Naturally, she kind of took the backseat in the lead up to the WKG Championships, but I have actually been doing things with her, I swear!

First of all, she tracks bigger tracks than Brody.

I can’t take credit for her tracking, though. It’s partially genetics and partially the fact that I purchased her at 16 months and someone else had done the tracking foundation work on her.

But she tracks amazingly well and is such a pleasure because she makes me look good, unlike a certain floppinois I know…

Rye did not, however, come with much obedience foundation. So that’s been all me.

Fortunately, she’s like the most compliant, happy to work dog ever.

Rye prepping for her BH

She has almost all of the BH pieces already, which feels like record time.

Her heeling won’t be as flashy as Brody’s (her conformation won’t allow it), but I think she’s going to turn out pretty nice!

We’re hoping to do her BH this Fall, sometime. Most likely late fall, at our club trial, where I’m also hoping to do Brody’s IGP3.

I’m also hoping to do her IGP1 next Spring, but we’ll see how quickly it all comes together.

She still needs to learn what a long down is, and we still have some polishing to do.

Also, we haven’t even started secondary obedience work, so I’m probably getting way ahead of myself.

What can I say? I’m excited about the little princess!

Also, if anyone is curious what life is like with two malinois in the house, Brody and Rye took out a spigot in my yard while sprinting around like lunatics *after* they had already been worked.

It took me the entire day to dig out and repair the broken pipe and I almost gave both dogs away on Craigslist.

So. You know. Just another day in My Malinois Life?

Yeah, that was super cheesy…

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