Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rounder Part 3

Twelve hours of travel, three horses, five dogs, and my husband and me later, we landed in the dark with a cold misty rain. There were no fences on 48 acres, and all the outbuildings had housed hogs. Security for these animals was the issue, and we were going to have to commute from the city for three months till we could occupy the house. Rounder was the big problem - we knew he was good at escape, and wouldn't have a clue where "home" was. Each day I took the dogs out on lead around the perimeter of the property. Their reward at the end of the long walk was food. Rounder had a special kennel because of his abilities - he had to learn to jump over a 3 foot wooden fence to get into the kennel, and then stay there while we put down the lid and secured it. Kind of like the hatchback in a car. The first two days, I ended up bodily chunking him up and over, but by the third day, the food and the command to get into the kennel did the job. After a couple of weeks, as the other dogs were already walking off lead, I put him on a 50 foot rope to work on recall, and after a week of that, I started to let the rope drag on the way back to his kennel, hoping that the routine and his food reward would take him home. It did, and after that, I could let him run with the others. He would keep visual contact with me and come every time I called him.

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