Thursday, June 23, 2011

We're almost there!!

to roll...

It's almost the end of June and we are well on our way to meeting our Walk & Wag goal. We're actually right on target, with 70 miles done!! I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get this far, but we've made up some miles on the weekends at my parents house and trips to day care. It's really hard some mornings to get ourselves out of bed (Astrea likes to sleep in more than I do!), but with this hot, hot weather we have to get our long walks early in the morning or late in the evening while it's cool. Our afternoon walks more often than not turn into rolling in the shade, as evidenced from the picture above. It's fine with me though, I'm super paranoid that Astrea is going to get over heated, and I hate the heat just as much as she does.

Anyway, in addition to trying to meet our Walk & Wag goal, we're both trying to get ourselves back to a healthy weight. Poor Astrea gained a couple pounds when Jameson moved in, I may have been giving her extra treats to make up for the invasion of her space. After the first two pound gain I took the advice of my Vet and put Astrea on a weight control dog food. The results were the complete opposite - she gained three pounds! Since then it's been an on going battle to keep gaining more weight, and a lot of experimenting to find a food that not only is lower on calories, but also meets my requirements and her dietary limitations. I think we FINALLY have found a good food. And through all of this at least she hasn't gained any more weight, but it's definitely been frustrating.

So to meet our weight loss and Walk & Wag goal, throughout this month I've been trying to find new ways to get active with Astrea. While walking gets the job done, we both need a little more fun and stimulation. One of the things I've been looking into for Astrea is agility classes. Right now, I send her to day care at least once a week. I know it sounds silly to send a dog to day care, but not only do I get the day to get stuff done, she can play with other doggies and have 6 hours of unrestrained fun. Since she was 6 months old her favorite thing to do at day care has always been running up and down the slide. I'm a little sad that I've never had the chance to see her do it, but they tell me she runs that slide so much that sometimes she stops at the top and takes a nap! Anyway, I thought based on her love of the slide, agility classes may be fun for her. Right now we're working on prepping her by focusing on her basic training again. Based on what I've read we need to be tight on our sit, stay, come before the agility classes will take us. So, we're working on it and hopefully this August we will be signed up for class at least once a week. If anyone has any advice on preparing for agility classes or participating, I will gladly take whatever you can give me!

And, if you're looking for new options on activities to do with your dog here's a few websites with ideas and more information:
dogplay.com
Leash Your Fitness, San Diego CA
Top 10 Man-Dog Workouts
Dog Walk Workouts

4 comments:

  1. I don't know much about Agility, but did do a little bit of Rally Obedience with Glacier. If weight gain is a struggle, watch how many treats she gets at the training classes. They train everything with treats. Some use toys as rewards, so maybe that would be better for you? Clicker training could be an alternative to treat reward based systems, but again, when training with the clicker, treats are required. Good luck and thanks for these links: they are so cool! :)

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  2. @Jess and Glacier Thanks Jess! I'll look into Rally Obedience. Lucky for me, as far as treats go Astrea's two favorite are carrots are bananas, so we'll have to see if I can train her with those. As a pup when we did her basic training we used liver treats, but I'm not sure if i want to go that way again because of her weight. I might have to calculate them into her daily calorie intake though if those work better...

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