So it has been about 9 months since our last blog. A lot has changed, and a lot has not. Rango had gotten loose again, my daughter was able to show Rango at the County Fair and we have another dog living at our house. I must say that despite a very eventful summer, things actually went pretty well with the dogs.
The first major change in our house included Izzy. Izzy is a sweet, kind, and energetic young dog that needed a little re-direction. I thought that this would be a great time to work with Rango’s dog aggression more. We started out slowly, having Rango leashed and muzzled at every interaction. As the week progressed, we took off the muzzle and kept him on a leash throughout the house.
It was very clear that Izzy wanted to play and interact with Rango, so we let them become more interactive. Very soon after that, they developed a great friendship. They now play all of the time, wear each other out, and then start all over again. They both play very rough with each other and are very vocal when they play, but they have an understanding with each other that works well.
The second big event was Rango getting loose, again. We are still not sure how this happened or why, but what we came home to was not very pretty. We raise chickens at our house. Our hens were allowed to roam free over most of our property while our dogs were confined to a large area on the other side of the house. After being gone for most of the day, we came home and found Rango on our front deck, happy to see us. The other two dogs were still in the house waiting for us to come in.
After realizing Rango was not where we left him, I quickly went to the back yard to discover what a fun day he had… Rango had chased our chickens around our property, catching more than half of them. Some we found across the road in the woods, some we found behind the coop, and sadly, some we never found. It was a learning experience for our family, and we decided quickly what we needed to do. We needed to put a fence around the chicken coop and Rango needed more training.
My daughter has a big interest in animals, as well as training them. She wanted to train Rango and show him at the fair. After clearing this with the trainer, we drove her and Rango to classes every week where they learned how to heal, stay, sit, and down, all of which Rango had already learned in a previous class. That was ok, though. This class proved to be challenging for him in a different way.
There were lots of dogs! Little dogs, big dogs, fast barky puppies, and slow cranky dogs. Rango was in stimulation overload! Tarilyn and Rango pushed through it. She made him focus, listen, and, most importantly, not eat anyone!
In the end, Rango was not only able to be shown at the fair in obedience and showmanship, but he also did this without a muzzle! Rango and Tarilyn succeeded so well that they received first place in obedience, second in showmanship, and also a trophy for the “Best of Show,” having received the most points awarded in all levels.
Now, we will see about finding a home for Izzy and trying to have a ‘less eventful’ winter!