Monday, December 17, 2007

9 Years Going on 1

If you know greyhounds, you know that greyhounds are generally energetic in short bursts and many are more than content with a 45 second sprint around the yard or a 20 minute walk. When I teach greyhound obedience classes or private lessons, I always suggest no exercise and no meals at least several hours prior to training. The reason being that it is easier to train a hungry energetic greyhound especially when a one hour class can be a very long time for the average hound to work. However, Katie and Travis like to break the rules. Katie is steady, methodical, and can work forever. Hound people will often avoid doing lots of repetitions of the same exercise, but Katie can do the same thing over and over if she is getting paid for her efforts (with food). Travis, on the other hand, can be a bit hyper. He can feel a bit out of control, but he's extremely responsive. He is kind of like driving a Ferrari. He's fast and responsive, but you have to be careful not to over steer or you will end up in a ditch. He's much faster than Katie, but he too can work for a very long time. He tends to get winded and hotter than Katie, but he is ready for more with minimum breaks. Both are 9 years old and their energy levels continue to amaze me. Tonight, we attended an agility class. As a warm up, I played fetch with both of them prior to class until they were sufficiently winded and trotting instead of galloping. It may not sound weird to someone who owns a different breed of dog, but I would never have done that with Jes or Teresa and I would discourage all of my students from doing the same. 10 minutes of fetching and most greyhounds are done for the day. Forget doing any training after that. After fetching and agility class, Katie and Travis aren't even tired. Travis is still game for wrestling and attacking dog beds. They both would be up for more training, a hike, or more fetching games. I don't believe I have ever found their limits. So while their energy level is annoying on cold, rainy days at home...... I really do appreciate their abnormal greyhound endurance.