I really pumped food into him in the weeks leading up to the big test and at the final weigh-in and vet check prior to leaving for Australia again, he had put on just over 2 kg. When he arrived in Melbourne, he had lost all that again and as I had written previously, the quarantine staff agreed to feed him twice a day. Over the course of about 10 days he put on 600 grams. Not a great deal but something.
Well, he came out of quarantine yesterday week ago and I weighed him at the vet the next day. He weighed only 32.7 kg!! Today, a week later, he weighed 33.8 kg which is already much better. He was always a difficult dog to put weight on and the stress of being in quarantine, barking all night, trying to climb out of his pen, meant that putting on any meaningful weight was just not going to happen.
He is more settled and has no need to follow me everywhere I go. Life is back to the normal humdrum of our particular household and he feels at ease.
However, his voice is still hoarse and he rarely barks. Normally when I put on his lead an collar to go for a walk he becomes very noisy in anticipation of the wonderful walk we are going to have. He did that for the first time on Sunday since he has been back home. But is was a very funny voice ranging from a squeaky noise to a hoarse bark.
These photos show in part a very important disaster search exercise that all dogs must learn as part of the first rung of the assessment ladder. The obstacles are set out in a star shape with the starting line being one point of the star, and are about 20 paces apart.
The dogs must come back to the centre obstacle each time before being sent to the next obstacle. In the photo above, Jochen is on the far exercise and is waiting for direction to come back to the centre one, the pallet stack. The dogs must remain on each obstacle for 5 seconds before being directed back to the centre and on to the next one.
We did this exercise today as our training ground had been prepared for the Foundation Skills Assessment we (Australian Swiss Search Dog Association Inc - ASSDA) held for one of our members yesterday, Sunday, 9th December 2012. As you can see in the photos, the grass has been cut and so it is safe to use the area - meaning any snakes can be seen easily!
Jochen was very happy to be doing something other than 'only' going for walks. He was raised as a working dog and working is what makes him happy. Working him to the best of my ability given the restrictions in qua