Alfie Staffie DOB 05.09.04 - 13.03.18

In loving memory ...
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Re: Alfie Staffie DOB 05.09.04 Orpington

Post by mod2 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:31 pm

Posted: 30 Sep 2012 by Paul&Annie


We had the pleasure of some lovely cuddles with Alfie today. We also go to the same training class and there was a fun competition today. As Alfie has only just started he just came to watch and socialise, but I did see him at his first class he came to and we were so impressed with him that I am sure he will be winning rosettes at the next competition.

I looked up Alfie's thread and at first I didn't think I'd found the right one as I didn't recognise him. By the end of the forum thread was the dog I saw today. He is nothing like those first photos. He has the filled out muscles of a dog that gets a lot of exercise and gone is the sad face.

Alfie is now a happy, relaxed dog and clearly central to his owners lives. At the training class we watched recently Alfie really stood out not just for his amazing looks but also for the focus he has on his owner, the trust he has in him which has clearly given Alfie confidence and the communication between them.

I saw Alfie's first opportunity to try agility. He thought it was a great game to play with his owner and I think he will do really well at it.

A great example of what the best kind of home can do for a dog. I hope to see more of Alfie.

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Re: Alfie Staffie DOB 05.09.04 Orpington

Post by mod2 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:32 pm

Posted: 16 Oct 2012 by lonewolf7

Thanks for the kind words regarding Alfie's homing and progress. We certainly feel like the lucky ones to have him.

With Vicky's sister between jobs at the moment Alfie is generally getting two long walks a day. It will require more effort on our part when she starts work again because at the moment we are coming home to a dog who has had plenty of exercise. Eventually Alfie and I will have to get used to some colder walks at 6.30pm every day. He's also had plenty of opportunity to help with the gardening....although his idea of helping is to just drag sticks, bushes, cuttings, and brooms around the garden. Last week he helped dig the runner beans out of the vegetable patch. Unfortunately there are no pictures but the report we received was that he was covered in mud and had to be carried to the bath to be rinsed off!

We attended Paws In The Park a few weeks ago and spent a bit of time at the Rescue Remedies stall. All three of us had a go at the egg and spoon race with Alfie, but fortunately the only pictures that got taken were on Vicky's run.

Vicky did an excellent job - not only balancing the ball on the spoon, but also balancing her sunglasses on the end of her nose......
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I think Alfie is thinking, "I'm doing my part here.....don't you drop that ball!"
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Phew....not a world record time but we made it!
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The same afternoon we went of to Alfie's training class at but he had earned a couple of treats before we set off.....

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After an afternoon of training and agility he's always ready for an afternoon nap when he's finished.

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We were back at the training classes again this weekend and I finally managed to get some pictures. As mentioned before there are three main aspects to the classes. Alfie is doing really well in the obedience, and to be honest he is so easy to train he is making me look good! His sits and stays are superb, his down is getting better, and his recall is excellent.

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Weaving is testing my agility as much as his and at the moment it still requires a bit of food to get the job done!

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He's pretty much mastered the A-frame and no longer needs food to coax him over this. I just need to make sure I keep up so that he doesn't fall off the side!

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I don't have any pictures because it needs two people at either end but he's also getting the hang of the tunnels. At the moment it's all done with him on a training line because we don't want him running off towards other dogs on other obstacles.

Which also brings us on to his socialisation. The aim is to have a dog who can join in the group walk at the classes and do the agility without him getting involved in any incidents. In the group walk there are generally 7 or 8 dogs. Out of those the only two bad boys who need to be muzzled are Alfie and Dennis (a large German Sheperd). Two weeks ago Dennis was the badly behaved one and just went straight up to Alfie and had a go at him. For the rest of the class Alfie behaved quite well and did some good sniffing with some of the other dogs. However, last week Alfie was the instigator when he aggressively went for Dennis twice in the space of a few minutes. The difficult part is that Alfie has no concept of playing with another dog. He can do some sociable sniffing but if another dog comes up to his face to play he flicks immediately to aggressive mode. I am learning to spot the body language, and he does listen to correction, but I would say that we are a long way from our goal. To be honest though that isn't the main goal anyway.....it would be a nice bonus from the classes if it happened.

Overall though the calsses are providing me and Alfie with a lot of fun, some high quality training, and plenty of mental stimulation. Saturdays are most definitely action days now!

This weeks class started with a horrendous hail storm and we all had to run for cover. But eventually the day turned out sunny, and after getting back to my parents house Alfie enjoyed some fussing in the sunshine from my daughter before winter properly arrives.

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There was a final walk of the weekend on Sunday when Alfie decided to take his Kong with him. Well for half the walk anyway until he decided he didn't want it anymore and I had to carry it!!!

I think you'll agree that he's looking rather splendid.....

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Re: Alfie Staffie DOB 05.09.04 Orpington

Post by mod2 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:33 pm

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 by lonewolf7

Thought it was about time for another update. Alfie is continuing to do really well. He's generally on two long walks per day during the week, and has fun-filled weekends on top of that (incorporating more long walks and his training classes on Saturdays). He was recently moved up from the beginners class to one with dogs who are more advanced in their training than he is. The standard looks quite daunting when you see what some of the other dogs are able to do, but he's learning quite quickly. His lead walking is one of his strongest points, and at home now I walk him around the quieter streets with the lead attached around my waist. It's now possible to control his walking to heel, stopping at junctions etc. using voice alone and I feel pretty proud of him when I'm walking along hands free! Fortunately I'm quite heavy so if he does see a cat there is no chance of him pulling me over.......

He's doing well on the agility although he can become focused on other dogs running around so for now he is still on a training line just in case. He continues to be muzzled during the off-lead group walk but last week he did more friendly sniffing than ever before. His only "yellow card" was when he went for a younger dog who was rolling on his back and the trainer remarked that it was just "insecurity". I will follow that up and see what he exactly meant.

Anyway, most importantly.....pictures.......

Here he is waiting for Vicky to emerge from the local shop:
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And here's one of his funny sleeping positions. He likes to sit upright and have his chest rubbed but then his eyes start drooping and he falls asleep like a baby in a high chair!
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On Sunday the weather had thankfully improved so we took him off to Knole Park. All dogs need to be on leads because of the deer but this time we took him on a long extender. We had a quick detour to the local waste dump and here he is in the car:
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Getting Alfie to pose for pictures is not easy, but once we got to Knole Park we found a nice log for him to strike a regal pose on!
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He had a first scout round looking for the elusive deer:
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Then a prowl through the ferns trying to pick up any scents.....
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This is him when he first heard a noise as I disturbed some of the deer in the trees:
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And as he realised what they were he became more focused:
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Once we'd spent about an hour and a half exploring it was time to head home. I really like this picture. It almost looks like he's a bit weary and has had enough!
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This is how he like to end a busy day. With his head resting in any lap he can find!
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Re: Alfie Staffie DOB 05.09.04 Orpington

Post by mod2 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:34 pm

Posted: 05 Feb 2013 by lonewolf7

Here's a picture update for Alfie. He's doing great - a little too great I have to say, as his waistline has grown a bit since we got him. It's funny how you don't notice it until you compare old pictures. So as of a few days ago he's on a diet!

Vicky's sister is still job hunting - so the silver lining for Alfie is that he's getting monster walks every day. He's thriving on it and has settled into a really nice daily routine.

The snowy conditions didn't stop his exercise as he loves the snow. It's great seeing him bound through it on his extender.

Here's a picture of him before the snow arrived practicing his sit and stay training:
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And here he is getting ready to catch a snowball:
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Alfie had a bit of a break from his Saturday training classes because of the poor weather and our holiday, but he's now back in training and progressing very well. He's moved into a class where the dogs are a little more advanced than him but he's picking things up pretty well.

In the group walk part of the class Alfie is getting better. He is still muzzled, but he's now learning to be more sociable than he was when we started. He does now engage in some friendly sniffing with other dogs and even some occasional play chasing. It seems to me that he doesn't really know how to play and that's when his insecurities can come out in aggression. Sometimes he runs up behind another dog and it's difficult to know if he's going to stay calm or be aggressive. My natural instinct is always to warn him and stop him, but our instructor is educating me as to the fine line between good and bad body language. I'm not sure if he will ever be able to have the muzzle removed for the group walk, but as I've said before that's not an aim that I ever aspired to for him. It's just nice to see him jogging around off-lead with other dogs and I sense that he does enjoy it more than he used to (that's when he's not trying to remove the muzzle with his paws)!

Anyway, here he is on his group walk being watched by our instructor:
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Alfie's lead walking has always been one of his stronger points and in the class he walks well in close proximity to other dogs. Here you can see him in the background walking on a nice slack lead:
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On parade for a group photo.....the only concern is that he appears to be eyeing up another dog and licking his lips!
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Alfie's obedience on the sit and stay, down and stay, and recall is excellent. I'm getting close to the point where I can hide behind the car for a few seconds while he's in the down position. The target time is three minutes hidden and I'm confident we'll be able to achieve that.

Here he is coming in for a recall:
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The other aspect of the training is the agility course and I noticed a marked improvement in the last two sessions. Alfie is still on a training line as a bit of added security in case he runs over to another dog on the course or vice versa. The training line makes the course a little harder to negotiate, but I'm getting to the stage where I can let go of the line whilst he charges over or through certain obstacles.

He loves the A-frame and I have to slow him down as he goes over!
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And after a few weeks of getting him used to it he now goes through all three of the tunnels like a rocket! Here's an action shot as he emerges from one of them:
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Hopefully it won't be long until I feel confident enough for him to try some of the agility course off-lead. Once we can do that I think he'll improve even quicker on the course itself.

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Re: Alfie Staffie DOB 05.09.04 Orpington

Post by mod2 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:34 pm

Posted: 05 Feb 2013 by Hoonercat

I love reading Alfie's updates but this has to be the best yet, lovely to see him doing so well.

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Re: Alfie Staffie DOB 05.09.04 Orpington

Post by mod2 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:35 pm

Posted: 05 Feb 2013 by ziggy

.....
the only concern is that he appears to be eyeing up another dog and licking his lips!

.... Good Post
Wonderful photo's and update

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Re: Alfie Staffie DOB 05.09.04 Orpington

Post by mod2 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:35 pm

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 by Sam007


Great update on Alfie. Love the photos of him; and he is looking in very fine condition. A real credit to you.

Concur with Duncan.

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Re: Alfie Staffie DOB 05.09.04 Orpington

Post by mod2 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:36 pm

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 by Nina

Yep, agree with everyone else, he looking fantastic and I love the update, thank you so much x

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Re: Alfie Staffie DOB 05.09.04 Orpington

Post by mod2 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:36 pm

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 by Paul&Annie

Hi! I hope you don't mind us putting in our two penny worth about Alfie. Our RR dog goes to the same dog training group and Alfie really is a pleasure to have in class. He is a lovely, well trained dog. This training has proved to be a good foundation for his agility, which is after all just high speed obedience, and his playful nature shows in this.
Alfie seems to spend the whole class gazing adoringly at Colin, yet he is confident enough to work at distance from Colin too. You can really see that Alfie's whole family must put a lot of time and effort into giving Alfie an active, secure, and loving environment.
As the dogs in our class are quite advanced Alfie get the chance to mingle with well socialised dogs that aren't overly excited and this seems to be giving Alfie an opportunity to progress his social skills in a fairly controlled environment and he seems to be increasingly relaxed during the off lead group walks.

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Re: Alfie Staffie DOB 05.09.04 Orpington

Post by mod2 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:37 pm

Posted: 12 Feb 2013 by lonewolf7

Courtesy of Paul & Annie, and Paul's amazing photography I have another update following on quickly from last week.

Because of Alfie's history with other dogs I have always had him on a long training line during the agility sessions. Other dogs can be running around on the course in reasonably close proximity and I was concerned that without his muzzle Alfie may charge over, or another dog might run over to him. The focus on the agility is not just letting your dog charge around, but to maintain his obedience on the course. This week I decided to unclip the training line and let Alfie go for it, but keeping him close to me whilst doing it.

You can see the results below. Alfie stayed under control the whole time and thoroughly enjoyed himself. His only look in the direction of another dog was when a mastiff puppy was playing tug-of-war with his owner and started growling, but I told him to focus on me and he was fine.

We started with a quick briefing and he's a very attentive pupil!
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Final instructions.....
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Exiting the tunnel and looking for the next obstacle:
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A small long-jump to get warmed up:
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He still needs some work on the weave poles but a treat is teaching him the way!
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Now we're getting into the swing of it.....
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Kauto Star eat your heart out......
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A magnificent leap to finish and is that a smile for the camera? Okay you're just showing off now......
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