Glad to have you here.  I probably should have started a blog years ago to chronicle all I’ve been through with Risa.  But I guess it’s better late than never.

Risa is my 6.5 year old mystery mutt.  My best guess is that she’s a cross between a sighthound and a herding dog: a lurcher.  As to which breeds comprise her mix, we’ll never really know!  I got her from a shelter 4 years ago.  She certainly isn’t what most people would consider a good first dog.  But I’ve learned more from her than I ever would have from a ‘normal’ dog.

Risa portrait

Risa portrait

Her main behavioral issue has always been fear.  Fear of new places, people, novel objects, other dogs, etc.  She is dog reactive and still anxious in new situations and around new people.  But she has made amazing progress.

Risa earned her CGC (AKC Canine Good Citizen) in May of 2008 after two years of hard work.  She also has her beginner title in WCFO musical freestyle which was awarded in December 2009 making her Risa W-FD/MF CGC.  Risa earned her first leg towards her novice freestyle title in May 2010.  I’m hoping to finish her novice freestyle title this year and possibly get her novice title in AKC Rally.

Aside from the behavioral issues and training I had to deal with, Risa has some health problems too.  Mainly food sensitivities and GI issues.  She has been diagnosed with SIBO in the past and I have to be careful about what she eats.  Risa is a raw-fed dog (I feed a loose version of prey model raw) and has been since I got her.

As for me, I enjoy drawing; photography; dog training; and reading.

About Jamie

I'm just a traditionally-trained artist with interests in dog training. I currently teach classes at the local obedience training club (tricks, freestyle, and Rally-FrEe) and I also teach classes professionally for an organization who helps veterans train their own service dogs.
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