Monday, January 17, 2011

Dog Training Practice

Look at us get the new year off to a good training start.

Bern and Grace took turns working scent articles in the entry hall this weekend.  Bern will now retrieve the metal article... his eyes are still bugging out but he will pick it up from about 8 feet away and carry it to me so there is hope.  Grace, on the other hand, is now working with 3 metal or 3 leather articles.  The light bulb is glowing that she needs to find one special one in either pile so I would say that the tracking dog will get this game in just a few more sessions but I may be disappointed.

Michele F picked up Joy B for an outing Sunday.  I met them at the agility field so the people and the dogs could romp and get some fresh air.  We had a great time.  Bern played agility at papillon jump height and then ran to Joy for hugs and cookies.  Grace ran a course and then worked on the tougher transititions, worked crosses on box exercises, and practiced her weaves.  Michele then worked with Grace for a few minutes.  They came to a quick understanding as soon as Grace realized that Michele had extra yummy treats - Grace stayed focused on Michele and didn't come back to me to check it.  She has learned to do this with Linda when we are working at her house on agility and herding so the training by another skill transferred quickly to Michele.  I'm loving Grace's new found independence from me.

During the training, Michele was trying to get Grace to go behind their current position a few feet to re-approach the weaves... but Michele's right arm movement appeared to Grace like a right hand finish obedience command and Grace kept shooting around Michele ending up in heal position.  Unfortunately I didn't figure out Grace's confusion until I was driving home.  Both of them communicated after a few minutes and Grace practiced weave entries, hand touches, and flat work with Michele  Grace needs to show off  her obedience moves for Michele next time we practice so Michele can see her snappy right hand finish in its correct context.

I worked a bit on yet some more furniture shuffling inside the house.  I found a coffee table, an end table and a lamp at the re-sale shop this weekend.  And finally hit the "check out" button on the Crate and Barrel website to purchase the TV console I had been eyeing from several months.  The house is coming together inside so I guess I need to start thinking about the yard and planted beds.  My goal is to get the beds clean up thoroughly prior to the growing season starting in a few months.  There are a zillion 6" high voluteer oak trees need to be removed before they become too big to remove easily.

So far our life seems balanced in 2011... we are Healthy, Happy, and Whole.