finding the joy

After stressing a lot about Lumen’s lack of drive, which I figured stemmed from her lack of ‘crazy’ and ‘enthusiasm’ about playing with toys, I’m giving training a break.
In a way.

Which is to say that ‘formal’ training sessions that I’ve worked so hard at over the last 4 months, are being put on the back-burner for a little while as we find the joy.

See, I watch Lumen playing, and she plays half-heartedly. It’s like, the bit that you have to do before you can get back to learning more, which is great that she loves learning, and loves doing a job… but a happy, driven dog it does not make. Because although she does the job, and she does it well, she doesn’t do it with the intensity I want. 

I was saying to a friend of mine that she puts about 90% effort into shaping, and 70% into playing. 

So I’m letting it go. I’m taking her to the park, throwing two toys and not expecting her to ‘fetch’ them. I’ve found she loves fetching sticks then running around holding it while you hold the other end. I’ll drag the long bits of gumtree bark all over the ground and get her to chase it. I’ll break little bits of sticks, get her attention and throw them in the air one by one- at the moment she wants to find them so she can finish the game (bring them back or chew them up) but that’s not what we’re doing – I don’t give her a chance! I throw another one! I find sticks with leaves attached and drag them all around. Nic and I run around the big trees and disappear out of sight. I’ll tug if that’s what she wants, then take off running. 

I feel so unfit at the moment- little sprints are puffing me out, and part of that is my iron issues, so the more I start jogging, the more running I do, the more iron pills I take (ha), the easier this will all be.

And hey, if I end up having to train her initially with a ball or a stick (two favourites, I think), or a sock, well, at least they’re cheap toys. 

So right now, it’s all about playing, not trying to get a result. Sometimes I’ll do a collar restraint, but that’s just part of the ‘chase a stick’ game. 

I need to stop worrying and find our joy. 

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