Hi readers. We’ve been a bit slack lately – I’ve been spending all my spare time trying to wear our the pup!
What we’re working on at the moment:
I’ve put away the agility equipment this week until the weekend- with less and less daylight time it’s becoming harder and harder to set/pack up. I’ve started doing more cik/caps around some trees at the park where we train and… I don’t want to jinx it, but she seems to be getting quicker. I’ve also realized she’s also got a really good grasp of ‘cik’ or ‘tok’ verbally as I can now send her from the ‘wrong side’ of me around a tree and she’ll do it. Other than trees I’m making indoor cik/cap a really fun game too. I’ve stopped restraining her but we do more of a verbal restrain, with ‘ready, ready….’ and standing in a way that suggests I’m ready to take off. she seems to like this, I think.
We’ve also been doing LOTS of free exploring off-trails through bush nearby where we train. It’s so great- I love watching them just being dogs, running around, making trails, sniffing, leaping over tree-trunks and following animal smells. I’ve noticed Lumen’s confidence, coordination and balance has improved so much lately- she hopped on this narrow tree trunk the other day with all four feet, paused there a moment, then launched off. I had trouble a few months ago getting her to be comfortable on a big thick trunk even with food and praise. Now she just goes along them for fun.
Unfortunately, when we went there yesterday, Mallei got a leech in his eye (yuck), though I don’t know if that was from the free-running bit or when they went and drank from the creek. Either way, I’m a bit hesitant to go back there even though I know it was a fluke, weird event… and the other place we’ve been really enjoying (and not seeing any leeches) just laid fox bait which is poisonous for dogs. Knowing Lumen, she’d find it and snarf it down before I even knew about it. So, I don’t know what to do about that. If I muzzled her that would be safer… so, maybe I need to do that. Because I love how fit and agile she is- trekking through the bush makes me work up a sweat and they’re having to work harder and they run around more so it must be amazing for their fitness… so I don’t want to stop going, but I don’t want to risk poisoning my dog either. Mallei is generally always within eyesight, and I can call him off of anything so I don’t think I need anything for him, but Lumen is so much more independent, she just runs off so could be eating anything.
We’re also still doing pre-work for running contacts – last week we played on the two down ramps of an actual plank at a training session. They were still on the ground and she still needed guides on the side to help her stay on, but apparently once it gets a bit higher, you don’t need them because it makes sense to stay on. Also still doing weaves, though I’m giving it a break because last time I went and set it all up, she ran through 4 times then decided she didn’t like the game anymore and other things were more interesting.
This weekend I have a new Silvia Trkman sequence to try. I also need to get some more tunnel enthusiasm happening- some more two-ball games should do it.
Busy as always!