I’ll do this one in dot point format
- Tonight I took Lu & Loki out for a walk. I noticed that Loki doesn’t have that natural ‘turn back’ point that dogs seem to get – y’know, how they know their distance threshold and wait for you to catch up? He seems to just go and go at the moment. I started to worry about how the hell I was going to teach that to him and then I remembered I’d never done the ‘run off and hide’ or ‘turn around and walk the other way’ game. So I did that. Hopefully it will instil a healthy amount of panic in him that he’s been abandoned and he won’t go so damned far ahead of me.
- I may have figured out a solution to Lu’s dogwalk turns problem. And I’m talking turns from 45-90 degrees, so nothing extreme. I noticed that even at that angle she was leaping – I think she was trying to get off sideways and quicker because I was cuing the turn nice and early for her, but it made her need to exit early… So I remembered how Silvia trains hard turns with a cone, stick, twig and decided to use the same principle. All I had lying around was a jump wing so I put that up against the end of the DW and BAM… no more leaping. So I think I’ll use the small white poles I used for our original RC training when it was flatter, and when she has the hang of that, transition to using a twig. And then fade the twig. Hopefully this will help her understand she has to stay on ALL THE WAY DOWN.
- I’ve lost 2kg since Nic’s been away. 2kg in 2 weeks isn’t bad for not trying, hey? It’s what they call “malnutrition”. 😉
- Penny got me a cool birthday present. Posted below.
- I did cik/cap around a tree today at the highly-distracting-park-of-distractions but instead of boring old cik/cap, I initiated a game of 500-balls, and as she came flying back to get the next ball, I wrapped her around a tree and sling-shotted her out for the next ball, and then did it again, and then she got one just normally thrown straight. Speed into wrap=very very good. Yay!
- Also, I won this polar-fleece rope toy at the competition the other weekend and tried playing with her with it, and she was all like: bleh, so I was like: ok, hows about I shape you to tug it? and at first I got little piss weak tugs and then more and more energy and now she’s tugging for food with energy and strength. And it’s funny because I remember looking into this ages ago and you read all over the internets how you shouldn’t do it this way, but why not? Polona says for dogs who love food that they learn it’s just another way to get the food. Meanwhile we’re connecting and playing a game and she’s focused and intense, so that’s got to be ok, right?
- This might sound a bit funny but Lu is actually drooling for food now. I don’t think she’s ever drooled before, but she’s seriously drooly at the moment. It’s cool. I love seeing her WANT something. And yet, in circumstances where she doesn’t want the food (eg. out on a walk) I don’t even bother offering it now… it used to be like, if Loki did a good recall, she’d sort of look over like: oh, do I get some too? And Mal would do the same thing and everyone would get an obligatory biscuit… She doesn’t even look now, and I don’t even bother feeding. No more obligatory biscuits, and I actually think she’s happier like that. Sometimes if I try and give her something like an obligatory biscuit, like if she’s just gotten in the car, she hardly wants it. She’s all: “sigh, if I have to”. Funny dog.
- We’ve been having fun doing “all in” sessions for Polona’s class. Basically it’s 30 seconds of FULL ON intense work – whether that’s agility or tricks. Usually it’s tricks for us because I just don’t have enough access to equipment (except my 2 jumps and I don’t want to overdo cik/cap figure 8s… Though I did do something else the other morning with a backside of the bar and a blind cross and some other stuff)…. But basically she knows there’s a bowl of food, and she’s figuring out really well that she just needs to work hard and fast for a really short time and then she gets a whole bowl to herself! And maybe there’s little rewards in between but usually it’s just the one big one. We like it. She seems to like it. I’ve never had such enthusiastic leg weaving. I can’t wait for the end of August when I can actually go out into my own agility field and do this exact thing with real equipment around and then go for a walk or something. It’s going to be so cool. Tell you what, this class has been fantastic for us. Yay!
- I have a weird splinter in my heel and it hurts a hell of a lot if I push on it. Don’t know what I’m going to do about it. Hoping it comes out by itself.
- Lu and I are adjusting to her constantly being on lead during our daily walks. Since she’s now attached to my waist she’s so much less annoying but I worry that it’s just making her more and more crazy for roos that we hear. They go crashing off into the forest and she jumps around at the end of the lead and then drags me down the track. Am I ever going to be able to let her off the lead? I really don’t know. I think this is just making her more desperate to hunt them. But my stress levels are much lower because she can’t, so I don’t have to worry about how long it’ll be until she comes back… I just don’t know if she’s going to be able to enjoy off-lead walks in the forest ever. Poor Lu.
- I think a hoard of possums just crashed across the roof and freaked Lu and I out. That, or it was a freak burst of thunder with no clouds around.