Monday, November 21, 2011

i don't want to be hasty ... but ...

I almost hate to jinx it, but I think there might be some progress in the "teach Tip the formal obedience retrieve" front.  I reread the inducive retrieve instructions, and realized I had not been doing it exactly as they said.  so yesterday, I did exactly as the directions said:  put dumbbell in dog's mouth, praise, release, and reward.  Reward was liverwurst.  3 reps of that then breaks for a bit of heeling and try again.  do this 3 times.  By the end, Tip had a look of dawning comprehension  in his eyes, and was no longer trying to force the dumbbell out of his mouth.

Today, we tried again.  Tip started to hold it, and I kept the dumbbell in his mouth for a second or two before having him release it.  and he started to try to hold it.

On top of that, we had a decent session working on sitting at heel position.

Bo was going completely berserk, poor guy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Two small dogs curled up at my feet.

Bo and Tip are curled up because they are tired.  They got to practice agility this morning then play hard for a long time outside in the frosty field with Alan's 4 dogs (3 border collies and one canaan dog).  Bo played fetch with his flippy disk.  Tip played that game until Minnie, the girl canaan dog came out.  Tip spent the rest of the time either chasing her as fast as he could go or barking at the two BCs playing tug (for like 15 minutes -- they are BCs after all).

There were some really difficult courses set up and Bo and I tried a few of them.   After a flub or two, we actually did them pretty good!  the whole start line thing is still horrid.  But then bad is better than non-existent (That is definitely the glass half full approach to life).

Bo and Tip showed at the Capital and Mt Vernon obedience trials in October, and are showing again in obedience at the catoctin trials the first weekend of December. Bo didn't Q in Utility, but he did Q in open, with a nice score (despite the BC staring at him and slavering through the long OOS sit stay.  That dog got excused before the downs, and Bo spent the 3 minutes staring straight ahead and not moving.  NO WAY he was going to lay down (or breathe) with that dog hard staring at him the whole time!).

Tip shocked me by putting in a really good performance in beginner novice.  Watching the video, I can see all sorts of horrible handler errors.  And he only got a 188, because he did not sit once in heeling or on the recall.  however he did his best to heel and stayed when I told him to and sure did come when I called!

I realized right before the show that I had never actually practiced a Figure 8 with him.  When we started heeling, he started just charging ahead, but once he realized what as going on, he really did try his best to heel next to me.

I am now trying to teach Tip a retrieve.  We are starting with a hold.  So far, things are not going particularly well.  He is such ... such a little Tip!!!  But its one of those things, I've got a bee in my bonnet that this dog is going to learn to retrieve so ... this dog is going to learn to retrieve.