Thursday, March 25, 2010
That's the look I get every day around 2:30 p.m. when Secret decides it's time to go home. It is generally accompanied by barking, whining, loud yawns and other expressions of boredom. Sometimes, like today, Kaiser decides to save us all and play with Secret. :o) I shouldn't complain, though, as she really is incredibly quiet the majority of the day. Aren't we all bored and wanting to go home by 2:30 p.m.?
The return to agility basics 101 has gone very well for Secret! On Tuesday evening, I set up one straight 12' tunnel in the yard and brought out the rarely-seen Kong Wubba that Secret seems to love.
I got her all hyped up over the toy and sent her to the tunnel, which she promptly went around -- repeatedly. Wow, I was surprised. Tunnels are something that she has loved from the start, but I think the several wipe outs that she has experience in them lately (on tight turns) has all but destroyed her confidence.
When I finally directed her attention to the tunnel and she went in it, I ran to the other end and chucked her Wubba as she came out. Then it was like the light came on and she really lit up and wanted to play this new game. I wish we could do restrained recalls (no helper!), but in lieu of that we worked on hyped-up stays. I was really impressed with how well she held her stay until released, especially considering I have been woefully negligent in practicing them. Secret got all twitchy and excited as I drew out my, "Reeeeaaddddy?" and then would explode off when I said okay and shot through the tunnel. Yay! I'm so happy to have excitement back in her. The proof is that we stayed with the Wubba then entire (short) time and she remained engaged and happy. I believe the reason I've had to play musical toys/treats with her is due to the stress that she was feeling. Remove the stress and I have a happy puppy again. Light bulb moment!
I repeated the same exercises at the dog center last night -- Just a straight tunnel and hyped-up stays. I forgot the Wubba at home, but she was happy to play with her squeaky-ball tug. :o)
After a bit of this, I grabbed her clicker and started to work her 2-on/2-off behavior on all of the contacts. We also went up and over the teeter with me holding it on the drop. Unfortunately, we suffered a set-back here when she stepped off her end position and got bumped in the butt. She would happily get back on the teeter plank, but she would not hold her 2o/2o position for ANYTHING. I finally decided it was best to move on and asked for it at the dog walk instead, which she happily gave me.
We also visited the table work again. Secret is still more than happy to hop onto the table, but it hasn't yet clicked that I want a down without having to ask for it. Granted, this is only her second session and I was distracted last night, talking to a friend. Now that she knows what the table is, I should have a shaping session with it so that she figures out the down on her own. Everything seems to work faster that way.
The weather continues to be gorgeous here in Wisconsin, so we are getting in a lot of play time outside! The end result is a puppy who is sleepy a good portion of the day, so that is fantastic. :o) When she is awake, however, she definitely lives up to the Sassypants nickname I have given her. Never afraid to voice her opinion on anything!