Tuesday, April 13, 2010

First Beach Trip!

I had to run to the dog center to get my crates out of there before the weekend (no class this week, long story...), so I decided to make it a fun day for the dogs. We met Holly & Ailie and took the dogs to the beach!

Secret wasn't sure right away if the water was something she was interested in investigating. She kind of hung around on the shore for a while, but eventually she decided to check it out when she saw that all of the other dogs were having fun.

Secret is still in love with Ailie, but Ailie only had eyes for the bumper. Secret didn't seem to notice, as she enjoyed chasing after Ailie on the retrieves.

When Ailie was occupied in the water, Secret turned her attention to beating up on Kaiser.

Secret showed an unexpected interest in the bumper Holly had along!

Which led to.... SHOCKER!!! Secret retrieved!! From the water!!

We were in awe and couldn't believe how many times she did it. She was funny to watch because she would run to a certain point in the water, stop, then walk out to the bumper before *slowly* walking back each time. Holly played with the distance and at one point Secret went out so far for the bumper that the water was over her back. Good girl!!

It was such a fun time for everyone! We took the dogs for a walk down the road afterwards to dry off a bit. Secret ended up on leash after she turned her ears off, but it was safer that way because there ended up being more traffic than we expected. They got to go for another short walk when we drove down to the spillway before going home, so I had some nice, tired puppies when we got home!

My copy of Ruff Love did, indeed, arrive on Friday and I read it that very night. It was an eye-opening read and full of great information, but ultimately I don't feel I am in the position to be able to implement everything in the program. I am using parts of it, such as removing free access to toys (hey, the house looks cleaner already!), feeding her dinner by hand (breakfast has too much stuff mixed with it) and using her crate more (she gets a timeout when she doesn't come in when called and I also crate her while I work the boys, before she gets her session outside).

I'm trying to make a point to have several tug sessions with her each day to build up her drive and to make myself more fun. I ordered a Ringzee from Clean Run with the books and it seems to be a big hit with Secret. It's just a wool ring, but she enjoys tugging on it and has been getting really into it with me. I used the Ringzee during our play/training session on Saturday and was thrilled with how into everything she was. I was about ready to die from all the running around I was doing to hype her up, but she did some nice fast tunnels and even connected some 6" jumps to them.

Hopefully this is the start of more good things to come! Holly loaned me her "Shaping Success" book (also by Susan Garrett) and I wish I would have ordered that one instead of Ruff Love. I'm halfway through it and have already gotten so much from it. It has many great suggestions for drive-building games and training exercises!

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