Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Toys, toys, toys

Secret has had two really good days in a row of training exclusively with toys. I don't even wear my treat bag out into the yard, as I figure she's learned that there is food in there and might, then, be less inclined to play with the toys.

On Monday I set up a simple drill of two tunnels running parallel to each other, connected by a pinwheel on one end and a single hoop on the other end. I started with the Ringzee and really got her going nicely. The only issue we have with this toy is that she starts to shut down after a few running recalls -- I am almost positive that it is because I fear the safety of my hands with the smaller ring, and she feels my hesitancy. So when she started to lose interest in the Ringzee, we switched to the longer tug stick with the squeaky ball on the end and the fun was restored. She really did awesome with this drill and was driving nicely forward. After our "training" session, I threw the big squeaky Kong ball for her and she had a blast. Yay for increasing love of toys!

Last night I set up a chances course to play on with the boys. The layout offered us a lead out to a tunnel, a pinwheel sequence and a straight line of jumps to play with, all set at 6". We started with the Ringzee, moved to the big tug stick (no squeaky) and settled on the squeaky chicken. I'm excited that Secret is starting to target into jumps and go over them with enthusiasm!

I also started to introduce the rear cross at the tunnel, since she is getting so much better at driving to it. The first couple of times she was like, "What? Where are you going?" She figured it out very quickly and we had several successful rear crosses at the tunnel.

I did try to move on to introducing the rear cross at a jump, but she was quite done by that point. I made the mistake of pushing her too long. She was already a bit tired when we started our session, so I should have kept it very short & simple. Instead, I pushed too long and she ended up shutting down on me at the end. Bad handler!

I haven't decided if I'll push for another training session tonight or if I'll finally mow the backyard.....

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