It's a stick! No wait, it's rubber. It's both! It's a rubber stick!!
I am starting to lose track of Secret's "favorite toys." Back when we struggled with toy drive it seemed like I was constantly on the search for something that would hit "favorite toy" status. Now it seems like everything I bring home is a hit.
I heard about these rubber stick things a while back, or rather, I believe I saw someone using one in a YouTube video. Considering that sticks were the first objects Secret viewed as a toy and would fetch, I figured this toy would be a hit with her. I'm not entirely sure why I didn't get one sooner, but such is life.
I saw one yet again in a video last week, so I went on Google and searched for "rubber stick" and landed at a site called "Baxter Boo." They were offering "Grriggles Rubber Sticks" for just $10 each and free shipping! Win! I even found a coupon code for 20% off. I got one in purple and one in blue and let me tell you, it's a winner!
They are not indestructible (like the super scary Zogoflex material used in the Hurley toy), so it's not something that I can leave out and about for her to chew on (I let her have it for five minutes last night and she already took a chunk off the end...) --- But it makes for another super fun training toy! We can tug with it and enjoy the fun way it bounces when thrown!
So that's what we did. I set up a small, simple training exercise in the yard last night. No courses because I was lazy... I decided to spare you from one of my horrible Paint drawings and instead snapped a picture of the layout.
It offered numerous opportunities to work on serpentines, threadles, wraps, push throughs, ketchkers, etc. I'm very happy with Secret's attitude and eagerness to play through these maneuvers, most of which we don't spend much time on. She's also a super sensitive dog who can sense when I don't have a clue what I'm doing, so I'm happy she kept her speed & motivation up while I blundered through with pretty much zero plan to speak of. I am so terrible at thinking on the fly and do much better when I follow a plan. But we made it through and I think we both managed to learn a few things. I was very impressed with her wraps and ability to find the back side of the jumps!
I also had the dog walk set up for Kaiser, so we did a few reps on that. I don't anticipate having any training issues this winter once the contacts go away, but it never hurts to get in a few more sessions. It was nice to see her not self-releasing this time, too. With the lack of training coming our way, I'll have to start using trials to make sure I proof her behavior and don't let the early releasing get out of hand this winter.
I have been struggling the past couple of weeks with Secret's newest pastime. It's not technically new because digging & dirt eating tends to come with every spring thaw, but I have no idea why she's started it up now. She's not a digger in the sense that many dogs are -- She digs to get fresh dirt to eat. Luke is also to blame, but he usually just goes over and eats dirt that Secret already dug up vs. contributing to the size of the holes.
Right now we have two major spots going on in the yard. I have filled these holes in NUMEROUS times and they just keep reappearing. I do wonder exactly how much dirt the dogs are ingesting since there is so rarely any dirt around to push back into the holes... The above photo is the small hole. This.... is the big one.
Naughty, naughty dogs. Stop ripping up my agility yard!!! Thankfully I have a decent sized dirt pile remaining from some landscape work we did around the house when I first moved in, but if these holes keep up the pile will be toast within a year.
I know that some of our previous digging excursions have been after the moles/voles and chipmunks, but apparently these spots just have good eating dirt. Sigh. The only reason to look forward to snow & frozen ground is so that we can break this habit again -- then they can move to eating snow, I guess.
Oh, and if you hadn't guessed it, the dog walk didn't get moved inside yet. :o) Go figure.