Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Udder-ly Awesome

Oh look, it's another new toy. ;o)

I've been wanting to try an Udder-Tug for some time. I don't know why; maybe just because everyone says the dogs go nuts for them. I guess it has something to do with the stretch factor combined with the "stinks like a barn" factor (they are all recycled from actual farm use -- what a boon, taking something the farmers throw away and selling them for $15 each!).

When I recently (finally) re-subscribed to Clean Run, I also had to order the back-issues that I missed. I figured if I had to pay shipping, I may as well add something fun to the box. I was just looking at these toys in the J&J catalog, so I threw one into my shopping cart on Clean Run.

While I've seen other people using them, I've never actually seen one in person so I wasn't sure of the size or construction of them. True to its word, it really does smell like a barn. Mmmm. For whatever reason, I expected the rubber to be a bit thicker or stiffer, but it's quite pliable and has a decent amount of stretch when the dog pulls on it. I don't see this as a toy that will last the ages with Secret, as it did show fairly considerable use after just one night playing with it. Oh well, we'll see.

One use that intrigued me was that I've heard some people put them over their leashes, thereby encouraging tugging with dogs who might not be interested in the leash itself. Hmm. Might be something I'd be inclined to try with Secret one day (obviously not at a NADAC trial). It is a continuous long term goal to get her to tug at trials!

Look what I dug out of the basement last night! The teeter! It never even saw the light of day last year. Secret made great strides this winter by becoming comfortable with the bang game and the rebound of the teeter, so I figured it was time to scrape a bit of paint off the walls to bring the teeter outside to test her in a new environment. Plus I figured she needed to learn how to apply speed to the approach again.

Family Dog Center had posted on their Facebook page that they were having an open agility session last night. Because we still so desperately need to see other teeters, I posted to ask if their course had a teeter. Of course, it didn't. Come on -- The club offers AKC and CPE trials, yet their open agility sessions never contain anything but NADAC equipment. I'm starting to understand the frustrations my students used to express about lack of ability to practice on equipment in this area....

So since I wasn't going to drive to La Crosse to practice a NADAC course, I figured dragging my teeter out of the basement was the next best thing.

I am terribly pleased with our informal training session last night (all the dogs were outside while we played -- thankfully with more room there is less worry of one getting squished under the teeter as happens in the basement...). I had one 22" jump set up about 15' away from the teeter plank.

We started out with the bang game, having Secret just slam the end down. And newsflash -- We did it all with the Udder-Tug! NO TREATS. I was thrilled with the confidence and enthusiasm she was showing me. She progressed from pulling it down, to pulling it down and assuming her bottom position (something she never really did in the basement) and then --- She jumped on it with all four feet and slammed it to the ground! That kind of attitude makes me terribly happy and hopeful that new teeters will be less scary.

We practiced loading onto the teeter straight on from the jump and with a bunch of nifty wraps and even a few ketchker moves. ;o) All were fun, fun, fun for Secret. I like having her happy teeter back. Let's hope it stays!

All of the dogs got to have their teeter fun last night -- Including Missy..... Apparently the puppy thought what the other dogs were doing looked like loads of fun, because she started to go over the teeter all on her own. Oh my. At least five times I found her on the plank, merrily making it tip. She has NO FEAR. She thinks it's fun! She likes the teeter so much that she went and crashed next to it when we were all bumming in the yard. Girl, you are an odd duck...

This morning I watched when I let the dogs outside and wouldn't you know it, she went up and over the teeter AGAIN. It's like her new toy or something. Apparently I'm going to have to put the teeter up somehow to keep her off it. I'm not terribly concerned about her getting hurt because she is just walking over it at this point, but nor should we take any chances.

With her fearless attitude and incredibly high food drive (and a pretty good play drive as well), I bet this girl could have quite the future in agility if someone wanted to go that route.

Oops! I forgot I was going to add a completely pointless video. :o) It's just Secret playing with her new toy --- And she's not going at it with quite as much gusto as usual because she was concerned that the puppy had stolen her Jolly Ball.... But she was able to keep tugging through that distraction, so yay Secret!


  1. I had a whole bag of those rubber udder pieces that a friend gave me (she knows someone who has a dairy farm). I could never get the dogs interested in them so ended up tossing the whole lot! It's cool that Secret likes them! Our friend Lana makes really cool leather dog toys that we use like the handle tugs and especially the snakes. Google Kat Rats if it sounds like something you'd want to try :)

  2. My dogs love their udder toys

  3. One happy result of the thousands of hours I put into building -- nay, CREATING -- Secret's toy drive is that she seems to be able to accept anything as a fun toy. She even believed me that a folded newspaper was a new toy a while back when I explored getting her to fetch one (nix that, ripping was more fun).

    I so need to hit up one of the farmer guys at work to see if they have any of these. I drool over the idea of having bags of them. lol I wonder if they make good floaties, too?