Thursday, April 28, 2011

Born to Run?

“Dear Diary,
I just HAD to tell you about the magically awesome time I had with The Pup last night. The Pup is the COOLest dog for sure. I’m not positively positive yet…but I think I might just be in L-O-V-E!!!!”

-my thoughts and feelings about our training session last night, as read by a 13 year old girl.

Because nobody does over-the-top dramatic feeling like a 13 year old girl. Yep, I am JUST THAT HAPPY!

We three of The Project braved the rain/snow to go run The Dog on some dogwalks before the show this weekend. I also had to remind her…and myself… of what is like to run on real grass in all its slick, uneven glory since we’ll be outside for the first time this year for the 3 day trial.  She was fine and dandy; no slips, trips or falls.
After her turn, I took The Pup out for some outdoor training in the rain (well, technically, it was snow).  I let The Dog hang out for distraction purposes (sometimes she likes to bark a little. And run around with her ball...), so between her and the new environment and the weather, it should have probably been a pretty unsuccessful session.
Oh no.
I must have forgotten.
My puppy is a genius.
We mostly worked on the plank- I was able to use a real full sized DW plank for the first time and was prepared to spend awhile familiarizing her to it.  Not necessary.  I put the boards on the ground and she started whizzing back and forth all on her own. Score a point for Super Powers of Generalization. 

I’m pretty much convinced she was born for a running dogwalk.  She totally seems to ‘get’ the game. By the end she was hanging out at the load end of the board while I put the treat out, lining herself up to the plank and running across with full confidence (no more thinking puppy). When she opened up, it turned out to be the perfect stride (hopefully future growth spurts won’t mess with it) to put her through the yellow with all four feet.  There was not one rep that didn’t earn a click. Joy.  (Shhh... I know it's early...but I'm buzzing and I like it!! I can't help thinking that perhaps after months of suffering with The Dog's contact, I am being smiled upon by the Agility Gods. Leave me my delusions!)  

We went over some teeter end position fun too, letting her jump up and ride the BANG about 6” on the very low teeter.  As an experiment, I asked her to do the whole teeter.

I seemed to have created a Teeter Monster.

Turns out, she is a bit of a daredevil.  The thrill of the drop was- I swear- her favorite experience to date. I could not get her to stop racing to the end to make it bang down. Eventually, she ran back and forth along it without exiting, finally refusing to release to exit from it at all.

She held her position as well as she could (on the real teeters, not the insane ones), but I think we will continue reinforcing the four on wait for awhile before doing a full run again. Front end held well, back foot enjoyed sliding off about half the time when she slid to a stop and I don’t want her to hurt herself. (Remember, Safety Is Our Number One Priority!!).
At the end of the night, she fell asleep in my lap. It’s nice to see that a sensitive side exists under that tough girl exterior.  
Yep, definitely L-O-V-E.

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome!! Fingers crossed she continues to be an easy running dogwalk trainee :)