I’ve got a totally well organized theme today, just you wait! (And even mostly regarding dogs!)
Big news first- The Pup is down to just one more Evil Tooth! Joy and rapture. Only one pointy little shark tooth left. Don’t you worry though, she is still a Velociraptor. The lack of pointy shark teeth doesn’t seem to be cutting down on the amount of chomping and biting she accomplishes in a day (hidden message: that amount is still very large).
It was quite bizarre though- most of her baby teeth politely excused themselves long before the appearance of her more distinguished grown up teeth. But not those canines… they just clung on for dear life even though the grown-up teeth started coming in. So for awhile now she has had two rows of teeth…just like a REAL shark. Very disconcerting to find “Jaws” being reenacted in my living room.
At any rate, nearly done with the whole irritable, bloody mouth, floppy-tooth thing. And for the record, I did keep one little tooth. Mostly for science. In case the future is devoid of Border/Staffies and they feel the need to reverse the extinction. What?? It’s not creepy. Science.
In a bizarre twist, The Pup is for once the one that has been bitten. By a bug. The agility bug! You can tell when an agility newbie gets bitten (homemade agility equipment in their backyard and forsaking their children’s school events for an agility trial). Likewise, there are little ways to tell when your newbie puppy is bitten too. For me, I look for pushy! The Pup is officially pushy. Now instead of random screaming in her crate while The Dog has her turn, I get a mix of screaming and demanding bark. When I go to get her out for her turn, she explodes out of the crate and runs to the gate to go in the ring. If I’m too slow to get going on something, she decides to start tromping over, under and through things on her own.
Last night we had much pushiness and so a very fun practice. As the Aframe was very low and she was running up and down it anyways I decided to introduce her to it properly. I set the target out and kept her on leash. (Not sure it was necessary, but better safe than sorry with a broken leg from catapulting off the top.) She did very well! She is very good about looking for THINGS to do, so she very rarely curls into me inappropriately. Makes this sort of thing easy. I don’t think we will see the Aframe again until after the DW is done, but it was fun to see how she would do.
Speaking of DW, I set up the plank contraption on the baby version. She doesn’t seem to alter her behavior at all if the boards change which is great. Go Go Gadget Generalization! (Inspector Gadget anyone? No? Am I dating myself?) It’s sort of hard to tell in the video where she is hitting with her front feet, but she was rolling through with all her feet most reps. She was also doing this while the class was arriving so very distracting. I was proud of her for keeping as focused as she did and not flubbing from ADD.
The video below shows her cute Aframes and some DW reps. Also some tunnel fun. She really doesn’t love it (yet), but she is starting to actually send to it and head in pretty happily. This was probably the first tunnel she has done that she couldn’t see the exit from the entry, so not too bad. I do love how she bursts out and looks for me- she clearly assumes it is a wormhole and doesn’t believe that I will exist on the other end yet.
We also did some low teeter (not videoed) and that’s going well. Great understanding of ‘four on.’ She will run through the tip point, but she hasn’t decided whether or not it is cool to slide. I’m letting her figure out how to handle that, my only requirements are movement through the tip and four on. She only obsessively boinged on and off the ‘bang’ part two or three times so… progress on that OCD!
Also not on video, but the best part was the ‘jumping’ (4”, if that even counts as a jump)! We’ve been working start lines (I probably will not use them, but need to be able to step away a least) and they are adorable! She sits very well and is VERY pushy. No scooching, but the whole leaning false start thing- ‘canwegocanwegocanwegoNOW???’ Good momentum off her start. So we did some of those and also some walking around from jump to jump and seeing if she would seek the obstacle. And she did! Started out nice and slow very close to her, treating every jump and by the end of the night we were up to running between and her going to find the jumps independently. Ok, so the jump was only four feet away but still! Good stuff.
It’s exciting to get some flow going, but it does make me think about my handling for her and what our system will be. It’s a bit daunting, especially since at this point I can’t boil down The Dog’s ‘system’ into an easy one or two key word description. I don’t know… can anyone else do that? I’m curious. At one time I had an easy end goal for how I would handle The Dog and it’s developed into something completely different now. She has SO MANY RULES that it’s basically an awful, complicated ‘if this than that’ flow chart of possibilities for any scenario. I think at this point with The Pup I can only do what I’m doing and hope I’m not creating another needy monster. (Too late on the monster part though… Oops!) I am training her with just one goal in mind at this point- obstacle independence. My hope is that her job is obstacles and mine will be lines. It would be lovely if she would take what I put in front of her until I put something else in her line.
Nice and simple.
It’s good to dream!
So we have our 4 star this weekend- The Dog was put through every manner of awful I could think of at practice last night and she was a gem about it. Her DWs were nice again, after a few runs. I’m determined not to stress about it. And to take my mind off of it… True Blood marathon this weekend when we aren’t doing agility!! I don’t care if its vampire bite porn, it makes me happy. Don’t judge me!
(Ok, so did you get the sense of the theme? Subtle, but cohesive! Yay me for good organization!)