Thursday, March 1, 2012

New Friends and New Habits

We have a new friend!

Well, The Dog hates him, but he’s family so she is stuck with him whether she likes it or not, but at least The Pup loves him! Er, well, sometimes. Just as long as there are no crates, toys, laps, or bully sticks around…
“Him” is The Dog’s bitty baby nephew. For our purposes he will be known as Chunk.  Because he was never really a bitty baby.  Kind of have to feel bad for his mom…
Anyways, he was super fat. Very substantial. You can see the size difference between him and The Pup.  She looks quite a bit twiggier than normal compared to his elephant stumps.
I did put these pictures on Facebook but not with any explanation. He isn’t mine! One Pup is enough and Chunk is enough for two more!
But due to sad circumstances, his planned home fell through and he will most likely stay with our friend, the breeder. She has her own puppy to worry about so I wanted to help out and be his friend. For now we are working on social skillz and turning on the brain. You know, because that’s what friends do? If it works out I will for sure do some obstacle work and possibly run him someday. He may end up really being a Big Boy (though after just a few weeks have already grown into his girth considerably) so that will be a fun challenge. 
He’s very cute. And even clever…for a boy… heheheh. I jest! He is very interesting to me in that he isn’t super food motivated but is into toys and tugging (super loud squealy tugging!).  Not the first dog like this, I know, but I’ve been using clickers so long that it’s fun to work out how to shape behaviors with toys again. Luckily he IS clever and has picked up on a few things very quickly. I’m already looking forward to trying Silvia’s method with him…
So I realize the timing of this is weird. Here I was just losing my grip because I had too much going on and now a new friend? Well, you can never have too many friends…right?

Really, I’m in a good groove now.  I settled on my path for the year and now everything has slotted into place. Suddenly I feel as though I have endless time again. A weekend off (and more to come) really helps too.  Once you realize you can watch 24 hours of sci-fy (and then do it…) you feel a lot of control again.  

We are in a really nice training groove going now too.  The girls each get two agility sessions a week. The Pup’s time is mostly dedicated to focusing throughout a whole course now, making sure that obstacle proficiency remains high. Why course work? BECAUSE SHE IS OFFICIALLY RUNNING IN A SHOW… IN 4 WEEKS!!! WOO! So excited. AKC debut, 3/31/12. Be there or you will miss a guaranteed spectacle. No, really, I entered her because I think she can do it. The last things she needs to learn all come from exposure to that environment so might as well dive in. So whether she will do it remains to be seen, but I don’t feel like I’m setting her up to fail.  She wants to play, she gets to play. Fun!

The Dog will be spending one night on coursework (in a class, a real class!) and one night on all the location cue/jumping homework we received from our private. On other nights we do a bit of collection work at home (and both girls work on tricks and conditioning most other days). 

The Pup proves that we do our tricks homework too!

One week alone has made a HUGE difference in her focus on course. I doubt it looks much different, but truly, I can feel it. There is a level of control and connection that I rarely have that is starting to come in.  I mean, she pulled off a jump last night! And it was totally what I cued! WOW!!! I can’t recall the last time I ran her a whole night and she did everything I cued. The bars were good too. I did run her at 26” and the bars that came down were before the tunnel. I think I’m doing something in those situations like anticipating the bar. Need to remember to drive through.  She will be running 26" starting the next show, which I am feeling pretty good about now!

We are also working on forbidden things like correcting mistakes and startlines. And not letting her circle at those times. She got circles in, but came back quickly (uh, for her) and was happy to go again. I even managed to squelch the circles a few times and she was still more than happy to go. She and I have some new habits to learn and it may take awhile to erase the old but at last I feel that this is the right direction!


  1. D'Mite I ADORE YOU, can't wait to meet you some day.

  2. He is CUTE!! Looks like your mom might need him?? G