Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I don't feel like working yet, so I am going to write about my dogs instead, even though I don't have much of interest to say . . .

Jun remains insane with less insane moments on occasion. Her back yard OCD running (to the back corner, slide to a stop, bark 3 times, to the gate, to the fence, to the back corner, repeat), after almost disappearing over the winter, has gotten worse and worse. It is almost always triggered by seeing a person somewhere, even very far away. I am beginning to think it is pure insanity and not fear-based at all. I remain perplexed by this phenomenon and have not found any effective way to deal with it.

We've been doing a lot of training outside and walks in the neighborhood (ok, the block at least). After spending all fall/winter/spring working on it, all 3 of my dogs now walk on a loose leash pretty well. Not perfectly, but definitely a lot better. Newsflash: Loose leash walking is a whole lot more about attention than about the state of the leash or the walking. If the dog is not attentive while you are stopped, you have no business taking an actual step. Once I figured that out (and realized that it was not cruel and unusual punishment to ask my dog to be attentive to me at all times when on leash) we were money. (And, ok, Lok only walks on a loose leash because he can't see where he's going and is too fat to want to go very fast, but I'm gonna take credit for him anyway.)

And since I never post about disc . . . we've been getting out 2-3 times a week for disc work. I have scrapped Jun's whole freestyle routine. For freestyle, we're just jamming and she is doing SO well! She's drivey, she's jumping high, she's not blowing off discs. It's awesome. We've been focusing more on distance and T&C. This is more my issue than hers, since I get so nervous and can't throw a disc, but (knock on wood) we've been doing decently so far. Elo is hit or miss. I'm not pressuring him. We are working dismissal and sometimes he plays, sometimes he doesn't (usually in direct correllation to the amount of goose poop on the field). Last night he engaged with me three times for three 10-second tug sessions and one short roller! Such a good boy!

We have our first disc dog road trip coming up in less than two weeks. Our first Quad of the year. Very excited/nervous! The dog management will be at least as, um, exciting (?) as the disc play. For Jun and Elo, I got an ex-pen to hang out in at the field and I will be covering the sides with a tarp and putting a shade screen over the top. Hopefully that will block their view of all their many triggers and allow them to semi-relax and hopefully they won't fight. Last year, Elo could not even be at the field at all, so I'm hoping he can deal with it this way. We have a local comp this weekend, so I will be giving it a test run. In the mean time, I hope to work some RP in the ex-pen a few times and work on going in and out and getting lots of great treats in the pen.

And for tricks: Elo's got his wave down and we're putting it on cue! He has gotten a TON better at picking up cues and he's already doing pretty well at discriminating the wave from his other cues! That will make 6 behaviors on cue for him! Elo's handstand is coming along great! Last night I started clicking him for lifting his foot off his bracing surface and he's holding 1-2 seconds! Still working on Jun's limp every so often. Making very slow progress, but progress nonetheless.

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