Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Day 96

Rain. Not just a little rain but rain all day long. Cold, clammy, unpleasant rain. I hate cold rain. Sanity is at least a little better about it than the other Dobermans. At least she will go out and do what she needs to do and even run around a little bit before coming back inside. The part she hates the most is the closed door. I told her yesterday she was just going to have to get used to asking to go out. That it would be months before the door is open all the time. Oh how I mourn the passing of summer.

The retrieve is definitely moving along. After only two warm-up retrieves where I reminded her to hold, she got it and was handling all the parts of the retrieve on a single "fetch" command. The current trade-off is that after she moves out and picks up the dumbbell she freezes. The dumbbell is now off the ground and in her mouth, but she is not returning to me in a timely fashion. I was content to wait her out at first. Then she made a major tactical error. She cut me a look with her eyes with that sly, "I getting away with something" look. NOT!

So I snatched on the leash. This caused two things to happen. She dropped the dumbbell and was jet propelled to me. Since she arrived without the dumbbell, she was of course corrected back to it and still had to pick it up and return it. She just glared at me. Made humpfing noises and tried to tell me she also had forgotten were heel position was or even how to find said position. The attempt failed. She found herself very quickly in heel position. Then I started to set up for the next retrieve. She could hardly wait. As I was saying fetch she was shooting out to pick it up and there was no hesitation in returning to me. Then just to remind me of her tender age, she "forgot" what she was supposed to do next and put herself in a half crouch position rather than a proper sit. Unacceptable young'un, see I know you can do better.

On the next placed retrieve, she rushed out to the dumbbell, picked it up quickly and returned at a snail's pace, only to sit nice and straight. Sorry little on, that won't do either. So we did it again. Since she had managed to come back slowly the previous time, she thought to give it a second pass. NOT! I snatched on the leash. She was jet-propelled again, only this time she didn't drop the dumbbell. Finally she seemed to run out of variations on the theme and gave me two nice, brisk retrieves with good sits. We called it good and quit.

I am so glad to see her trying out lots of different ways of doing things while we are still in the early stages of the training. It is much easier to fix mistakes now than it will be later. Her continuing to grow will make size as well as distance an issue later, if I don't get stuff fixed now.

How I dread tomorrow morning. After a full day of rain, all the dogs are going to be totally wild for a while tomorrow morning.

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