Sunday, February 05, 2006

Day 199

For some today was Super Bowl Sunday and for others it was an excuse to gather together to socialize, play, chat, train. In this house the later was the order of the day. Learning good canine manners is an important part of growing into a well balanced, self-controlled, mannerly adult. Here is an example of Sanity showing proper respect towards her elders, even elders she doesn't know well at all.

One of the things this series of pictures is able to show is how she is able to maintain self control, respect and decorum. You see her following the rules that require a younger dog to lower themselves and move away in a slow and controlled manner. Thirty seconds later, Sanity was racing at top speed around the yard with some of the younger dogs. Sanity in the one in the middle, wearing the blue collar and with all four feet in the air.

Inside I took advantage of the cluster of dogs and humans to have Sanity do several 30' retrieves. Nothing very fancy or particularity difficult. Granted the dumbbell rolled under one of the little training tables. Granted the training table had interesting things on it. Granted there were 4 adult dogs and 4 humans all sitting or standing in a tight grouping around the place where the dumbbell came to rest, but still it wasn't all that difficult a retrieve.

She seemed to think otherwise and insisted first that she didn't see it. She still had to complete the task. Next she claimed it was too far away. No good, she still had to go the distance. Then she insisted it must be on top of the training table somewhere and there was no way she could lower her head enough to see what was under the table. Finally she got it right. Seemed like a good place to quit.

A bit later I thought it just might be a good time to actually put aside the introductory scent work and become more formal. So we started the formal pattern for the first time. Two articles placed six feet away. One article (the correct one) with my scent on it. The other article (the taboo article) with Pam's scent on it.

Each time I gave her my scent and told her to "Find it", she moved out to the two articles without any real hesitation. At first there was some uncertainty as to just what I wanted and since Pam's scent was unfamiliar to her she wanted to bring it back to me. I gently corrected/guided her away from the taboo article and praised her for sniffing and then picking up the correct one. Two mistakes needing help and she made a correct choice on her own. The correct article was then placed in a slightly different location. Two more mistakes needing corrective help and guidance and then she made a correct choice on her own. Time to stop. I am well pleased with her progress learning scent work and not so please with her fooling around with the simple retrieve on the flat.

Day is done and I wonder if we will manage to get a complete night's sleep tonight. She was better last night and only warned me once about the trespassing demons in the living room. Surly by tonight she will have managed to figure out that house guests are allowed in the living room.

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