Monday, February 06, 2006

Day 200

Two hundred days. I don't know why that seems like some sort of milestone but it does. Then I pause to think about it for a few minutes more and realize that we have been hitting all sorts of milestones here recently. Nine months of age and six months of training are two that pop into my mind.

A new behavior just really started to show itself in the last few days. I had seen it coming and was already in the process of heading it off. The arrival of the Six Pack seemed to be the final trigger and now for the next few weeks at the very least I will lock horns with Sanity on a daily basis about her behavior. The behavior I am talking about is what some would want to call aggression. It isn't...yet. It won't ever be. Why? Because I don't like that sort of behavior and don't allow it.

Back to what is happening right now. Sanity has just figured out that different growls and snarls and ugly faces get you different things in the dog's world. She is in the process of trying them all out and most of the time she uses the wrong sound and/or the wrong ugly face in her communication. My making my displeasure known in no uncertain terms is making it much easier for her to figure out what "words" are acceptable in polite society and what "words" are best left to the gutter dogs.

I think this is an excellent picture of what I have been struggling to put into words. You can see a smaller dog hustling to get out of the way. An older dog who knows the behavior isn't going to get out of hand and the two younger dogs in a wild play position that without supervision would have more than likely gotten out of control.


On the training front scent discrimination is moving right along. We had a chance to work two articles three different times today. The first time was really no big deal since there were practically no distractions in the training studio. But when we repeated the exercise again during the "Bits and Pieces" class this evening the distractions were a whole other kettle of fish. After a somewhat shaky start with Sanity actually behaving as if she had a bit of "stage fright". One of those times when she seemed to be a little bit shy of working in front of everyone. Interesting.

Here she is working in front of the class.

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