Monday, March 06, 2006

Day 228

Give her a day off and she really buzzes the next day. It's a good thing I felt better cause if she hadn't gotten some work I suspect she would have managed to get herself killed by someone.

Started the day off with a delivery of mulch. This load went not just to the mulch pile but also to the space by my favorite big tree. That is an area where a lake forms every single time we have more than a few drops of rain. My goal is to slowly build it up until I no longer have to deal with a lake. By using mulch and doing it slowly I don't have to worry about upsetting the tree, something that is a major concern since it is very old and not in the best of health and I don't want to lose it.

First lesson with the Newfies went well. We actually worked outside for the first half and didn't come in until it was time to do scent work and deal with my most unfavorate thing, to wit: fronts and finishes.

I tucked an article under my arm and then worked with Paul and Callie. Had to listen to all sorts of teasing because of my strange superstitious behaviors where scent work is concerned. However, Callie had a difficult time working her articles and Sanity didn't. I still maintain that warm metal articles give off a stronger scent than cold ones. So in my mind, Sanity was truly working the hottest scent and poor Callie was struggling with two cold and not very appealing articles with weak scent. Sanity worked 1 and 3 o'clock. The only real problem is this business of playing around with the articles when she first gets to the pile. I will let that continue for a time longer for a couple of reasons. First, she is still very puppy in much of what she does and play is a part of puppy behavior. Second, I very much favor the three-bar articles. She is actually turning each article over to better check all three bars before she makes up her mind. This will slow down and slowly go away as she becomes more confident with her work.

Paul made an interesting observation as he watched me correct Sanity into the exact position I wanted her in. He said, "you know, I kept on thinking she wasn't learning very fast until I started to get Leo ready to show. Then I realized that what you were doing was to make sure she learned each thing right the first time. You aren't going to have to go back and clean anything up because you aren't letting bad stuff get started."

To which I responded, "that's right. I would much rather teach it right the first time than to have to go back and fix stuff that happened because I was sloppy in my original teaching. Besides which, it certainly doesn't take any longer to get it right to begin with and I don't have to back track."

Evening and the "bits and pieces" class. Did articles again and this time had her do 1 o'clock and 4 o'clock. Was interesting to watch. She went out selected the correct article, put it down and started to come back with the taboo article. I moved in and corrected. She then went on to do two correctly other than that fool play stuff she is doing.

And now for Tyler. He is getting closer and closer to being ready for me to start what I think of as "the training". I continue to be selective as to which big dogs he gets to run with, but he sure doesn't need to stay on the porch very much. And food, he is eating like a little pig at dinner time. Likes his afternoon cookie and isn't interested in a morning meal at all. I have had what for me is a house full of little guys the past few days and he is enjoying sort of lording his upper dog status over everyone.

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