Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Day 230

Did a consultation with a young Lab who has started down a very bad road. Four months old and in quarantine for biting. No it really wasn't a bad bite and had he been my dog I would most likely had a serious muscle reflex that caused him to land on the other side of the room and then there would have been no more dinner for that day. An Epsom Salts soak or two and life would have moved on to some very serious training on many levels. In this case the bite led to the doctor's and from there it went to Animal Control. No matter what the offence, be it human or canine, get in the system and all sorts of nasty things can happen.

This time the system allowed them to take him to the vet and then to a trainer. Personally, I think he is a rather nice pup, just sort of clueless. It was so funny to watch him when Sanity hopped the gate and came in the room. More on that later. The interesting part to me has been her behavior since she was left behind on Tuesday. She has most definitely taken another leap forward in her mental growth and development. I think I may safely say that being passed over was a wake-up call.

When she hopped that gate, she didn't even need to be told, guided or even signaled to get up on the love seat. She just hit the office floor, turned and hopped up on her own. Took one look at the Lab puppy, sniffed, stuck her nose up in the air and lay down with a loud sigh. Too, too funny.

Meanwhile, this pup was in complete awe of her and became most humble. A little bit later she turned when told and positioned her head so I could remove her collars. Removing all collars is a part of the consultation. I do it for a couple of reasons. First to demonstrate that training should not be dependent on a piece or pieces of equipment. Second I take the collars off so I can use the ecollar to demonstrate just how an ecollar feels. Then I put Sanity's thin nylon choke collar back on her and continue to talk about the ecollar and training.

As a measure of just how far along her training is, I didn't have to call for Wrap to demonstrate how once the training is far enough along the dog will respond to voice commands without a collar. This time I commented to the clients that Sanity was just about to graduate to the next level of her training and so I was going to test her for the first time. I also made sure they knew how old she isn't. Good for her, she hopped off the love seat and did a sit and then left the office on command and went back to her bed where she did a down. All single this done with single, almost whispered voice commands. I don't know about them, but I was impressed.

Consultation over we moved on. My friend Linda arrived with her two dogs, one of which is a new Pup puppy. I am jealous. That pup stirred up my Puglust again. Thank goodness I am in a position to not know of any Pug puppies. I need a Pug like I need a hole in my head. But darn them, they are so cute.

Frankie the Pug is just about the same age as Tyler and they spent the next couple of hours hard at work...playing. At first, they got the entire yard to run and chase in while the rest of the ankle biters got to be out in the yard. Then we put Frankie and Tyler in the double run with the middle gate left open. That way they could continue to play and explore and I could let the rest of the day care crew out. Tyler got to shine. He already knows all there is to know about that space with its dog houses, resting platforms and interesting gate. Frankie had a bit of a problem figuring it all out, but was willing to follow Tyler's lead. Tyler was almost too proud to show him the ropes. What Tyler doesn't know is that his carefree puppyhood is just about to come to an end.

Scent work: Did articles outside for the first time. It was really hard and she did well. The wind was blowing and that makes scent work harder. There were at least half a dozen other dogs wandering around, walking between her and the articles,and standing over the articles. But none of that was any ways near as difficult as the fact that she had had to put down her most precious hunk of wood in order to work. Then, to make matters even more grip, one of her rivals came along and stole the hunk from the place she had stashed it. Oh the horror of it all!!

This just seemed to make her focus on the task even more strongly. Zip, zip and she had made two correct finds, heard a word of praise from me, was off leash and free to reclaim her hunk of wood. Which she promptly did. Interesting how she reclaimed it. More interesting yet to watch the other dog willingly give it up.

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