Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Day 264

When I woke this morning, the sun was just starting to break on the horizon, the sky was promising to be a wonderful early spring shade of blue and the air had that soft feel to it. Best of all Sanity has finally decided to...drum roll please...

Sanity has finally come in season!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!! The long wait is finally over. Most training plans will be set aside for at least a few days while she mopes around here acting like some sort of lost soul. This act is interspersed with frenzied bouts of ball collecting. All the balls on the property simply must reside in the hallway. I collect the outside balls and toss them back outside. I collect the inside balls and put them back in the toy basket.

She, giving me a mournfully look and heaving a loud sigh, begins the business of collecting them and bringing them all back into the house and to the designated spot in the hallway. So far today this little act has been played at least 15 different times. When she isn't collecting balls or badgering the boys to make them give up their balls, she is stretched out on the floor. Every so often you can hear a soft moan from her and should I dare glance in her direction I am greeted with the most sorry, hang-dog look you can imagine.

That's okay by me. I simply turned all my attention to Tyler today. He worked on his random sit command, his come command and we started the fetch command. He is will be using the very same dumbbell that Delta and Bitsy used when they were first learning how to retrieve. Fifteen reps, done in sets of 5 and he thinks this is a very fine thing that we do. Will see how he feels about one of the most boring of drills as the next few weeks unfold.

Here recently I have had quite a few people ask me why I insist on teaching the retrieve in such a slow, "old fashioned" way when there are so many more modern and faster way to do it. My reason has to do with teaching patience and consistency and willingness. These are the things that are taught along with the actual fetch command. Some days I can be really fumble-fingered, dropping items over and over again. Most of the dogs I train will go to work for people who fumble just as much or even more than I do. So the dogs must learn to be very precise and very careful about how they pick things up and how they deliver them to hand. They must learn from the very beginning that they will most likely have to pick the very same thing up over and over again.


  1. Pat McKinney2:21 AM

    Do you have pictures yet of Tyler in his new "do"? The small curly black doberman?

  2. Anonymous3:04 AM


    Yeah. I'd like to see him, too. :)

    Stay Safe,
    Mike Crimens
    Bayern, Germany

  3. They are going up tomorrow.