Monday, April 24, 2006

Day 277

Worked with Tyler on his retrieve a little bit this morning. He is having almost as much trouble focusing as Sanity so I'm not all that sure it was worth the effort. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day for all of us. And Sanity finished up the day by managing to pee in her pants yet again. GRRRRR.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Day 276

Guess everyone is entitled to goof off sometimes. Seems this is my time. I actually have managed to go another day without doing a single lick of training. I very much doubt this is going to continue since the dogs are all starting to give me strange looks.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Day 275

Got up to rain. Everyone of my morning lessons cancelled. So I called the day a waste as far as training goes and off to the Jewelry Show I went with a couple of friends. What fun! Had never been to one before. Goodness, it was a good thing that I decided to take a set amount of cash with me and then not spend one single penny more after that or I could have really spent way more than I should.

Not a single bit of training got done and for the first time in years I actually went some place without a dog. Strange feeling.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Day 274

Lost Day. Off to the vet with one dog with a nasty hot spot; Tyler for rabies shot; and Sanity because the darn diarrhea has come back again. Not a lick of training done.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Day 273

Tyler just loves to carry things around. While Sanity has been going through a phase where she keeps carrying everything into the house, Tyler has decided that everything needs to be carried OUTSIDE the house. She brings it in, he takes it out. It really is pretty funny, or maybe not.

This morning when I got up I couldn't find my slippers. So the search began. I knew were they were when I went to bed and also knew they weren't there now. The first slipper I located in Wrap's bed in the living room. I know Sanity didn't put it there since she is in jail and I know darn well Wrap sure didn't put it there. Must be Tyler. Great! I am now in possession of one slipper and on a hunt for slipper number two. In the meantime, everyone needs to go out, so I get out a second pair of slippers, put them on and head outside with all 3 dogs. It's just getting light out and that is the hardest time to make out things in the distance, but what is that thing I see on the ground?

Sanity happened to be the dog closest to it so, "Sanity, fetch that to me". She looks down, spots said object, picks it up and proudly brings it to me. And of course, I now have my missing slipper. Seems a certain someone, short, black and curly carried it outside to spend the night. Thank goodness it didn't rain. I am getting this uneasy feeling that once Sanity is out of jail the two of them are going to have a running battle going over this stuff in or stuff out. Bet it is going to be funny.

In class this evening Tyler did a nice full distance, full 3 minute sit/stay. He still has far to go on the down/down/stay. The group was practicing individual and group recalls and Tyler managed to hang in there and do a better than average job of listening for his name before deciding to move. We did a very little bit of heel work. Probably was the right amount for him but I sure wish I could have done more. He is a long way for getting it together as far as heel is concerned. Over all, it was a good class for him.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Day 272

What a lovely day. So how come by 10:30 I was really in trouble? Well, for starters I really didn't have a dog to work by my side during the lesson I was teaching. True, Wrap stepped up to the plate and helped out with the longer distance place command. True, Sage stepped up to the plate and helped out with the demonstration of how to place a dog in the down position. No, I couldn't use Tyler because using a small, willing dog to show how to handle a large and unwilling dog just doesn't cut it.

The down was the problem. I am working with a husband/wife team. Only they weren't being a very good team. In fact, they had reached the stage where I butt in and say,"Sorry guys, but I don't do marriage counseling. See, I'm only a dog trainer. You really will need to make an appointment with a good marriage counselor. So they stopped bickering and went back to paying attention to me. And then I proceeded to "calf-wrestle" that 60 pound olf of a Lab puppy into a down, not once but three times. After that, wife decided she would be able to take over and get the job done and so she did. "Good girl, you get a gold star."

I was still pretty beat when Lauren and her grandnephew Noah showed up for a Tyler lesson. It certainly wasn't the best quality lesson, but a lesson it was. At least at this stage the lesson is as much just hanging out and getting to know one another as it is anything else. Don showed up before we were finished and we ended up out in the front yard. That way I could just sit on the front step and do everything sitting down. I guess I should have gone inside and gotten my scooter, but I didn't.

Here is a picture of Lauren, Don,Noah, Bitsy and of course the little black dog that you can hardly see, Mr. Tyler. Here they are working on the "up" command. Here they are just finishing an "off" command. And finally, Tyler, you good boy.

Tyler is also moving right along with the retrieve work. We have finished the introduction and have moved to the open on command stage. He is so very, very easy it is going to be hard to hold back and make sure he has a fair and complete introduction.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Day 271

Even I can't manage to stick to the jail and leash walking schedule. Poor Sanity, I know the lack of enough exercise is not helping her madness right now. So I made the mad dash with her from the porch to the kennel runs. The boys all want to just "be with her" and the girls just want to kill her. My how the dogs manage to mirror us in so many ways. For a large chunk of this day Sanity resided in the double run on one end and Lilly took up the big run at the other end. At least Lilly is pretty much done and most likely won't have to stay in a kennel as of tomorrow.

Went off to the chiropractor this morning. Seemed really strange to go without a dog, but this time t'was a dog responsible for my having to go. All that rug scrubbing following so close on the heels of lots of standing and bending while I groomed Tyler and my back was not happy with me. Not to worry, cause the good Dr. Loeb fixed me right up.

When I got home there was a package on my door step. The return address was Grays Lake, IL and the sender was someone named Red Blot Chilie Pepper. Strange, I think as I tear it open, I wonder what it is. I don't remember ordering something from such a place and I don't think I know anyone in Grays Lake. Once the package was open what should fall out but not one, not two nope there were a total of four pair of bitches britches. Each and every single one of them was made of a black fabric covered with red, yellow and green chili peppers.

There wasn't anything in the package to tell who this gift was from. When I went back and took a closer look at how it was addressed I saw it was addressed to Sanity Woods. Don't know who to thank so since I suspect it is a gift from a reader of this blog, I shall say thank you for your kindness. Tomorrow I promise to take some pictures of her in both pair of bitches.

Tyler wants her to stand still so he can pull them off. No, no Tyler...get outta here before you wake the fire breathing dragon.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Day 270

Monday morning blues. Its raining and while this is vacation check out day for most of the dogs the fact remains that by the time all the day care dogs got here and had a chance to exercise a bit, I was stuck with 21 wet, smelly dogs.

Sanity lost her house privileges because of a stunt she pulled last night. Took her outside to potty and she just danced around, so since I was really tired I let her run in the back yard for a bit. Then when she came back in I put her new leopard spotted pants on and gave her some house freedom. Of course, since it was warm enough the office door was open. You are not going to believe what that nasty bitch did. She slipped back outside and took a shite in her britches. Then to make matters worse, she proceed to come back inside and shake. She shook in the office. She shook in the hallway. She left plops in the living room and splatters on the furniture in my bedroom.

How did I catch on to what was going on? Wrap told me. Or more to the point she roared at Sanity with such volume and anger I jumped up to see what was going on and almost stepped in the largest of the plops. I was barefooted. That bitch is going to die before this is over.

And so, I had to catch her, take her outside, peel off the nasty, stinking pants and dump the contents. Then the house had to be cleaned of all her splatters. She was back to sleeping in her crate again. Oh and while I was struggling to clean up the places on the run in the living room, she tried to sneak a stolen rawhide bone outside and got caught. My son took the rawhide from her and she turned right about and went to my bedroom doorway and pee'ed on the floor. Go to jail! Go directly to jail! Do not pass go. Do not even expect a dog bone much less $200.

Meanwhile, Tyler is struggling to try and learn his lessons rather than listen to the strange siren call coming from his former playmate. Poor Tyler.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Day 269

Gag! I am beginning to think I will never master the trick of getting good picture of a black dog. These are shots of Tyler's haircut after his bath, fluff dry and finish cut.

The nasty dirty creamish colored thing to the left of Tyler is one of those $1,000+ mutts called a Goldendoodle. Why on earth people actually pay money for something like that and then claim it is because a Standard Poodle is too hard to care for is totally beyond my understanding. I'm including this shot just so you can get some sort of perspective of Tyler in reference to some of the other dogs in the yard. Tyler has gone from "Little Mr. Twinkle Toes" to "I'm Big Man on Campus". So please should you ever meet him in person, remember he thinks he is 30" tall and we want him to keep on thinking that way. And I still don't have either his tail or his topknot the way I see them in my head. Maybe next time.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Day 268

Well let's see, just what can I say? Sanity is in jail and this is as holiday weekend. There were only a couple of lessons today. Tyler helped teach the first one and Diane taught the second one.

So what did Tyler do? First of all, his being the demo dog was perfect. He is exactly the same age as the little Havanese taking the lesson. Tyler demo'ed over and over exactly what the recall was supposed to look like. As he show the what I talked about the how. Since he was coming from out of a play session, away from getting a drink of water and away from the open gate and his coming was done at top speed with his head up and his tail wagging at blur speed he did help to make a strong positive impression. We demonstated how to start the sit command and what it should look like by this time next week. He was great.

Later he help "sell" a retrieve class and got in some retrieve practice at the same time.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Day 267

With Sanity in jail, Tyler is getting to go places and loving it. Here is a shot of Tyler doing his best Doberman imitation on the Doberman place rug as he waits for me to finish getting my nails done.
In this shot Tyler is doing the meet and greet thing with one of the hair clients. In this shot you see Tyler getting to meet Michael. Michael owns the shop and as been gracious enough to allow me to bring one dog in training after another in with me. He is a great guy and gives a fantastic hair cut. It didn't take Tyler long at all to figure out that Michael really is a small dog sort of fellow. This lead to some up close and personal attention.

Tyler wasn't sure about what was going on when we first headed out into the big world without Sanity. He stuck to heel position but had his tail down and was trying to make himself really small when we first entered the shop. As you can see it didn't take long at all for him to decide this was a very fine field trip. Very fine indeed.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Day 266

Day four and when I looked in her crate I swear she has scratched hatch marks on the wall. She does not like have to be leash walked in the front yard, she is not interested in chewing a bone, she is hard pressed to accept a morning biscuit. And this only day four. Oh my!!

Tyler is starting to get the idea in the sit department. It is also slowly dawning on him that when I do say, "Tyler, sit" I mean now, right where you are and don't move until I tell you what to do next.

Since I was scheduled to teach both classes and since Miss Sanity really isn't fit company, Tyler got to go to class all on his own. He also did his first sit/stays in front of the group. It is just easier for me to start them out in front of everyone else. That way I can correct as necessary and what we are doing becomes a good distraction for the other dogs.

Here is a picture of Tyler doing his best alert Doberman impersonation. Here he is doing his first sit/stay in front of the group. I consider this to be a great way to proof the stays.

For those of you who have been following this blog from the very beginning I'm sure you remember seeing a picture of Sanity doing the very same thing.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Day 265

Wednesday and I totally forgot to write a single note. As best I can remember Sanity is hating life and me and not necessarily in that order. She sure enough is not in favor of 1)having to stay in a crate all the time; 2)leash walking; 3)not being the center of the entire world all the time. The rules in this house for bitches when they go in season are: Go to jail. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. Go directly to jail and there you will reside for 21 days. She totally and completely hates me right now. Threw one screaming temper tantrum after another off and on all day, that part I do remember all too well. Too bad, so sad.

Tyler continues to work on his response to sit and come and his introduction to the dumbbell. He greatly misses his most best companion and is ever so concerned about her welfare. Yeah and I saw him eying that stepladder last evening. Honest, guys I really will get a picture of him.

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.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Day 263

Some how, some way I have got to get really going with the jumping. No matter what I will start it tomorrow. This morning's work session with the articles was great! Three articles outside without a single hitch even with a loose dog wandering around the pile while she worked. Great distraction!

The second session was this evening and darn if she didn't work four articles just as well. Now I know I will be starting leather tomorrow. Yeah!

Overall there has been a giant leap forward in her retrieving skills. After what seems like months and months of struggle and arguing, she is starting to retrieve just about anything I send her for and do it quickly and with little fuss or muss. The funny thing right now is her gratuitous retrieves. These are including multiple cans of canned dog food. I have a dog boarding here right now that eats a really nasty brand of canned food. Sanity knows these cans have this truly stinky food in them and several times a day she has taken to bringing me two or three cans of the stuff when I am working at the computer.

The new thing we are fighting over is where the outdoor toys, bones and "good tree limbs" are going to live. I say outside with all of them. Sanity, on the other hand, is willing to spend large chunks of her time combing the yard for every single ball, toy, bone and good tree limb and carrying all of them in the house. When I am not looking she slips passed me and stores them in the living room. I find her treasures, insist they must all go back outside and proceed to toss them out. She gives me a mournful look and begins to gather them all up once again. And so the battle of wills continues to rage. No, she still hasn't come in season.

Speaking of coming in season, I ordered her a very fine pair of leopard spotted bitch's britches. So now all she has to do is come up wit the proper reason for wearing them. In the meantime, I have had her wear them for a couple of short periods today. I figure if I get her used to them before she actually needs them, it will be easier on the both of us.

I continued Tyler's work on sit and come. For some reason, I was able to get in more good recalls today than I did all weekend. Had better chances to work on his sit command as well. Maybe it was because there were so many dogs here today. We are filling up because of Spring break and it looks like it will be pretty hectic around here for the next couple of weeks. I looked a the calendar this afternoon to realize that I have some days where there will be 20 dogs here at one time. I am going to be one very tired puppy by the time this rush is over. The upside is that having so many here means we will get some really great training sessions in. That twinkle-toed Miniature Poodle puppy is gone, completely and totally. In its place there is a rough and tumble very short, solid black and curly Doberman in disguise. He is so funny and no matter what sort of a pickle he gets into with the other dogs, his guardian is right there to bail him out. Mutt and Jeff, indeed.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Day 262

Sunday and no I didn't do a lick of training because I decided I just couldn't stand looking at Tyler one second longer. Downstairs we went, up on the table with him, out came the clippers, slicker brush, comb and scissors. Tyler had a new "do" roughed in. My plan of a complete grooming went out the window when I realized that what used to take me about 45 minutes now was taking almost 2 hours. My problem, not Tyler's. Tyler was a real trooper about the entire thing. We ended up with an nicely scissored rough cut, no bath, no fluff dry and no final finish. Even so, he does look better. Will take a picture in the morning and post it tomorrow.

Sanity and Tyler. Tyler and Sanity. See Sanity and you will see Tyler not too far behind. See Tyler and Sanity is at most just around the corner. The two of them are really getting stuck on each other. Talk about a Mutt and Jeff couple, they are too funny. It would never have occurred to me that she would take such a shine to him. Funny how she went from I hate him, get him outta here. To piss on you for staying to what we have now. Just goes to show, if you give them the time and you maintain the rules evenly, even the strangest matches will end up at least liking each other. Course this is way more than just a liking situation.

This afternoon while Tyler was up on the table getting his hair cut, Sanity was laying on the bed in the corner watching every step closely. Once he was on the floor, the first place he went was to her. She checked him over very carefully and then came over to me. I felt she was saying, "Am I next?"

So I accommodated her. Gently ran the slicker brush over her and then trimmed her whiskers. She, in turn went to the bed when Tyler was now laying and poked at him while he sniffed her. Then the two of them took off upstairs and outside. Amazing to watch.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Day 261

And the rain came down and down and down. No lessons this morning, so Diane, Alison and I decided to work dogs in the studio. Tyler had a great lesson with Alison. They worked on sit and heel. After a rocky beginning with Tyler insisting he didn't want to heel with Alison and he didn't know this "sit" word, things got better fast and he was heeling and sitting very nicely.

The really big thing is...drum roll....Tyler is doing the basement stairs all on his own as of this morning. Seems being left upstairs all alone with all the action taking place at the bottom of the dread mountain of stairs was what was needed to inspire him. His first attempt took the better part of 45 minutes with him crying, oh so piteously the entire time. However, once he has done it, he then proceeded to turn around, run back up the stairs and do it again. He just kept on going up and down those stairs until he no longer had a problem with the down part. It was very interesting to watch him practice all by himself. In the end, the stairs became just another "no big deal" for him.

Sanity's working of the articles today really did look as if she wants to bring back the correct one with her paws and when that is not possible she will try to bring back a taboo article in her mouth. I am beginning to get the feeling that I would be better off to put more articles out there rather than continue to stick with so few. I do know that I am going to start leather articles sometime within the next couple of days. And my mental schedule calls for me to start signals and the directed retrieve as well. Of course, I'm not sure the directed retrieve will be much of a challenge since we have been doing a casual form of directed retrieve in every day life for some time now.

One good note is that I have noticed she is getting much better at dropping an incorrect item when I tell her "phooey" or "that's not what I want" and then getting right back to work looking for the thing I do want.

She continues to hold out on this coming in season stuff. Get on with it, gal.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Day 260

Regular nail appointment was changed from 11 to 12 and for once in more weeks than I care to remember we were actually a little early. My problem has been I just seem to move so slowly in the morning anymore and it takes forever to get all the dogs checked in, exercised and then kenneled so we can leave. However, this new med I am on seems to be fixing a goodly part of the problem. Enough on me.

Sanity led the entire pack on a long, wild chase this morning. It was so wonderful to watch her really stretch out. Her determination to always be the leader is amazing. On a working level, the best part of that long run was that all the dogs were content to come in and kennel up when it was time for us to leave. Once in the shop, Sanity simply passed out and was so fast asleep she was snoring. When it was time to leave, I woke her, gave her time to stretch and then told her to fetch my cane.

Watching her doing what I have been considering "screwing around", Janene says to me, "You know, it looks like she is trying to use her paws like hands to pick your cane up."

I had never looked at what was going on in the way before. In watching Sanity, struggling with her front paws on and around the cane, I was forced to agree with Janene. It really did look as if she wanted to use her paws like I use my hands. When she finally managed to pick it up, instead of going for the balance point, she insisted on holding it by the hand grip. This grip caused her to drop the cane several times before she was able to swing it around and lift it, still using the hand grip, high enough for me to catch it.

Later in the afternoon when we went to work articles, I realized that she was actually doing the same thing with them. Curious about this strange trait I sent her to fetch a pan, a towel, a set of keys, a pair of shoes and a pencil. In every single case she first tried to use her paws and didn't switch to her mouth until she was totally frustrated with the paws results. She just keeps on doing things that remind me of my wonderful Charity. I just hope I can be as good an owner and trainer this time around as I was for Charity.

Tyler and the sit command. Right now he just glares at me every single time I tell him to sit. We are now in the "come within my line of sight and I will tell you to sit" stage of the training. Don stopped by and dropped off Bitsy's old dumbbell. This means Tyler will start his retrieve training sometime within the next couple of weeks. I will give the sit a chance to jell and will be starting the place command next. Once those two are well started we will move on to the fetch command. Sure hope he is more reasonable about it than Sanity. Please, no more fetch with my paws dogs for a while.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Day 259

Sanity did a better than average job of helping me teach a week 5 lesson this morning. It was for the former wild Doberman male that started just six short weeks ago. What a total difference in this fellow. He is doing great and his owner is so very pleased with his progress.

One of the things Sanity did a good job with was the stand. Not the stand for exam that is done in the obedience ring, but one that is way more important. The very one that used to be a problem all of a sudden stopped being a problem and is looking good. I'm talking about the stand and brace and the stand and pull. In the first case, she has to come straight up from a down position into a full and solid stand so I can use her shoulders to push my self up into a standing position. In the second case, she has to come straight up from a down at heel and move to a position that is in front of me and sideways. Then she has to lean away from me as hard as she can while I put my hands on her shoulders and hips and pull myself up into a standing position.

In both cases, Sanity did what was needed without a single mistake. Wonder of wonders, she didn't dump me on the ground just to see what would happen. It was a great demonstration and one that helped put the stand into proper context for my student. She will have to work on getting her boy to be way more stable before she can start with the brace or the pull part, but now she has a goal.

Then when the lesson was over she was kind enough to put out articles for me. Sanity actually went out and picked out the correct article two times in a row. And this with the wind a'blowing and the other dogs trying to get in the way. I will continue to work with three articles for the time being.

In class, the best thing happened. The new meds I am taking made it possible for me to work in Diane's class for almost the entire lesson. It was totally wonderful. Sanity and I have so much work to do where heeling is concerned. Her recalls and stays and retrieve on the flat are all in good order. Since the class was working on the UKC version of a recall it meant the dogs had to be introduced to the jump. They were all running around the room and taking the jump with their dogs. No way could I do that, so one of my very best students offered to handle Sanity for me. I said yes and off they went to do the running and jumping. We all agreed that he really looked good with a Doberman beside him. Best part, she handled the change of handlers with great aplomb and then had no problem doing a recall over said jump.

Of course, when it came time to do articles, her attitude was why bother? But we managed to muddle through.

Tyler, or should I say whiner? Since he was stuck on the sidelines he thought he would just practice whining. I think he will be practicing sideline sitting a lot for a while. Patience and silence are not his strongest suits just yet.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Day 258

I kinda wandered around here all day like a lost soul. Not sure why, but some days are like that.

Worked Sanity on articles and am back to doing 3. She is sort of hung up on wanting to move them around with her front paws. I, in the meantime, have become hung up on switching from ear pinch correction to ecollar correction and a negative sound as my way of sacking her off the taboo articles. At one point, I swear we were out there doing some sort of Mexican stand-off, just a glaring at each other. Then Tyler proceeded to twinkle-toe his way between us and the stand-off was over and she brought me the correct article.

Guess I really shouldn't be too hard on her. After all, we were working the parking lot, the wind was blowing at way more than just a light breeze and several of the other dogs kept on walking over and around the article pile while she was working. She took to glaring at them as well. That worked better than the glare she shot me. When she glared at the other dogs them got the hint and moved away.

Her distance sits are just getting better and better. She is now at the point where when I say sit, she will break off play or anything else for that matter and whip around to sit facing me. I am just loving it.

Did all sorts of random sits with Tyler. He is starting to get the idea. I am not at all happy with the recall situation since I can't seem to get far enough away from him to get in a good recall. I did manage to sneak away a grand total of three times. Each time he did a good job of coming, its just that I know it is no ways near enough. As for walking on a leash, well he really would be most happy if I would just forget about it. I keep on telling him, "no way kid, this is something you have to do."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Day 257

Tuesday brought a class with my smallest student right now. A six-month old Havanese pup with a delightful owner and an overall wonderful attitude. Since Sanity has been acting like such a miserable, bitchy, little bad attitude hound, I figured this was the perfect time to start Tyler as a demonstration dog. What a hoot, and most definitely not for the faint of heart.

Tyler had one goal in mind from the instant he laid eyes on the most fuffly little gal. He wanted her. He wanted her big time. There was nothing else in the world that matter quite as much has his managing to get to her. It was totally great! I literally held him back while we worked to teach little Sasha a recall command via the ecollar and then once she was coming straight and fast we turned them loose to chase, tumble and play all over the yard while we both worked on calling the back and then turning them loose again. The time flew by on wings and before we knew it, it was time to call a halt to the fun.

As part of the first lesson, Tyler helped me show how a dog or puppy for that matter can be taught to honor a gate or door by not dashing through it just because it is open. Little Shasa caught on to that rule quickly and then figured out how nice it can be to just walk somewhere in the general vicinity of her owner's left side on the way to their car.

The most funny and very satisfying thing was said to me by Sasha's owner as we headed back to the house so she could pick up the rest of her things. She said she had told her husband that I had said Sasha would be coming when called in 10 minutes or less and that they had decided either that if I was that bold about my promises, I must know something. Too funny! She then went on to say that when we first left the office to go out and start the training she had looked at her watch and when Sasha first started coming when called she looked at her watch again and it had actually only taken 6 minutes.

I'm really smarter than I used to be, cause I managed to keep my mouth shut and not say what I was thinking. See, I don't actually believe that pup was coming when called in 6 minutes. To me she was just starting to show some understanding and a willingness to pay attention. She still has a long way to go before she will meet my definition of "coming when called". Who knows? Maybe I am too strict in my definitions? Whatever. I do know a pleased owner and a very tired pup left here with a long homework assignment. Will be neat to see how the training progresses.

Sanity? Was she ever upset about my choosing Tyler over her. Bet she is going to be even more upset when she realizes I am choosing Tyler over her on a regular basis. I do so love setting up the work rivalries. Certainly does sharpen up their work appetites. Meanwhile, Sanity's "I'm in a snitt" attitude continues. Oh please, please let her season start soon.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Day 256

Had a chance to work Sanity in an elevator again. This time she was much better about getting on, sitting when told and then getting off in what I would call an orderly fashion. From her overall behavior I can see I still need more work with her in dealing with the "moving room" idea.

Since the time change meant daylight in the evening the Monday and since it was reasonably warm outside the Monday class moved from the studio to the outside "wet ground" training area. Meaning we worked on the pavement rather than going out to where the training ring lives all summer. It was good and bad at the same time. There was a monster storm rolling in and all of us felt the pressure to "hurry up". Maybe I should wish for that sort of pressure more often because when it came time for Sanity to work her articles she whipped right out there and selected the correct one both times.

As we were finishing up the first big, fat drops of rain begin to splat and everyone made a dash for house or car. Class was over very abruptly and the storm that followed was full of much lightning, thunder, strong wind and a reasonable amount of rain. Personally, I would have been much happier to have had less display and more substance in the form of rain. Ah well, some rain is much better than no rain.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Day 255

Warm and sunny. Know what I did today? Nothing. Well that's not totally true. I did do about 10 loads of laundry and cleaned the house. But not one single lick of training of any kind for any reason got done this day.

Maybe by tomorrow morning we will be back on the right track again.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Day 254

April Fool and someone smashed out both the windows on the driver's side of my car. Yes, that really is the way I got to start my day. Here I am, pretty much dragging from the frenzy of the past few days and I get to start my day with having to call the police and report the vandalism to my car. Just another one of those totally random acts of violence. May the creeps that did it develop a serious case of boils and may all their children look like camels.

My first student cancelled due to illness. The second one showed up on time. The lesson went just fine on their part; however, on my side things weren't quite so smooth. Sanity was pretty much a jerk. Acting as if she had never, ever heard a single command to come, sit, down or stand. Heel? What's that? And never had she ever been told a single thing about the "place" business.

Luckily Diane was scheduled to teach the following two lessons, cause I very much doubt that Sanity and I would have done much more than just make a hash out of everything.

I had better sense than to even try to do any Sanity training. GAG! And finally the day drug to a close.