Monday, December 15, 2008

Is there a hole in the bucket?

For those of you who requested I share some video footage of Sanity working on retrieving large, awkward items, here are there examples of her work. In the first one we are doing the first practice retrieve of the day. When we first started out working on this retrieve a couple of weeks ago the bucket still had a bail, but it got used and abused by some of the "help" around here and when I went to use it today I discovered the missing bail.

During earlier training sessions Sanity was making use of the bail to either turn the bucket over or to carry it. With the bail missing, she sort of had to start all over again.

This next clip was taken after she had done four retrieves, so this will be the last one in this set. Since all went well there was no need to do any more of this type. Notice that she pays no attention to the other dogs at all and if they get in the way will actually use the bucket to bang into them. They move pretty quickly.

I have always believed that it is the ability to do the more difficult tasks that gives the top dog in the yard all most, not all, but definitely most of their status. They all seem to understand that some work carries more credits than other work and the higher your status, the more credits you rack up, the easier it is to always have the best place, be the first in line.

Since she was able to successfully retrieve the bucket five times, this next clip shows her being tested and passing with flying colors. In this test the bucket was knocked off the side of the porch and it then rolled out into the yard a bit. She was not in a position to actually see the bucket when I sent her.

Because of the positioning, I chose to use a "place" command to sent her down the steps and away from me just enough that once she sat she would be in a position to be able to see the bucket. She was not sure exactly where I was signaling when I gave the command the first time and so I moved closer to the rail and signaled as I gave the command a second time. That time she looked where my arm was pointing, spotted the bucket and, well you can see the rest for yourself.

So while there was no hole in the bucket, it was missing the bail.

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