Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bad Blogger

Boy I am not good at updating this at ALL...... Since my last post Max and I entered our first agility trial. We didn't Q but I was pleased with how it went.

Rylie has developed some tummy issues that we are trying to sort out - but he is still happy go lucky, 100 miles a minute Rylie. I was reading today that spinal alignment can sometimes play a part in gastro issues. Now if anyone is at risk of becoming unaligned it's Rylie! The thing is I'm not too sure I like the chiropractor that I took Max to in April. I might hold out until we have the chance to go to dog camp again and get him adjusted by the chiropractor that comes to camp.

I am really excited because the dogs are enrolled in a recall e-course

Both my dogs have pretty good recall already so my goal for this course was predominately to build focus and drive. I've been to a couple of Susan's workshops with Max and I have several books and dvd's so I thought I'd give this a try. I'm LOVING it. One of the things that made me hesitate to enroll was the fact that neither of my dogs are great tuggers and I know how much value Susan puts on tugging. Max will tug but it's not a reward for him so I have to use mainly food rewards. Rylie tugs vigorously IN the house only when HE wants to (some might ask who is training who?). Today our exercise involved running and tugging. I thought "Here is where we separate the border collies from the rest of the dog world" but WOW! I had both of my guys tugging enthusiastically. I'm so proud of them. I'm learning to transfer the value of something they value highly (food or me throwing the ball) to something I value like tugging. I understood the concept before but couldn't seem to make it work for me. I've also learned to control the environment to have the best chance of success. I planned our first session for a time when they decided they wanted to wrestle so I knew they were already in "play" mode. It was such a success that we took it on the road and I managed to get both of them tugging at a nearby soccer field. Unheard of for Rylie. I'm sure there will be setbacks but I'm starting to feel like I have more tools to use.