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Introducing more equipment

Last night I had Ander’s dinner bowl and we headed outside. I was trying to figure out what to work on. Heeling? Retrieves? Something else? Then I saw the table. I haven’t introduced him to the table, so we did that. He jumped right up and I asked for a down. After that, I waited for the down. He thought for a couple of seconds, then plopped right down. After that, he knew exactly what to do – jump up and lay down. He got that fast! Now to start adding some distance.

After the table, we headed to the teeter. I lowered it to not quite its lowest setting. I’m using a technique I learned from a Julie Daniels dvd to help make them want to be on it. While he’s on it, I feed, but before he can get off, I release and the food ends. I release him from various points on the teeter, so sometimes it’s easy and he only has to get on. Sometimes it’s harder and he has to go past the pivot point.

We worked both pieces of equipment again this morning. I can see some hesitation on the teeter and saw it again with him avoiding the end when it was coming back up. So we finished the session just playing “bang the teeter”.

I’ve noticed that he’s really starting to fill out. He’s not the scrawny puppy he used to be. I have cut back on his food just a touch, but he’s not fat, just not as bony. I took him today to check his weight – 48.4 lb. I really thought he was going to be over 50, but he’s not! My goal this weekend is to get his 7 month picture. But that means bathtime! He’d rather skip the bath.

Ander has one thing he does that is sometimes endearing and sometimes annoying. But I guess it’s endearing enough that I haven’t stopped it, and not annoying enough to make me want to stop it. When I am carrying something in my hand, he has to put his mouth on it and help carry. Even better is if I let it go and let him carry it for me. He still brings me food bowls. He still gets the paper every morning. He just likes to carry things. And if it’s important enough for me to carry, he wants to help.

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Fun day of swimming

We were back at the pool today. Ander jumped off the dock!! It’s not pretty yet, but he’s doing it. With confidence, he’ll soon be flying off.

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I also downloaded some pics from San Diego that I forgot about.

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Ander’s Day

Ander has had quite the day.

He started the morning with attention and heeling work at the park near the dog park. Mid-morning he got a big knuckle bone to chew on. Late afternoon I was watering trees and critters, and left the hose on a tree too long. It had a big pool of water around it, and he had great fun digging and rooting in the water and mud.

Mud Puppy! - 6 months

He got banished to his crate.

Later I was dremeling nails and pulled him out to do his, then let him go play outside (he was still very muddy). While playing outside, he caught another adolescent chicken and started eating it. He was very good and let me take it from him. It was a rooster (luckily), so I just shrugged and gave it back to him. He ate almost everything – he left the chicken feet. He ate everything else, feathers and all. Needless to say, I didn’t give him any dinner.

And he ended his day with a much needed bath.

I either need to train the chickens to stay in their yard, or I need to train Ander to leave them alone. I wonder which will be easier.

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Agility fun

We’ve been hitting the obedience pretty hard, so it was time to break loose and have some fun with agility. We did jump chutes to start with. The boy is bouncing 10 and 12 foot bumps. Oh my. I knew from previous work that he can extend, but has some problems with collecting. So after some long stride work, we switched to the bumps 5 feet apart. I was actually very pleased with those. Nice collection.

Then some tunnel fun! He is driving out of that tunnel so hard to get his tug that I have to be braced or down I would go!

And then he did his first two contacts on the a-frame. I’m not having him go over it – just hopping up on the side and going down the few steps. All the pre-contact work we did pays off – the second time, he understood what to do and did a nice two-on-two-off. Now, I’m still not convinced that I want a 2o2o with him – do I do that or running contacts? I’m not sure. But I figure it can’t hurt to get him liking the bottom of the contacts.

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Traveling Dog

Last weekend we headed to San Diego. Ander traveled like a trooper, was great in the hotel, had fun playing at the lake and the parks, and took it all in.

I’ve really been working hard on his “woofing” at other dogs, and it’s almost gone. Whew! He just really needs to understand that watching out is my job. His job is to watch me.

At a park in SD. He was watching a horse go by.
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I’m fostering a little female Border Collie, and after an initial little spat, they have become best buddies. Here they are schmoozing on the couch:
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And Meg holding her own:
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Today we headed to a dock diving pool for Bella to get in her swimming for conditioning. Ander loved it!
He was the only one of my dogs who would get the toy out of the water.
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I was taking him down the ramp to get used to getting in the water without having to jump off the dock. But after being very hesitant the first time, the second time he jumped right in!
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Look at him fly!
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Kersplash!
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And training from the past couple of days.

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Get the mail

Remember me saying that Ander would get the newspaper in the morning and take off running with it? I do have him delivering it to hand about 85% of the time now. Much improved. So when I was looking around for something new to work on, I saw the Little Tikes Mailbox in the training building and decided to work on getting the mail.

Here are excerpts from his first two training sessions:

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Catching up

I’m way behind on updating this blog. So I’m not even going to try to get all the videos done. Training has continued, and there are a lot of videos of it. . . but I’ll just have to start with today’s (which is actually yesterday and today).

We had something happen last week that I wish I had on video. Ander’s learning to look away from pressure (beginning step for herding and for directed jumping). I have targets out to either side of him, one has food, when I raise my arm or the stick, he should look away from it, toward the target with the food, then he’s clicked and released to the food. Well, he got his food, then picked up the target, backed up to the couch and did his puppy planking with the target in his mouth. He’s really starting to put pieces of his training together in his own unique way.

I brought in a foster dog last week also. She’s a BC and had some issues trying to control the movement of the other dogs. Ander took offense and went after her. He is tenacious. He wasn’t going to let go and he wasn’t going to back down. Pretty darn tough for a 6mo pup. I think she must have told him something like, “Your mama had a tail,” and he felt the need to defend his mama’s honor. Right after that we continued walking and they did fine, and they’ve been fine since (and I’ve stopped the foster from that unwanted behavior.)

He had a fun trip to Home Depot last week. And he’s now my demo dog in my Focus and Control class. After he demos, he gets to sit in his crate and watch all the dogs work. This is very, very good for him. He gets to see lots of dogs working and being active, and not one of them is coming to get him.

And now for the video: