October 12, 2008

Busy weekend!

It's been really busy here since Friday. I haven't been on the computer much since Thursday evening. I spent the whole day cleaning the house on Friday to prepare for the troop party. Dazzle didn't get much training other than important lessons like don't chase or eat the broom, mop, vaccum or cleaning rags :-) We were supposed to go to Columbus to do some tracking, but since I didn't get much cleaning done prior to Friday, I had to skip the tracking and finish what needed to get done.

Saturday was the party and Dazzle did REALLY well with all the other dogs! He saw the mix and the GSD pup he met at the art show, as well as meeting a Scotty, two Corgi's, a Husky, a Labradoodle, and two Weimeraners. Also at the party was the two beagle mixes we watch on a regular basis that he already met.

Dazzle chillin' in front, not bothered by any of the other dogs.

Some of the party guests enjoying the shade:Later in the day, Cynic, the young Malinois arrived. Dazzle was a bit overwhelmed by his desire to chase him though Cynic did great with all the other dogs! Dazzle was pretty tired, but fought the urge to sleep till he just couldn't hold his eyes open any longer. I was in the same boat by the time I went to bed.Today, we were up early and Mike watched the boys while Chad and Sarah and I went to the Schutzhund World Championships. We watched a few of the runs, which were impressive, but also did a lot of shopping at the vendors. I got a set of blinds for his training later. The nice thing is how light and portable they are. I'll be able to practice in just about any field large enough and it will be easy to set them up and take them down in the yard when we need to practice or mow the grass.

After Chad and Sarah (& Cynic) went home, we all took a nap. :-) Then I used Dazzle's dinner along with some additional chicken to work on his training. He is doing exceptionally well with understanding the heel position targeting. I started on the little stool, then transfered to a foam mat, then no mat. He was doing the behavior all over the basement! He is SO cute about it too. At one point, he missed my leg and did a full circle backwards in front of me. It was SO hard not to click that!! But I didn't want to confuse him. I know it will be easy enough to get that again later if I want to. I really need to get some video of it. I'm amazed at how fast he has picked up the concept and how aware he is of his back feet!

After working on the heeling, we did several passes through the weaves. He is starting to get a nice "hop" going through them at speed. I think the guides I have set up are really going to help him understand what that obstacle is about. I'm thinking of going through the "world class weaves" stuff with him while the guides are still on (once he is seeking the entry on his own.) He's already going over the A-frame every chance he gets (& through the tunnel.)

After working on the weaves, I put him up on the table (to stop him from working on the heel position, though he almost fell off the table trying it again) so we could work on eye contact with him in front of me (the start of "leave-it" training.) He's doing well with the eye contact too. It's clear his training is going to move really quickly if I can get myself in gear to train him! I've been so busy with other stuff that he's actually been getting his meals in a bowl! But I'll be trying hard to at least get in a little training session at each meal time.

He and Buster are playing really well new, and quite frequently. He's started snapping his jaws at him in frustration when he's not able to get close enough to actually grab him. It's a Malinois thing. After the party, Dazzle was playing with Bear and bit too hard and Bear was yelping, which caused Coyote to start fighting with Bear. No blood, but he must have grabbed him pretty hard because his neck is sore. He hasn't been wanting to play with Dazzle and when Sarah was scratching his neck he whined. I'm sure once his neck isn't so sore, he'll be back to playing with Dazzle. Thankfully he can direct his energy at Buster till then.
Today he went out the dog door, did his thing and came back inside all on his own and without help or prompting!! Yippee! I still praised him through the screen door for pottying outside, but didn't go out with him. He's been coming in on his own since Friday, and would go out if we encouraged or held it open just a crack, but it was very exciting to see him do it all on his own today!
I'll post more when I have time!