October 04, 2008

First tracks and junk agility

As of this morning, we have fully solid poops! Yea!
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Yesterday evening I got some video of Dazzle playing with his new ball. He really LOVES it!
video

Today we went to Columbus and met with several new friends to start the Steve White tracking method. All the dogs did great! We laid the tracks on sealed blacktop using water and food. The food keeps the dogs attention directly on the track and the water helps the skin cells (scent) stick to the pavement. The food will be faded relatively quickly and the dogs will then just follow the water, which also gets faded before starting over on a new surface (unsealed blacktop.) Right now, the dogs were simply learning to walk smoothly with their nose down along the scented track and to stay focused.

Dazzle did 2 tracks. The first one he was slow and methodical when he was on the track, but got distracted a few times by leaves and nut hulls. There was a lot of debris on the parking lot, but it worked well to teach the dogs to ignore everything but what is on the track. He only left 7 treats behind while he was distracted.

Track 1:
video

His second track, he was moving faster and did some crab walking and more "inch worming" (when his center of his back rises and falls with each step.) Still very good, he only left 4 treats behind out of many! He will get better at walking smoothly (flat back) with two feet on each side of the track with more practice.

Track 2:
video

I'll be doing more tracks for him during the week, but we'll also be meeting again next Friday in Columbus if the weather is nice. It will be my reward to myself for cleaning the house to prepare for the party here the next day. :-)

After we finished tracking, I followed Chad and Sarah to their house and we played around in their yard and on the "junk agility" they have set-up for their pup Cynic, who is a bit older. Dazzle LOVED the challenges and did really well. He did conqure the barrels on one pass, hopping from one to the next, but wouldn't repeat the performance. He also did the wobble board on the cement block in the background like it was no big deal. He got spooked by Sarah carrying the pool noodles we used to block the spaces between the barrels, but recovered quickly. He also wasn't too sure what to do when she crouched down with her head near the ground, but then he went up and kissed her face. :-) He had lots of fun popping through the patch of tall grass they have as though he was a little fox pouncing on a mouse. The dogs next door barked and he stared, but didn't bark. As it was getting dark, they pulled out a few kids toys that he just LOVED! He was biting them, pulling them around, and rolling around pulling them on top of him. Since Cynic was past being able to use them, they let me take them home for Dazzle. I'll get some video of him wrestling with them.

Junk Agilty:
video

We have been dog-sitting two dogs for a couple days that we consider part of the family. That means 7 dogs in the house (5 boys and 2 girls.) Everyone did GREAT with the pup! Lilly got into "zoom mode" (with Buster and Bear) racing around the yard at top speed and Dazzle was facinated watching them. :-) But they were careful not to run him over. They all are pretty much ignoring him. If he gets close, they just move away. It's actually helping his confidence because they aren't growling or biting at him or playing too rough.

Tonight when I carried him in the door, there was a swarm of dogs around my legs and he was wagging his tail at them. It's the first time he has handled that mob with that amount of confidence.

Tomorrow is a big day too. We're going to an outdoor art show and outdoor market.