Last night in the obedience class, Dazzle was acting like a beagle. There was a beginner class in there ahead of us and he wanted to help "clean" the floor. I did a lot of work during the class on "leave it" and an implied leave it. By the end of class, he was doing well ignoring the food he knew was there.
So I decided to work on that more at home. During the training session this morning, I dropped food all over the floor. After a few initial pulls on the leash, he understood the game and was able to do the whole session while walking over the food, doing sit and down stays inches from food he could reach and off-leash recalls past/over the food. I'll have to practice this more in public, but I think he'll understand pretty quickly. I also droped food (accidently and on purpose) and didn't let him get it.
I continued to work on getting him to pick-up dropped objects. We worked with his leash and a pen today. He is really coming along well, but still often needs encouragement and more than one try to get it to my hands. This will be a huge part of what I need him to do for me. While the doctors can't figure out exactly what is going on in my joints, they do know it's progressive and degenerative. The less bending and kneeling I do (while maintining the muscles through resistance and no-impact training), the longer the joints are likely to last. Around the house, Coyote is still the one I call to pick-up stuff I have dropped but Dazzle is watching closely and I don't think it will be long before he takes over that role. My Doctor loves Dazz and is happy I'm in a position to have a dog help me early on to help slow the progression. What worries me is I'm starting to feel it in my hands. I try to limit my typing, but it doesn't really happen. I do my best not to complain and try not to let it limit me. But it does, especially this time of year. Sorry, enough venting, back to training!
I left the food on the floor in the training area (with strict orders to my husband not to let the dogs down there :-), so we'll start with the leave-it's again in the session this evening. He's doing really well with all the obedience, so I think I'll pick something new to teach him this evening. Maybe we'll just work more on his go around's which we've only done a few times and teach him left and right. We'll see!