First to the bathing pet store for a walk-about. Very well-behaved. I WILL use the halter for some time to come, but I want to use it as little as I can because it’s really easy to see how using it becomes a habit. It’s very easy to think that he’s controlling himself when it’s the halter that’s doing the job. It’s easy to think the leash is loose because I can control him with only a little pressure on the halter. It would be easy to think he was learning things that he isn’t actually learning. The halter is ONLY a means to get him out and about so he can see that meeting people calmly is more fun than not meeting them at all, and also, unfortunately, a means of controlling him physically while my shoulder is screaming for mercy. Four more bloody months until I get a new one (I can’t believe I let Ron talk me into waiting that long – obviously it didn’t hurt as much then as it does now), and then as I understand it, another three or four of rehab, and we really want to have Syn ready for Courier Excellent and Masters Water Dog next summer.
I bought them a kicksled.
Of course he’s too young to do any actual work yet, but I’m hoping once the city walking trails get hard packed, Syn will show him how to pull it. She does 90% of the work no matter what dog she’s running with (which was truly an adventure with Syn and Stitch in Brace Draft Dog where I spent the entire course surreptitiously whispering at Stitch to at least LOOK like she was doing something and at Syn to rein back and let Stitch do some of it). Combine that with my shoulder and fibromyalgia and we might get a couple of blocks of actual pulling involved. He won’t be old enough for draft tests next summer, but that’ll give him a good start.
I still have my dear old racing dog sled
but it’s badly in need of varnish and retaping, new runners wouldn’t hurt, and it won’t fit in car, whereas the kicksled folds flat.
Anyway, back to Bobo.
After the store adventure, we spent a couple of hours working with Barbara and Dori. Barb and I had lots to talk about so Spy and Dori had a good loooong wrestle and rip – backwards, I believe strongly in training and THEN playing – and then we worked.
We got a lot done – crossed off another five or six Level 2 behaviours. Even though it feels like I’m hardly doing anything, we seem to be getting through the behaviours nicely. He has virtually nothing in the way of duration, but distances are great. He especially loves behaviours that involve objects – jump and go-around and go to mat and crate.
One that we tried about a month ago that didn’t go well that we got a really good start on today was shutting a cabinet door. The first time we tried it he kept banging into the door and shutting it with his hip (see the entry from yesterday with the cat food cans) – got the job done but not what I wanted. This time he got targeting the spot on the wall immediately and closed the door four times. He doesn’t have that one yet. So far he thinks the click is for poking the door with his nose but hasn’t done it enough that I can start letting the click of the door be his click.
Tomorrow we’ll work on the retrieve some more, and then I’ll be off to Saskatoon for another few days.