Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
SDS-N, ADPL5, ADPCH and ADPL1(2GC)... 30 and counting...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

You Make-a Me Laugh

I spent the day at an AKC tracking judges education seminar.  I have less than zero interest in becoming a judge for any sport.  I figured out long ago the nit-picky nature of judging would not be a good fit for me; plus I just hate bureaucracy.  Besides, it would take too much of my time from the fun of working with Gimme.  Anyway, this was still a great opportunity to learn a lot from the judge's perspective.  I learned a number of things which will hopefully keep me from making handler mistakes (the #1 reason for tracking failures).

One of the most important discussions was the difference between "restraining" and "guiding".  Restraining is allowed as an important handling tool to aid the dog.  Guiding differs from restraining because it has the component of moving the dog in a specific direction.  I'll get my notes out another time and see if there are some gems I can share.  I loved the saying:
"Hanging on for dear life is not restraint..."
So I get home and Gimme has been cooped up alone all day and naturally, wanted my attention.  I still needed to fill the yard waste bin for emptying early tomorrow.  So I grabbed her ball and went outside.  I threw it once and didn't get to touch it again for awhile.  Gimme likes to bring it near me, drop it on the ground, stand over it, and dare me to try to get it.  I faked her out ONCE by offering her a leaf, which didn't work again.  From then on, she kept the ball in her mouth while inspecting my offerings.  I usually wait until she got bored and walked away from the ball and then I snatch it, call her name and throw it across the yard. So then she starts dropping it and leaving it if I'm not showing signs of joining her in keep-away.  I think I threw it 20 times overall.

At one point I was deep in a bush (dead-heading a rhody) and when I was done, turned around looking for the ball.  It wasn't in sight, so I asked Gimme, "Girlfriend, where is your ball?"  She trotted over close to me and stood looking at me with her "why are you asking me" look.  I figured it was elsewhere in the yard, so grabbed the rake and started raking up the bush trimmings.  Gimme watched with intense interest and then started attacking the edge of one of my piles.  At which point she snaked a paw in, dragged out her ball and then started tossing it around while doing the ah-hah-haaaa dance.

So now we know why she thought I should know where the ball was, since I was the one who covered it up with rhody trimmings.  Since then she's been parading back and forth in front of me with toy after toy after toy after toy - hinting doncha know...

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