Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
NW1, NW2, L1I, L1E, L1C, RATI, RATN, RATO, RATS, L1V, L2C, L2I, L2E, RATM, R-FE/N, PKD-TL, PKD-N, ADPL1, ADPL2, TD, UWP, ADPL3, NTD, TKN, L2V, ADPL4, SDS-N, ADPL5, ADPCH, ADP1(2), ADPL1(GC), ADPL2(2), ADPL2(GC), VPN, AP, UWPCH, ADPL3(2), ADPL3(GC), NC, NI, NE, SCN, SIN, SEN, CZ8B, NV, NN, ADPL4(2), ADPL4GC), ADPGCH, ADPL5(2), RATCH, CZ8S, AI, TKI, AV, AE, AC, and AN... 59 and counting...

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Weekend & Public Dog (14)

We spent the weekend at my parents' house.  It was pretty crazy all weekend.  I don't know how my 82yo mother takes care of my father who is almost 85, in declining health and has Alzheimer's.  It was chaotic and tiring for me.

We had a little excitement on Saturday at dusk.  We were all watching TV when Dad said, "Gloria, look at that!" And there it was... a HUGE Barred Owl, sitting on top of the bird feeder. It sat there at least 20 minutes - long enough for me to run over to get Scott, hoping he had his camera, since mine was at home. Finally she dove to the ground and caught something for a light meal. Mom is really hoping the meal was not one of her squirrel friends...  We didn't have a camera available... but this is what it looks like.  I was surprised to see how big it was.  I found on the internet that the females are much larger, up to 2.5 pounds.  The one we had visiting was easily that big, if not larger, so that's why I refer to it as "she".

Gimme came in later to entertain everyone.  She ran through her whole repertoire of tricks and even showed off the new one we are working on, "jumbo", where she backs onto a perch and spins around (like elephants do in a circus, hence the name).  She has the backing-on solid, since she's always been very back foot aware and confident.  But until then I had never gotten the spin without luring it.  I'll be darned if she didn't do the spin the moment I said "spin".  I think she just likes having an audience.

Today was our out-and-about Public Dog class - held at Petsmart.  I decided in advance that I would treat it as one giant attention training exercise.  We spent a lot of time outside as a group... working the first exercise.  While we were waiting our turn, Gimme did whine some and so I put her to work doing some tricks and that settled her down.  I think standing around not-doing is frustrating to her.  On a positive note, doing a few tricks works and she is able to then go for longer and longer without whining.  I could have worse problems than a dog that really wants to train all the time.

The exercise was LLW without sniffing, using the uprights on either side of the door where many dogs had clearly marked.  We walked by and body-blocked the dogs when they attempted to sniff.  I'm pretty good at body-blocking, but not so good at relieving the pressure.  I see her give way, but there's a huge lag time between me seeing and being able to change my motion to relieve that pressure.  I think next time I'm just going to block-then-unblock in one continuous motion... because Gimme is so good at giving up the space, that if I just assume she will give it up, my unblock "response" will be more timely.

Then we went inside and I quickly got separated from the group.  So Gimme and I just walked the aisles, practicing not sniffing, being attentive and LLW.  She was most intrigued by the rodent, bird and fish food aisles.  IE... "intrigued" means "challenged".   I did have to bring out the peanut butter to help motivate her to resist that level and duration of distraction.  But... I was able to give it randomly.  Overall I was very pleased with how she did.  I plan to go back from time to time on my own.  It'll be a great place to train with distractions in the winter.

The small poodle showed up late again, but this time Gimme didn't pay much attention to it.  I think since there was a fairly constant stream of dogs coming and going, it didn't seem as big of a deal to her. 

And, kudos to me - I think I did a good job managing her proximity and exposure to the other dogs.  She did well and only got sticky from time to time.  She is contentedly snoozing as we speak.

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