Monday, February 15, 2010

Week: 7

Six down (forty-six to go) – and my Phoenix (rising from the ashes) of last week turned out to be very short lived. Once again, we spent the majority of the week dealing with intestinal issues that had both dogs whimpering and running for the back door in the middle of the night/wee hours of the morning. Friday night was the first night in two weeks that no one wanted out (at least not enough to wake us up) so there is hope this has finally passed. In all other respects, they seem perfectly fine.

Somewhat ironically, Zachary is obviously packing on the pounds and so I’m faced with finding a lower calorie alternative to his usual treats. I asked the Training Levels group and they came through with some lovely ideas, so we’ll see how it goes this week.

Accomplished Last Week:

Core Studies – I’ve been squeezing in practice for TL4 Sit and TL4 Down as part of Hide the Duck (with being released to find Duck as a reward) in order to avoid food treats. It paid off, as they both passed, first try, when I pulled out the video camera on Saturday (no food, clicker, or Duck in sight.) Yeah! Loose leash is still a problem finding time and daylight, and I’m wondering if I can somehow work instruction time in during normal walks… at least for Zachary. Beau could probably pass as-is at this level and wouldn’t be interested in the treats anyway.

Quiz results: Worked only sporadically as we were keeping treats boring and infrequent. That said, they both did well on what I asked of them.

Citizenship – As with last week, I continued to work out-of-sight stays in the context of the dogs waiting while I Hide the Duck during lunchtime play. Both dogs are up to one minute without issue and I know Beau could go much longer.

(They probably think I’m an idiot for taking so long to hide something they find so fast!)

Family Member – Bad news: Zachary regressed on riding in the car without paws on the console and is still hyper when collaring. Good news: He is definitely reacting to fewer bumps and thumps, and more importantly, is learning to come find me when he does hear them and then walk with me to the cookie jar. Slow and steady leads to peace…

Videoed TL4 Handling (muzzle/teeth) with both dogs.

Extracurricular – Videoed TL4 Target, just to see where they were at, and they passed with flying colors. Neither had practiced the skill since TL3 had been videoed (a couple months ago?) so I was quite pleased.

Just For Fun – Dropped Throwing Away Trash for now, in favor of Balance Cookie on Nose. Beau could do this in his sleep (and I have pictures to prove it!) but it’s new to Zachary. Was able to work on it this week using plain cookies, and he’s coming along well. The hardest part is getting him to hold still while I put the cookie on. I seem to remember that being the case for Beau as well. Once the cookie is there, he will “stay” for several seconds until I release them. Then he does a cute flip with his nose to try to get it. Right now it sails over his back, but I’m going to see if I can’t get him to catch it.

Blue Bar – As mentioned above, videoed TL4 Down, Sit, Handling, and Target for both dogs. Wrote up ECA – Companionship. Have ECA – Excursions mostly done, but left my notes at work so I can’t actually write it up until later in the week. Took more pictures tonight (Sunday) trying to get Beau in Dramatic Lighting, but haven’t had a chance to upload to see how they came out. He doesn’t like the light that much, so I’m not overly optimistic.

Put up a Scrapbook page of Zachary and Fetch.

Released Video – n/a

Planned for This Week:

Tried marking “new” things in green on the worksheet this week – perhaps to inspire me to keep turning things over. Once again, I’m hoping everyone remains healthy!

Weather should be no excuse as it’s supposed to be gorgeous this week.

Core Studies – !@#$ Loose Leash remains. Added two more items from TL4 to replace those crossed off last week.

Quiz: First two items are for ECA – Dance, the rest are left over from last week and still need work.

Citizenship – I’m convinced these items (Zen/Sit-Stay) are permanently etched onto the page, and I’m growing to loath the very sight of them. The problem is getting them videoed, not the actual performing of them, of which both dogs are more than capable.

Family Member – Pretty much like last week, except I’ve brought back TL3 Crate. This is a skill both dogs have, I just need to video it. But it’s boring. And I have to pick up some of the bedroom, as that’s where the crates are. Whine, Whine, Whine…

Extracurricular – Still waiting to get that board in the house. Added TL-4 Broad Jump. Haven’t a clue what I’m going to use for a board, so this might be doomed to failure as well.

Just For Fun – Just need to get Zachary to hold still while I put the cookie on. Getting a flip/catch is Extra Credit, but worth working for over the next two weeks.

Field Trip – Lovely weather….

Blue Bar – Will write up Excursions as soon as rescue my notes from work. I’m thinking of writing Tricks next – partly because I’ve done most of the work in other parts of the curriculum (see The Helping Paw and Tricks) and partly because indoor things are more likely to be actually worked on than outdoor things this time of year.

(As always, click to see something larger.)

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