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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Building Toy Drive

Today we had an agility "mini-seminar" where we got to work on some specific agility skills.  Today we worked lots on weaves as well as pinwheels, serpentines and threadles.  

I really need to get my weave poles out in the yard (stupid snow) so that I can do more work with Bosley.  His weave entries are usually good, but he has lost some speed going though the poles.  Today I worked with him to try to get a little more lateral distance as he is going through the poles.  I have really been trying not to "baby" him in the poles and it seems the less I try to help him, the better he is.  However, I need to work on recalling him through the poles.  When I try to do this, he will get his entrance and then run past the rest of the poles to me (and hopefully a treat).

I love doing the serps and threadles, I think they are a lot of fun.  Bosley was doing quite well with both of them today and is responding nicely to my arm changes.  It will be interesting to see how he does once we start adding more speed to the equation.

The thing that I need to work on most with Bolsey is excitement.  He is really a difficult dog to get excited and even as a young puppy, he was never too playful or silly.  For the next few months, I really need to work on building working toy drive with him.  At home, Bolsey is very happy to play tug with me but when I try to use tug as a reward for "work", he looks at me like he has never seen a tug toy before in his life.  I have even bought him fancy tugs that have real sheep fur, that he usually goes crazy for.  Bosley seems to think that the only reward for doing a good job, should be food.  I know, I know, that is my fault.  He is so food motivated and when he was a puppy, he learned so quickly with a food reward that I never used toys as a motivator.  Bad me.  Now I need to start rewarding his tugging with food so that the tugging itself becomes more rewarding.  Eventually, I hope to have him to the point that he will be able to find the tug just as rewarding as the food.  This is going to be a lot of work, but it is something that I really need to do.  Maggie needs to work on this as well.

There is always a never ending list of "things to work on".  

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