Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Fun

As autumn is setting in, we are really seeing some interesting depth of colors. I like this picture of Little Brett Buckwalter.

While the leaves do their thing, I continue to train the dogs. HT has pretty much mastered the agility obstacles that I have constructed. Thus, I have been trying to make things a bit more difficult for her. Lately I have been making her fetch a ball and then run through the course before dropping it. She is doing very well.

Here she is doing the see-saw while still holding the ball:

Here, she is taking a moment's break to reposition the ball in her mouth while on top of the A-frame.

Petunia has not yet mastered all of the obstacles. She was having some difficulties with the contact equipment, the A-frame and the see-saw. She also does not always like to jump the high jumps. Thus, I generally run her through the course using two bars on the jumps.

This week, however, Pea decided that she would conquer the A-frame. It was a proud moment for both of us. I need to move a bit slower with Pea, but sometimes, out of nowhere, she will decide she wants to make progress in her training. Thus, I just roll with it and take advantage of her positive outlook.

She also has started to make a bit of progress on the see-saw this week. She will run up to the fulcrum and then jump off to the side when the see-saw starts to tilt. Still, progress is progress and I happily reward her for it. Often, when working with a shy dog, you will not get the dog to perfectly perform a behavior at first. Thus, you just reward a close proximity and slowly become a bit more demanding until the dog gets it right. This keeps the dog engaged and happy while overcoming its fears.

As always, both HT and Pitter-P enjoy a good romp through the agility course.

Note, Pea is pretty focused, hoping that I will be giving her a treat for her good work. I actually work to keep their attention by tossing food to them from time to time.

Note the differences in technique. Pea will actually lift herself off the ground to snatch the food out of the air. HT, just opens her sizeable maw and lets the food drop in her mouth. It actually mirrors their different personalities pretty well.

Dog training is always a good time.

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