Wednesday, August 26, 2009

first day of class

Class was a mixed bag.

We started out all sorts of wrong, with Kumi running and pulling like never before all around the yard. The actual class was in a soft dirt arena, and she completely has better traction than me in there. For a moment, I was all but waterskiing behind her.

But, she did calm down, and was pretty impressive for most of the training. We worked on look at me, and touch my hand, and she was very quick to pick them both up. Model pupil level of quick.

Then it got long and boring, and she wanted to look at the other dogs, or, you know, somewhere other than me. We tried walking it off out in the yard again, but that just triggered the same crazies as when we arrived. Never really got focus back after than.

Also, she completely got sick of the treats. Sniff it on my finger and walk away sick of them. We were going to cook up an extra chicken breast and cut that up for treats, but dinner plans changed and so all we had was cheese and hot dogs. Honestly, it seemed like her stomach was a little off in general - she was much more hesitant with her dinner when we got home than usual. I've already saved some hamburger for next week, and we should have chicken too.

Then, this morning, it was like she'd never heard of this 'touch' thing before. 'why the heck is your hand in front of my face'. At the time, I figured it was just because it wasn't part of the morning routine and she was grouchy about having to come in from the yard. Thinking about it now, it might have helped to do a few rounds of the charging thing before asking her to work for it, since that's how we started the class. Make my hands smell like cheese and all. She did manage to do sits and downs, which is what we'd previously been asking for when she gets fed, so maybe it is the routine thing after all.

So, there's that. I'm hoping we do some work on leash manners sooner rather than later, because she's embarrassing in their yard, and I'm not sure how to stop it. She gets completely uninterested in treats. She'll sometimes check back in with me a little (flicking her ears, or sometimes glancing back) when I ask, but I don't know how to reinforce it. Even if I toss a treat up to her, she almost never looks down and eats it.

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