Friday, August 13, 2010

Last Practice Before the Weekend

Wow, Jonah is so great when he's having fun!  I went all out with the setup today:  we had a jump, a "tire" (a hula hoop tied to the side of the swing-set, about a foot off the ground), a 'teeter' (our board on a log), a plank (lifted about 8" off the ground), a slide set on the ground to walk on, our 'tunnel' (sheet over a shelf, about a foot wide and two feet tall) and....POLES!  I cut holes in cones and stuck rods in them.  I had to stake them down so they wouldn't fall over, but that was alright.

With the poles, first I put them straight but he didn't really seem to get it.  He would follow a lure through, but was pretty slow and his interest was moderate.  Next I tried tilting the poles out.  This worked a lot better, but he would still pop out.  So, I bit the bullet and re-staked the cones for more of a channel method (off-set poles).  With this, I could call him straight through and he was great.

We played around for a while with the different obstacles and then did a little course.  Basically that meant we would do an obstacle, click and treat for it, then run to the next one, stop and do it, and then run to the next.  I know, it's not a real sequence, but the running was kind of like it's own little reward and kept his interest high.  Plus, we weren't just doing the same thing over and over so we didn't get bored and it was easy to keep enthusiasm really high.

Our course consisted of a lead off through the poles so I could be sure he started from a good sit and would find the entrance.  Then we did the tunnel, slide, plank, jump, teeter, jump again, and the tire last.  The tunnel-slide-plank-jump went really fast and I could treat on the run.  We still have to slow down a lot for the teeter, but he has no fear and does a good job.  The second jump was again no problem.  The tire also takes more guidance from me, so I had to slow him down and position myself next to it to act as a wing, but once we were all lined up he jumped right through it.  After he finished I made an extra effort to be excited and we ran around, had lots of pats, threw a tennis ball and then I laid down and let him lick my face.  He was thrilled, and it was a great place to stop.  What a good boy.

So now Dave and I are heading out and Jonah gets the weekend to hang out with the 'rents and Molly.  Good life!

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