Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Things of Note

Just a few things to add to the blog:

1.  Jonah and I saw a coyote yesterday, just on the other side of our fence.  It was clearly startled by us and ran off, but still a little eerie to know firsthand that (s)he's so close.  I don't think a single coyote would ever go for Jonah, but if there were a group they can supposedly take on a family dog.  We're going to try to keep the fence gate closed now, because I'm sure a coyote wouldn't be happy if it got cornered in there.

2.  I've signed up for Susan Garrett's puppy peaks webinar, as the first segment of it is free.  So far I've really enjoyed it.  I'm not sure that I'll continue paying $20/month once it is no longer free, but it did inspire me with the idea of 'extreme maintenance'--that, just because your dog isn't a puppy doesn't mean you shouldn't be introducing new material and working hard to challenge established behaviors.  Just because Jonah can do all the agility obstacles doesn't mean I should get lazy with training or he will lose the behaviors over time.  Also, he deserves my attention!

3.  In partial response, we did a distance session yesterday.  It was really hot out so I didn't want to have him do too much running.  I did my normal warm-up at a trial, but increased my distance.  Here's what I do:  I have a single jump and first I run with him back and forth over it a few times.  Then I stay in one place and work on wraps.  With him on my right, I send him out and have him wrap both left and right.  Then, with him on my left I send him out and again have him wrap left and right.  Very simple, yes.  However, when I increased the distance, sometimes Jonah would turn the wrong way.  When he was sending out farther, I had to exaggerate my body cues and take a step or so in the direction I wanted him to turn.  Luckily he thought this was a great game, and he let me get to the point where he would drive out to 30' away from me!  For us, that's very good.  Next time I'd like to send him from an angle rather than straight at the jump.  I'd also like to do the same exercise with a curved tunnel and work on getting the correct entrance.  Sometimes simple exercises with easy setups can be very good!

4.  Jonah's dogwalk contacts remain 100% at home.  I can't get him to miss!  I'm starting to wonder if maybe he doesn't especially like the rubber contacts.  Or maybe it's just the trial environment.  Anyway, I'm hoping that Grace has the dogwalk up tomorrow :).

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