Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Training

I always find winter training a little challenging. But I have decided Rumi will learn his contact performance over my 2 week break--no matter how cold Annie's barn gets! He has a solid touch which I began reinforcing strongly these past two weeks. But you can only practice touching a clear round cover for so long. And where does that leave Thai? So Thai is being tortured. I put out her dinner and have her retrieve a dumbbell in front of it, next to it, and behind it (remember, we've done this before). I've gotten much pickier with her and no reward unless she can do it without doing a huge (for the space she has) curve around the bowl. We've also been heeling past it. But the hardest thing she has found is doing a recall to me without bowing way out when she has to run past it. And fronting, when the bowl is at my side is almost impossible, because if you look at the food you obviously will be taken over by a strange spirit and forced to eat something from it (or so Thai seems to think ).

Rumi is working on his signals (evidently I've managed to totally confuse him on the sit signal and it is not my hand or arm that is important, but my stepping in to him that is the cue for sit...oops...bad trainer).and learning to do a down stay flopped on one hip. And fronts and finishes are always a good thing to work on. Over break I will get out my old set of scent articles and work on those with him and come up with new and unique ways for Thai to refine her skills.

Now to survive two more days of school and then two weeks of freedom to train 3 times a day :) Louisville here we come (nothing like planning 3 months in advance!)

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