Monday, July 16, 2007

Playgroup and Practice

Playgroup was busy - it started off fairly quiet and then bam....dogs galore. This is a good and bad thing. I felt like Ike did really well - he still played like an eel in the corner (just sticking his head out to test the waters), but he wasn't overly barky or in full fun police mode. Carmen was once more surprisingly good. I am very proud of her!!

Oh! I almost forgot to add....Ike had a bit of a breakthrough! The last Agility-for-Fun class we had (1st weekend of July), I was able to lure Ike into the pool. Yay! I intended to purchase a pool for the backyard and work on luring him into it....that hasn't happened yet. However, he got into the pool of his own volition on Sunday! Awesome!! He just stood there, but what a huge step forward.


I spent some time in the afternoon trying to firm up Ike's transitional "Sit For Examination" versus the desired end-behavior, "Stand For Examination." I asked my husband to come outside and play judge for me. Considering how Ike views John, which is as Mr. Goodtimes, Ike was awesome! He held his stay for me while John came over and patted his head, shoulders, and slid his hand down his back. I then returned to Ike, walking behind him to return to his side. We did this about 5 times - Ike was really good. He obviously understands what I want in this instance. Since he was doing so well, I decided to try and up the ante by having him "Stand" and "Stay." Oye! We need to WORK on this - he totally doesn't get it. We just haven't practiced it enough.

Which brings me to another dilemma....I feel as though I am spreading myself too thin and need to prioritize. I love agility and I am just beginning obedience. I am debating whether I might opt to take this upcoming session off from obedience and then re-start it when Katrin is on her summer break. When Katrin returns in October I will have to give serious consideration to what I want to do. As slow as Ike is at agility, I absolutely enjoy it more than obedience - but I think that is mostly because I "get" agility where I am still in the very beginning learning phase with obedience. Right now I find agility much more reinforcing! And what about Ike? I am not sure that he has a preference. I think he might be looking forward to the day he just gets to stay on the couch!

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