Sunday, November 20, 2011

Performance Puppy #4 and Santa!

Thursday night Irie and I had Performance Puppy #4. What a great class. I in no way feel like I am keeping up with the class, but I am learning the training techniques for these skills and introducing my puppy to some excellent things. I figure this week, in which I have NO classes and very little work, I can really focus on training and start to catch up. Once class is complete I can perfect the skills.

On Thursday we introduced the puppies to buja boards and balance discs. Irie has no fear about wobbly surfaces. : ) Kathleen had three rows of buja boards set up. The first row didn't have that much rock to it, it was the introductory row. The second row a bit more and the third row - a patio table top with a decent sized hard ball attached to the bottoms. Surfs up!

Kathleen suggested we click and treat for the puppy getting on and then any movement they made. That was very easy. I was pretty quickly able to ask Irie to tug on the buja board. She had a blast. Off the buja board, tug stopped. On the buja board, TUG!!

She just as quickly adapted to the balance discs.

We had three stations set up Thursday night: buja boards and balance discs, perches, and the back-up station. Irie and I started with the buja boards and then moved on to perches. I have been using my body pressure to help Irie move around the perch but have decided to go back to basics and make it more independent. I think that will be more helpful if I want to do Rally or Obedience with her in the future, which is always a possibility (look at Bug!). Plus, I am having so much more fun with the independent back-up.

We did not practice our backing up last week, so class was only the second time Irie had ever done it. She seems to understand, on one level, that backing up is what is getting her the cookies - she is backing the whole length of the board pretty quickly, but she doesn't really "get it." She is not looking at me as she backs up, yet. So we will work on this during the week. It is a fun skill and as Kathleen said, it looks flashy to see a dog back-up by themselves without you moving.

Performance Puppy is an awesome class. I wish more places offered something like it. I am really lucky with my timing that a class was just starting up.

Now, on to Santa!

Yesterday I took Irie to have her picture taken with Santa. My friend Blue is a photographer and she has some photo dates set up with Especially For Pets, an independent local pet store.

Irie's "photo shoot" was scheduled for 1:15. It was a busy day at the store.  Amazing Greyz, a greyhound rescue organization, was there (20% of the photo proceeds went to their organization); a California Natural rep was there and there was a wheel you got to spin once you made a purchase (I won a key chain). I think it is safe to say that Irie won everyone over. The Cal Nat rep must have given her 5 Evo Wild Craving Herring Formula cookies. She LOVED them - needless to say I bought a bag!

She loved Santa and I have no doubt that Blue captured a super photo of her. I think her early exposure to kids and Darth Vader at Halloween has assured her that no matter what a human looks like, they are okay.

I am constantly amazed and feel so damn lucky by how confident she is. I hung around a bit to talk to Blue, and another friend showed up with their three dogs, so Irie got loads of exposure to other dogs and kids. In fact she was swarmed by a group of pre-teens and she was in her GLORY!!!

I know I sound biased, because she is my dog, but she really is special. There is a level of confidence and comfort in her interactions which I do not see with my other dogs, and in fact don't see with a lot of dogs. I am so hopeful that I can nurture this and not ruin it in any way! We spent a total of 3 hours traveling and at EFP - she was pooped afterward!

1 comment:

Ellen said...

I can hardly stand it not being able to get Tucker out and about. But this is the week! After Thanksgiving I can!!!! He will get the third shot and finally we can go for a real walk.

I signed up for dog training that starts in Jan....oh yes. And what you do with your puppy is all many different classes out there that I never have heard of. Glad you are having such a good time as well as your poochies!