Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Adventures of Cassie

It’s been an interesting week for me with dog training challenges and failures aplenty! I think it’s intentional from whatever power lies beyond to ensure that one stays humble and appreciates any small success that one may have and most definitely does not take anything for granted…. Cassie had been going great guns while I merrily patted myself on the back for job well done. Then last week came and my little star’s shining light dimmed somewhat as some of her behaviours went a little on the pear shaped side. Her retrieve went from glorious to her going to get her toy and then promptly departing to have a lovely game by herself (I was definitely not invited to join). Then after feeling smug that she was recalling pretty well it has become non existent should there be even the smallest distraction present. And responding to her name…she doesn’t know anyone called Cassie!

It's hard to stay clean when you live with border collies

Following my return to reality I’ve had to give this quite a bit of thought on how to proceed. I got a bit desperate with her retrieve so was rewarding her even if she stoped for a game by herself on the way back. Once I snapped out of that I now only reward if the toy comes directly to me minus any toy savaging however brief on the way. It does seem to be getting back on track and when we are playing with her around the house it is rare for her not to bring a toy back to keep the game going. I’m also diligently trying to do at least five to ten recalls a day at home mostly. Once I have her attention things don’t go too badly but if she’s got her nose in a plant its still touch and go. I’ve actually just enrolled in Susan Garrett’s latest Recallers e-Course. I wanted to do it before but it’s not cheap so I put it off. But now I have Cassie I think its going to be well worth the money. From what I’ve heard it is very good and let’s face it, it’s an investment in the future of any dogs that I have.

SDSB previously known as Sooper Dooper Squeaky Bear - holder of mysterious papillon attraction...

It has not all been bad though and we’re still having heaps of fun in between tearing my hair out. I shaped Cassie to get into a dog bed and then had her going from one dog bed to another. Then I put a jump bump (pool noodle) in between. To begin with she seemed to think that the pool noodle was a really big toy I had put down for her, but once she got the hang of going from dog bed to dog bed and over the jump bump as opposed to stealing it things have gone really well. I’d like to introduce further pool noodles but for that we need to go outside to the pen where there is more space and her focus out there is still a work in progress. Plus crate games are going well which is transitioning over very nicely to control positions. Then we just have the cute factor going on with her latest trick being jumping up on the lounge with us. She’s only just figured out in the last week that she can make it up there initially after working out that when Colin has the recliner out but diagonal to the ground she could use his legs as a ladder to come up for a cuddle. Now she joins us whenever the mood takes. She particularly likes to come up when she's on moth patrol as it give her a much better vantage point. And why not!

The mesmerising power of SDSB!

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