Monday, January 7, 2013

Training and adolescence

Eep, Cai and I have been doing SO much training lately, and I can't keep up with blogging because I'm too busy! I like writing about what we've been learning because it helps me assess our progress and plan ahead.

We saw Denise Fenzi last week. The most important things I got out of the lesson were a reminder to use less food and more playtime (especially "personal play", without toys) and tips on how to do that, a tip to get him to bring me his dumbbell by standing behind his mat, and she convinced me to cancel my upcoming Intro to Nosework class because of how the training clashed with some of the principles that Denise follows. She said that she can tell as soon as a dog has started Nosework because they disconnect from the handler in new areas and start searching around for food, and it's especially a problem with little dogs because they're so low to the ground already. She also had some criticism of the way that the official Nosework (tm) sport is taught, and they struck a chord with me. So while I do think that it's an awesome activity for the average person/dog to get into, I'm going to hold back with my own dog, at least for now.

We've been progressing nicely in agility, and are working on short sequences of jumps and the mini tunnel. I need to work on getting Cai to drive ahead. It's a problem because we've been practicing mostly in my living room, so he doesn't have room to learn that. Also we need to go back to focus forward foundation.

Sit and down still aren't reliably on cue. It's boring to work on.

The other big update is that Cai is officially a teenager. He barks at everything, all the time. He jumps on me, which wasn't a problem before. He's more interested in running off to explore the world. He has non-stop energy, no matter how much I do with him. But at the same time, my Monster is slowly getting a little cuddlier, and we're making progress with his dog reactivity. (The people reactivity is harder because it's less predictable.) I am quite happy with his development.

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