We had training in the rain today. It was not the most fun ever.
Kaline was (undeservedly, it turns out) in the proverbial doghouse from the time we got to training. After being good for a while, he started wrestling with the other puppy, who is much younger, in the back of the car. That crap drives me nuts, and I've been trying so hard to teach him that it's more rewarding to lie quietly right behind my seat and get fed little bits of bait. This other puppy though, will not take no for an answer. Hence, I was pissed at Kaline when I should've been pissed at the other pup. Ah well.
Sometimes it was just overcast, and sometimes we got poured on. Eventually Kaline needed the big coat. I was cold and wet and grumpy. Nonetheless, both my dogs did pretty well when I worked them. Kaline, understandably, did not want to do anything but stand in the wet grass, but when asked, he grudgingly did sit and lie down. Then when he realized we were going to play "up-down" he got more and more into it. Heeling went quite well. Recalls were interesting. He came nicely enough, but he kept looking away when I'd back up. Freddie had me pop him toward me and call him if he looked away when given the watch cue, and lo and behold, much better attention pre-recall!
Juno was my training dessert. She didn't care that it was wet and rainy and cold and shitty. She was stoked to work. We did finding heel exercises, which she is really good at and loves. I really need to do the rear-end exercises with Kaline that I did with her—it really helps, I think, with pivoting into position in many situations. I'd earlier been doing the same finding heel stuff with less experienced dogs, and trying to teach them where to be; with Juno, she sticks to you like ... something really sticky. (I can't stand the cliches that are popping into my head right now.)
We did long recalls, where she'd get going super fast and then put on the brakes so she could slide to a sit right in front of me. And then we did fun retrieving with a bumper. It's really neat to see how much her retrieving drive has increased. I just have to keep reminding myself that this didn't happen at all quickly, it took a long time.
But now, you whirl that bumper and she's amped. You chuck it and she goes for it like it's a steak or something, and then best of all, she comes lolloping back with it in her mouth and sits right in front of you, all proud of herself.
Everyone was much better on the drive from training, except of course our little troublemaker in the back who was chewing on Juno's good leash. (Looks like BLD will be getting some more of my money soon.) This time, Kaline ignored him and stuck right to his spot, gleefully gobbling up his tidbits. And once the puppy was gone, everyone else—Juno, Kaline and Lucky the Golden Achiever—crashed.
When the three of us finally got home, we had a hot shower. Yes, I know, hot water is not ideal for bathing dogs. But I don't think any of us were really up for adding more cold. So far, dandruff hasn't appeared, so I'm going to cross my fingers and just hope that we've escaped this time. Afterward, there was much group cuddling with blankets and such. Also, I apologized for Kaline for being pissed at him: little tastes of mashed potatoes and a piece of cheese.
I can't wait till he's grown up enough to have his own Cozy Horse coat. He and Juno are going to look so awesome when they match!
Other news from today: We started a new walking dog, a female yellow Lab who is the littermate of one of my absolute favorite dogs, who I unfortunately don't walk anymore. She accomplished in about two seconds what Juno still can't do: she made Kaline give her a respectful amount of space in the car. All she had to do was curl her lip a little, and he was like, "Ack! I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"
It was pretty hilarious to see how the dogs grouped themselves on the walk. Our new Lab and Juno walked on the outside, with plenty of space. The three boys mashed themselves together next to me—Kaline did an excellent job shouldering the other two away so no one was mashed against me. The doodle was constantly getting his head smushed between the other boys. Maybe it's the blondes! The whole squishing business doesn't happen with the Black Dogs.
Really though, it probably comes down to girls just being smarter than boys. Hehe.