The adventures of SD Juno and SDIT Kaline (and their human, Colt).

14 December 2012

Settling and the airport

We continue to work on Kaline's retrieving foundation, but lately I have found myself focusing on his long down/settling. Once he settles, he's good, but it takes him quite a while to actually do that sometimes. So with that being an unintentionally emphasized skill the past week or so, he's definitely improved.

In the mornings when I'm getting the dogs ready to go out on our pack walks, it's pretty common for me to forget something. So lately, instead of letting Juno and Kaline follow me around while I try to remember where I left what I forgot, I've been leaving them on sit or down stays and going to get it. Not exactly settling, but it's definitely stay practice and I go out of sight for either a brief time, or a longer time. They've both been holding their stays really well, and it's hard for both of them. Kaline because he's a baby, and Juno because she's always had some separation anxiety. I adopted her at 18 months and she'd basically been neglected outside up to that point, so I can understand her not wanting to let me out of her sight if she can help it.

Then at training, Kaline's been coming out with the big dogs to do long downs. He's being holding his long downs better than Juno! He still whines, and sometimes will do his patented slo-mo commando crawl, but mostly he just stays there! It's very exciting. The slo-mo commando crawl is hilarious also. He pops his little butt in the air, oonches his front feet forward, plunks his butt down. Lather rinse repeat, until he gets where he wants to be.
Kaline and Juno in front of the Rin Tin Tin poster at SFO.

Night before last, Dad and I had to pick up Mom at the airport. I took both dogs in (Mom would never forgive me if I brought just Kaline and not Juno to pick her up) and worked with them a bit in the accessible areas (i.e. areas where you didn't have to go through security). We stood around by security a while, and to my delight, when I told the dogs to down, they both did and Kaline laid his head on his paws! Sometimes he rolled on a hip without being asked! He hardly ever rolls on a hip by himself—perhaps it's a Doberman thing?
Kaline settles; Juno gives me the "I can't believe you're working me with him" look.

I took them walking up and down the largely empty area by the check-in desks, and it was pretty interesting to see the difference in Juno and Kaline's demeanors. Juno is, as one client calls her, "dogged." She is all business, head level with her back, ears relaxed and back, eyes mostly ahead except for quick occasional checks behind and to the sides. Automatically, she matches her pace to mine or walks slightly behind me.

Kaline, on the other hand, does not yet possess a Serious Work Face. His ears are up, his head's up, he's looking all around, he bounces, he speeds up, he slows down, all that good puppy stuff. Also, he seemed taller than Juno! I was super excited about that, let me tell you.

We came back to security to meet Mom; Juno thumped her tail but held her down when she appeared, and Kaline just stayed in his comfy little ball. Good puppies. They were great down at baggage claim too. I was waiting around a while, so I had Kay practice an "across," a deep pressure task where he lies across my lap while I sit cross-legged. Then once we had all Mom's stuff and the crowd had cleared, I made a circuit around the now-empty but still moving carousel so Kaline could see there was nothing scary about it. Nice, short and sweet outing.

I'm hoping to go out for some more work with the not-so-wee man tonight, and then tomorrow we have our Christmas obedience class.

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