Well, I am a little tentative to say this In Public, but it appears that Kaline now retrieves things on command! I don't know how many things, because we've been focusing on things he already thinks would be great to put in his mouth, but things!
I've been trying to capture the behavior of retrieving and not do anything at all else with it, because every time we set aside time to work on it in a formal way, he ends up totally confused and uninterested. Kaline can always be counted on to steal random things, most especially bras, socks, underwear, leather shoes, and stockings. He also enjoys paper.
I already keep a little bowl of small, crunchy cookies on top of the microwave, because I like to reward the dogs whenever they open the fridge. (I know, I should be doing more intermittent reinforcement ... but doing the fridge is a big job!) So whenever Kaline steals something, I'm likely as not in the family room, just steps away from said treaty microwave. I'll call him, get him to bring whatever it is all the way in to me (thus inadvertently practicing "get it") and then reward him.
The only part of the retrieve we formally practice is hold, and he got randomly good at that all of a sudden. One week after obedience class, I put Juno's dumbbell in his mouth, told him to hold it, and he carried it all the way back to the car. He has trouble hanging onto it while doing position changes, but not while moving around. Yay for that.
Anyway, the other night I was doing some laundry and on a whim, I called Kaline over to pick up the various socks that had dropped. On command, he did it! I was so thrilled I set him up and took a video. We are still doing a multiple command sequence (get it-bring it-out), while with Juno it's just get it, but man, am I thrilled. Retrieving! And I thought it might never happen.
We had another outing to the Horse Park, this time with Juno and without Anne's three dogs (or Anne for that matter. She did a hunt test with Xena over the weekend). Juno only needed nicking once, for naughty body posture toward a group of retrievers who were also running around. Kaline also had one situation where he needed a serious correction, for blowing me off to go run after said retrievers (he had made friends with them). I got him through it though and he came back. And later, without any correction, I told him "come" as he was racing toward them. He turned on a dime and came lolloping back to me, grinning and eager for his treat. Marvelous.
|Juno, Rio, and Kaline at the Horse Park.|
Juno got to go to the city twice for dinner at Delancey St., one of our favorite places. She was a very good girl! On Valentine's Day she got to wear this super cute V-Day bandanna one of our friends gave her. She would not hold the rose in her mouth though, sad face. Normally she'll hold anything but I guess the rose felt weird.
|Juno and Kaline in festive Valentine's bandannas.|
|Juno at Delancey St.|
Scoots also re-earned her first Rally Novice leg! I don't remember if I mentioned this, but we got a letter from the AKC saying that our leg we earned a month ago got taken back because we shouldn't have been in Novice A, having already earned a CD. (A CD, or Companion Dog, title, is earned in regular, not rally, Novice obedience.) So this past weekend we went to a Rally trial at the same place, were the very last ones to compete again, and got the leg back!
Not without a little crazy from me though. I was trying to do everything right. We got there very early, and were able to see all three levels of Rally competition, as well as make several new friends. I periodically took Juno outside to keep her up and to practice the various exercises on the Novice course. Right before we went in the ring, I had her outside getting pumped up and it was going great.
And of course I walked into the ring wearing my bait bag.
We got to the second exercise (a recall, finish right) and I looked down and saw it. I reacted like I'd discovered a leech attached to me. I recoiled in horror, ripped the bag off my belt, and just threw it right out of the ring. It took us a couple exercises to get back in sync again, unsurprisingly. But thankfully the judge didn't NQ us, we got an 86, and yay, we've got our leg back! Next competition is a two-fer on March 24. Gonna be a long day. Hopefully with better food available than at this one!
|Juno and her green qualifying ribbon. Note awesome new leash for competition, heehee.|
This is a slow-ish week dog-wise because of Ski Week. This may be a California thing, taking a week off in February to go skiing. I don't know. But probably half my dogs have cancelled. Plus there's rain today, so training got shifted about. Ah well. A rest will probably be good for me, but I miss the Boxers.
And here is a video of Kaline which I find hilarious. He does this several times a week.