Some days at boot camp are good and then there are the days when it is horrid. Today sucked! It took us over an hour and a half to just get out of their quarters and the perimeter fence.
Forget working on anything new–we spent most of the day on gate manners and other behaviors I hoped the duo would have maintained by now…but no such luck.
Part of the problem was the wind. If you have not noticed, certain weather conditions make animals jumpy and uncooperative. The high winds have been blowing on the camp for over 24 hours. I wore a cap and it was a good thing it was snugged down with my French braid–otherwise I would have lost it.
I put dog “A” into the remote spray collar and it worked well on her. Unfortunately, she was so bad I actually used her choke chain today. I think the last time I used such a device was in the late 1980s. As much as I don’t like them, it did the trick and got her attention and cooperation.
Once I had her attention, we took a long walk since their quarters were being cleaned out…otherwise I would have ended the session and left everything for tomorrow. Sometimes animals have bad days and don’t do well. Today was one of those days.
Speaking of which, I noticed that often, around the fifth week of dog training in group classes, that many dogs will act like they have forgotten everything they have learned. I am not sure if it is something that the humans are doing or if the dogs just go through a phase where they are testing the rules.
Today both dogs were also very pushy for attention. The frustrating thing about this duo is that they continue to make the same mistakes. They like attention and know that they are to sit and wait for it but once one gets excited and stands up–all bets are off.
They are cute but even that and the fight for attention doesn’t work for them…and they just fail to get that notion. Maybe they think cuteness and sweetness will get them what they want. NOT–that is why they are in boot camp! Maybe nobody has outlined that for them.
As I sighed and lamented on today’s shenanigans, the camp owner mentioned that she thought it was weird that they don’t use the deck to rest and relax in the sun, instead they curl up in the gravel!
These critters are really sweet but the brain power is questionable. So, both dogs were soaked by my mighty syringes by the time we were done. I keep four loaded in my second training bag and have to refill a few times during our sessions.
Speaking of soaked, why is it that dogs love to go get a good sloppy drink of water and then come over and make sure you get most of it on your clothes?
Anyway, I gave up on wearing my uniform pants a few days ago and now show up in my jeans because the dogs just soil everything so heavily–they are a little bit better but they still manage to make sure I am a filthy mess by the time I get out of there. Most of it is from their attempts to get body contact with me.
I learned early in my career to get uniforms and to wear plain undergarments, too. You have no idea how soiled you can get working animals–the dirt moves through all the layers of clothing and into the skin. My washer has been working hard and I am reluctant to get out of the shower once I am in it.
The camp staff got into clean out the dog quarters while we were out. When we came back the place was spick-and-span and reorganized. The storage cabinet, food bin, and crates were all moved.
This was not a problem for the dogs–they didn’t seem to notice or care.
I’ll save my additional whining for those who actually see me in person but so much for starting on obedience work today!
Tomorrow I have a videographer coming out to film so hopefully they will show off some of the things they have learned. I have some footage of when we began and so hopefully we can see the contrast.