Doggie DI Boot Camp–Week Two Day One

Above: Shadow pic of the doggie di and the deliquent duo heeling during a windy day.

Yesterday the wind was howling at a force that I have not seen in a long while. Today isn’t much different.

On day eight I arrived at the camp to find it quiet and peaceful. Staff was off site so the deliquents and I had the place to ourselves.

As usual, they are great at some things on one day and then suck on the next. But overall the girls did very well.

We began again with the standard gating, leashing up, and crate work. Since I try and mix up the activities, we headed over to the play pen for a round of activity. I mentioned early that the two would not play. They only liked the water bottles–and to chase moving objects.

Above: Chase games in the play pen.

So imagine my surprise when dog “B” actually retreived a ball! I thought it was a fluke but sure enough, she kept bringing it back to me. To capture the behavior I bridged and then worked a little bit with dog “A” on the same behavior. The interesting shift that has taken place is that dog “B” is now more confident and won’t let dog “A” run her off the ball or just give it up to her. Mind you, she still gives in to dog “A’s” leadership but not in all circumstances now.

Dog “B” drops the ball in my lap voluntarily. She has a scar and unusual pigment under her right eye which is why it looks funny.

Okay, so they are retrievers and the behavior should be natural but with the A.D.D. this has been non-existent. So, this is an indicator that they are focusing now and able to branch out of their normal, entrenched behavior patterns.

Above: Retrieving a ball in the pen.

The other interesting thing I noticed is that when I threw two balls, each dog would focus not on the ball in front of them but on the ball in the opposite hand–or in front of the other dog. If I tossed the balls up in the air for them to catch, each would cross over and attempt to get the ball in front of the other dog.

I tried a couple of different tricks and now they do better but it was interesting to see. Their minds work a bit different from most of the other dogs I’ve worked with!

The “gentle” and no biting command is coming along…

The duo did good on the amble down the trails. We ran into horseback riders again and dog “A” still sucks. I am putting her on a remote training collar today–the citonella spray collar will hopefully help extinguish her poor behavior as nothing else has been working to get her over the hump.

Our leash work consisted of walking at different speeds and yielding to the line. Each dog has a good heel on their own but together they aren’t very good. The keep close but are two distracted by one another and external stimuli. They did manage to keep the heel position several times when asked but it is not to my liking yet. I am working on yielding to the line also–when I stop they should stop–fat chance at the moment–they still tug. Once in a while they stop and sit but it is still too early for them.

We didn’t work on other obedience yesterday as I thought we would. More of the same stuff on getting them not to run me over or crowd me for attention. They crave attention so desperately and get wild–until they remember I always withdraw during pushiness or competition between the two.

Dog “B” really understands that she should sit for attention and does. Dog “A” doesn’t really give a darn and attempts to mold my behavior more than cooperate. I worked on sitting on a hale bale, the swinging chair, and just leaning on a post. Still needs a lot of work but definately better.

Feeding went well. Both dogs ate and didn’t try and grab the others food bowl. I backed off a bit and the only thing dog “A” did was to move toward “B” and circle back to her own bowl. This is a good sign.

Alright, I am heading out to see the two for another fun day. I really enjoy these two, they are very sweet for deliquents!

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