Monday, February 6, 2012

Sonic's Hold

Up until a week or so ago, I've limited my training to indoors this winter, including quite a bit of basic field training with Sonic. We have had such a mild winter that I have been going outside to throw bumpers for Sonic in the past 10 days or so. I'm tickled with how well she's been doing on her bumper retrieving. The first time I went out with her, I had an extra bumper that I twirled as I called her back. It worked like a charm to get her to focus on me and return. She's also learning to retrieve when someone else throws for her. Sometimes she just gives up and starts back without getting the bumper, but she is showing some real promise in the field.

Since she lost her last puppy tooth on January 23, I have gotten to work on her hold in earnest. Here is a video I made in mid-November, showing her progressing on holding a dumbbell:

While she was teething, she was a bit put out when I tried to work on the dumbbell, which is not unusual for teething puppies. She was avoiding taking it quite a bit.

Puppies usually love to grab a bumper by the rope, and Sonic really likes to do that. Here is a video of our work on shaping her to take a black and white bumper at the intersection of the colors, which is the middle of the bumper, the ideal place to hold it.

And here is a video of some of the dumbbell hold work we've been doing:

Since this footage was taken, we've advanced her 'cookies on the table' work so that I can walk 10 feet away to get a cookie while she calmly holds her dumbbell.

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