Wednesday, March 7, 2012

2012 Southern Odyssey Days 3-7

When I wrote about our first day of our trip, I mentioned that I'd started Sonic on Around the Clock scent discrimination. I am pleased to say we have done it every day of the trip so far. We did 'Week 1' 4 times, then moved on to 'Week 2'. We did that 3 times. Since she had not made any errors, and was almost instantly going to the cheesed article, I decided to move on to 'Week 3'. We have done that twice so far, tonight makes 3. If sessions 3 & 4 go as smoothly, I'll move on to 'Week 4'. Here's a video of Week 1/Day 2. I edited out all the 'rescent, reheat, recheese' and getting Sonic to set up for the next one.

Once we started doing leathers ('Week 2'), she started picking it up after she'd finish licking the cheese. She isn't quite as keen to pick up the metal one now that we are alternating between metal and leather, but she mostly doesn't need much help.

I had a completely delightful time at Betsy Reiney's magnificent property on Days 3-5 of our trip. The weather was quite warm on the 1st two days, but since I mainly wanted to swim the dogs, it worked out fine. Betsy and Bill have 20 acres with one big main pond, plus several smaller ones, which means the options for technical water work are many. Here is a video of Sonic swimming the first afternoon we were there:

Ty told me by her enthusiasm that she wanted to get a turn retrieving, and much to my surprise, did very nicely on some water blinds that afternoon. She hadn't done ANY field work since last October, so it was a pleasant surprise.

On Thursday, two of Betsy's field training friends came over. We did a 3-station marking set up on land in the morning. Gryff did it as a triple, Ty as a double of the outside two marks and the long single up the middle. Turns out that long single was 130 yds. I moved up fairly close to Betsy and she threw several marks for Sonic, with me moving back some after each success to make for longer retrieves.

In the afternoon, I taught both dogs a very technical land/water blind. I was especially pleased with Ty's efforts. I've been planning to just concentrate on obedience with her this year, and train Gryff and Sonic in the field, but she may have other plans.

On Friday morning, we set out two piles of bumpers with stakes on the big pond, and walked around running each one from several different places. Ty was having a really hard time, but Betsy pointed out I was attempting really long water entries. It helped a lot when I moved up close to the shore. Gryff also got to run several of the blinds. I got Sonic out and threw a bunch of water marks for her myself, letting her get comfortable swimming near decoys. She'd had a fearful encounter with them on Thursday, but she turned it around and decided they needed to be investigated. Her swimming was much improved from the somewhat splashy video taken on Wednesday. I decided there wasn't a lot of reason to take more video, since it would just be boring - black dog swimming. So what??? Betsy then threw several land marks for Sonic again. I think we lengthened out to about 80 yds. Good girl! We did 2-3 more water marks and called it a day.

Friday afternoon (Day 5), I packed up and moved to Lakeland. I got unloaded at the new DogSense Obedience training building, and did some obedience with Ty and Sonic. I think Ty was really happy to do easy obedience after the difficult work in the morning. She was so enthusiastic and energetic, and a lot of fun. I stayed on a cot in Debbi's soon-to-be office Friday and Saturday nights, because there was not a motel to be had nearby due to several local events, including Detroit Tiger spring training games. I dubbed myself the building troll :-). While not ideal, it worked out okay. It was nice not to have to load up the dogs to drive to the building

As I usually find when I teach my seminars at DogSense, I really enjoyed working with all the trainers and their dogs. At least a couple of people got their dogs taking a dumbbell, which had been eluding them. We did more heeling than sometimes, which I always enjoy. 

No comments: