|January 2010, our first Gun Dog training week. Luna is about to put that dummy into my hands. Yes, it was COLD!|
Yesterday Luna and I worked on delivering a dumbbell to hand and finding the hand in lots of different places.
We will be going to a Gun Dog training week in January and I want to make sure that this time, we come prepared!
Last year we took the course with nothing but knowing how to deliver a dumbbell/dummy/other object to my hand, and although Luna did fantastically well (out of the 20 retrieves that week, she missed about 5 of them and got the other ones all by herself or with a little help from me), I want to make sure that SHE is more secure in knowing that when I send her, there WILL be a dummy for her to find. Not so much so that she'll do even better at the course, but simply to expand her knowledge of the game. I'm using the book Positive Gun Dogs as my guideline, and when January comes around I will likely just use my old, not-specifically-trained cues to tell her what to do if I am not sure that she'll be able to use her properly-trained knowledge by then. Object of the course is a week of fun quality time, not perfect performance.
Anyway, about last night; I started with just clicking for holding the dumbbell on her own, then moved on to putting it on the floor and clicking for returning the dumbbell to my hand. Once she was good at that, I began moving my hand around; up, down, tossing the dumbbell to my left and hiding my hand behind my right leg, and vice versa. She did very well, I'd say about 80% success in finding my hand an placing the dumbbell. Fun times!
I have to make sure I set up a video camera next time, so that I'll be able to make notes of what exactly happened and keep a training progress log.
Also, her knee is still going strong, and yesterday was our first off-leash cycling trip since the injury. We went for 3 miles, and I could tell she enjoyed being off-leash after such a long time! She received lots of treats for staying next to my right leg and for running back into position after stopping to sniff or pee.
Forgot to weigh her yesterday, but today her weight is... um... *goes to get scale, weighs herself and then herself WITH the dog* Um, OK, 70.5 pounds. This keeps happening! The scale goes down a little bit, then when I'm thinking 'yay, she's loosing weight!' the scale goes UP again!
Not that this means I'll feed her less or exercise her more. She LOOKS better, maybe I should just use my eyes and my hands to see how she's doing. Saves me a bunch of useless bewilderment. Oh, well...