Thursday, June 16, 2011

More handling practice.

Another session done tonight.

Repeated what we did yesterday, and added things like more invasive eye-handling (pulling upper- and lower eyelid) and opening her mouth. It was really cute to see her figuring out how to relax her mouth. Tomorrow I want to add a paper towel touching her face, then her eyes, then progress to being able to clean her eyes with a wet paper towel without her feeling uncomfortable.

I'm on a roll... when this is going well I want to countercondition her to the hair dryer. :-) Currently she'll walk away when I blow it on her, but she's curious enough to stand around while I use the hair dryer on our older dog, who loves it.

Hopefully I'll remember to take video tomorrow, I'd like to see what it looks like from an observer's point of view.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Some handling practice.

Today we worked on me being able to handle her face while she relaxed. Luna was standing while I handled her.

Lift lips on one side, wait for lips to relax, click, treat.
Lift lips on other side, wait for lips to relax, click, treat.
Pull lips back to check back teeth, wait for lips to relax, click, treat.
Repeat other side.
Gently pull eyelids apart, wait for eye to relax, click, treat.
Other eye, wait for eye to relax, click, treat.
Stick finger into one ear, wait for stillness, click, treat.
Other ear, wait for stillness, click, treat.

We finished with a recall past her food bowl (which was full). I put her on a stay on one side of the kitchen, went into the hallway just around the corner, then called her; 'Girly!' She trotted - without looking at the bowl - right past and came to me, touched my hand when I presented it, then spun and raced for her bowl when I clicked.

Good doggy!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

New harness.

I'd been looking for a harness that wouldn't move under the strain of a giant flexi lead. Our current harness would slip to the side, would scruch up behind Luna's elbows, and generally just looked uncomfortable to me.

I finally decided on the Ruff Wear Web Master harness. Here's Luna wearing it after fitting it on her for the first time:

No, she didn't want to pose, that's obvious! (I woke her from her nap to try on the harness, which obviously isn't cool)

But I'm happy with what I see here. The front strap is far enough away from her elbows that it won't irritate her, everything fits snugly, and I like the look of it. We'll test it on a walk in a couple of hours to see if it is as nice as it looks!

Will be interesting to see wether Luna thinks she can still pee with that back strap or not...

Friday, April 15, 2011

New crate

I ordered a crate for Susan Garrett's Crate Games. I used to have one years ago, but because I still live with my parents who HATE the crate, I no longer had one. Then I learned about Susan Ailsby's reasons for crates, the Crate behaviour in the Levels, and then Susan Garrett's Crate Games. Combine that with knowing that Luna loves to sleep in a den-like place, and I really wanted to have a crate again!

It arrived today, I assembled it, put a nice thick pad in it, tossed Luna's rawhide sticks in there and asked her to check it out. The first time, she went in, then came out again. Kind of like; 'Oh look, a crate. Whatever.' The second time she went in, laid down and went right to sleep. Whoohoo!

Here she is in her new den, her ears pricked because I'm taking the picture;

The only downside for now; it will have to stay in my bedroom at all times. Ah well... There's just enough room to play Crate Games. ;-)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Birthday Girl!

Yay, Luna is 6 years young today! Happy birthday my little lady!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Not much blogging for a while!

Hi all,

Since I'm currently following Susan Garrett's Recallers Course, I probably won't be writing much here, for the next five weeks. Thought I'd let you know before you assumed this blog is dead. ;-)

Have a great time everyone!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Susan Garrett's Recallers Course 2.0

Random cuteness; Luna at 3 months, her first time in the park. "You're my mommy, I'll stick right with you!"
Plan to do our first 5-minute session tonight, we'll work on 3 of the games that Susan considers Critical Core games.

Problem; I don't have a crate anymore. Would love to have one, but nowhere to put it at the moment. So, I'm thinking of doing Susan's Crate Games with a specific mat. My criteria would be that Luna's front paws must be within the confines of the mat at all times, and instead of touching the crate door as a cue to Sit, I'd touch the mat with my right foot and that would be the cue to Sit. That's my plan for now. Hope to work it tomorrow, and I'll report on how it went!

I've also just made a list of reinforcers for Luna, rated in order of value and separated into three categories; food, toys and activities. Interesting! If I'm even half right with my assessment of value, and I'll admit I'm not 100% sure, Luna has LOTS of high value rewards. Cool! I'm sure that's the product of nearly 6 years of working together, but still. A nice surprise!

Off to go train!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Paws Up!

Sorry. I was looking for a paws-up shot, couldn't find it, then saw this one. Hahaha!
Yihaa! We have a new trick!

This week I've been asking Luna to put her paws up on horizontal things while on our walks. My asking consisted of standing by an object and waiting to see what she'd do, or pointing at it. Yesterday I decided to add a cue; 'Paws Up!' And voila, a new trick is born! She can now Paws Up, on cue, on virtually any raised horizontal surface we can find. I've also started asking her for two different things with some objects; 'Hup!' for jumping it, and 'Paws Up!' for putting her front paws on the same object she just jumped. She's still figuring that one out, but if I ask her to wait, and then ask for Paws Up, she gets it! Such a smart pup! ;-)

Paws Up is in Sue Ailsby's new Steps to Success, so next up is reviewing her criteria for each Level and then testing! Whoohoo!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Luna's favourite treat; cheese.

NOT a good idea to take cheese with me on the last walk before bed; MY goal is that Luna pees several times and hopefully poops as well, in a 15 minute walk. LUNA'S goal; GET THE CHEESE! So, she peed once, and spent the rest of the walk trying to entice me into asking her to do something which would lead to cheese. I'd tell her 'go pee!' she'd take 10 steps and go; 'hi ma, would you like me to do something for you?!' YES, I would like you to PEE. 'But ma, you have cheese, are you SURE you don't want me to do a trick or something?!' *Sigh*

The consequence; I went to bed feeling guilty, hoping she wouldn't REALLY have to go in the morning, and Luna just said; 'cheese!'

This morning I take her out, she sniffs and trots around and asks me questions for 10 minutes before she decides to pee. Not a huge stream, no, just a tiny 'I was here' drizzle. Thank heavens! It probably helps that she's nearly 6 years old now, but when she was a puppy, she didn't warn me at all when she had to pee, so I found a wet spot in her crate nearly every morning. Oops, sorry pup. I think I still feel uncomfortable about that now, which is why I HATE it when she only pees once before bed. ;-)

So, new rule; NO cheese on the last walk!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Informal training sessions.

Whoops, long time no posts!

I really should get back in the habit, so here's what we've been up to the last few weeks!

Random picture; Luna at 12 months, first -and last- time in season, playing with a ball on 'her' couch.
There's been no formal training all this time, but to counteract that I have been training A LOT on our daily walks. When taking our old boy the Westie out with us, Luna and I play the Got Leash? game (deliberately moving into pressure on the leash and thus creating a loose leash), we practice Hand Touches, Going Around objects, Sits, Downs, and Stand. Luna especially loves the Hand Touches. So much so that it has nearly become a new Come cue. Cool!

When we encounter other dogs on our walks, we play Look At That!; look at the dog for a click and treat. This, too, has been going fabulously. Just this morning we went right past 3 other dogs, one of which off leash, grumbling and coming after Luna, and she was completely relaxed the whole time. She'd look at the dog as we approached, I'd say 'Yes!' and out came a treat (another awesome thing, she'll work her butt off for 'boring' kibble). Look at the dog, Yes, treat. Look at the dog, Yes, treat. And so on until we had passed the dog and I could tell Luna was done with it. Then I'd praise her and tell her to go on, and she'd just keep going as if nothing had happened. Before, even after having passed a dog, she would often look back a few more times and be less calm.

During all 3 dog encounters, Luna was off leash, on the same side as the other dog (so I wasn't between her and the dog) and she didn't even have to sniff the other dog just to make sure 'it's just a dog'. She was totally committed to playing Look At That! and not interested in the other dog at all. Amazing, good girl!

Also, because she's doing so well and I keep remembering to play Look At That! when we see a dog, I have become much more calm about encountering other dogs. I didn't freak out or anything, but before, if we'd see a dog, I'd think 'damn, a dog'. Now it's 'hey, look, another opportunity to play Look At That!' So basically, now, Luna and I are both having fun while meeting other dogs, where before it was quite a stressful thing.

When we'd just set off on our walk this morning, Luna was about 50' ahead of me (off leash) when she spotted a 'scary' dog (also reactive, will bark and chase her when off leash) about 30' to her left. She started barking, I said 'Hey!' (that's a reflex I can't seem to get rid of just yet) but even before I said anything, she had already veered off to the right, intending on going to the field where we were heading. Wowzers. Yes, she did react - and she did so because she found herself 'all alone' with a suddenly appearing scary dog - but SHE chose to go away from the dog rather than towards the dog and scream in its face. Wow. What a GREAT choice, girly! Once safely off to the right, Luna stopped and waited for me to catch up with her. By the time I reached her, she was back to being her calm and relaxed self.

A few weeks ago, she did something else that I thought was SO great that I still remember it several times a day. We were on one end of a 150' path, and a 'cookie lady' she and I know well was on the other end. Luna saw her, looked at me (another thing she's learned to do, rather than rushing off the second she sees the lady), I didn't see a reason to keep Luna with me, so I gave her the go ahead. Luna took off at full speed, but halfway down the path she stopped and turned back to look at me again. Hmmm... So I tried to see what she was trying to tell me, but all I could see was that the 'cookie lady' had company in the form of another woman. I just couldn't see who it was, and I saw no dogs, so I told Luna to once again, go on. She did. Then, when she reached the cookie lady, a little black & tan pincher started screaming at her, and being all alone (without me), Luna resorted to her reactive behaviour; she did the same, screaming at the pincher and charging him. Ack, oops, sorry Luna, sorry little pinscher, sorry owner of the pinscher!

It was basically at the same time I recognized the other lady (we see each other several times a week, she owns the pincher and a Westie), that Luna got into a screaming match with the pincher. Again, Luna stopped immediately when I said/yelled 'Hey!' (I'm sure the fact that she listens makes it so hard for me to stop doing it), and I KNOW she has no intention of actually touching the other dog, but still. Little tiny pincher gets 'attacked' by a shepherd with bared teeth, hackles raised, tail up. Not a pretty sight. By this time I'd reached them, Luna was already over it and collecting cookies from the cookie lady. The owner of the pincher was laughing, saying 'serves him right' (um, no, not really, your pincher is screaming at Luna for the exact same reason Luna screamed back - fear) and told me that no, Luna hadn't touched him. Thank goodness. So why do I think this was great? Because Luna TOLD ME that there was another dog she wasn't comfortable with right where the cookie lady was, and she was ASKING me for help! And here I am, dumb trainer, telling her to go on and take care of it herself, KNOWING she can't take care of it without freaking out. Oops... Obviously, next time she tells me, I WILL listen and help her out!

I suppose the summary of this post comes down to me being very proud of what great progress Luna has made, despite sometimes having a trainer who isn't paying attention. Luna, you're awesome!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Steps to Success L2 Come.

Whoaaa.... I have not done much of anything so far, this week! Forgot all about Wordless Wednesday, forgot about the Daily Shoot, forgot testing Luna on the stuff I wanted to test her on.

We went cycling about an hour ago, and when we got back I was warm and comfortable so I decided to test Steps to Success L2 Come. I tested her on the street in front of our house, and right when I was walking away for the 'Dog Comes 40' to trainer working alone', the mail truck stopped by and signaled for me to come over. He had a package for my dad. So, while I was taking the package and signing the receipt, Luna performed a 30' SitStay in complete comfort. I was partially out of sight, hidden behind the mail truck. I think she sat there for 1 minute. I walked over to her with the package and dropped a handful of treats at her feet. Good girl!

Then, on to testing. Walking away 40', Luna was holding a SitStay in front of our house. Whistle recall. She took of with a little jump and got to me with a big fat grin on her face. Lots of cookies for you!

Next, 'Dog Comes 40' to have her leash put on.' I left Luna in a SitStay 40' away from our house, so she was basically sitting in a 'strange' place (she has never done a Stay by herself in that place). When I was back to our house, 40' away, I turned to see Luna sitting there all comfortably, looking around, waiting for the next cue. Again, I blow my whistle and she races toward me. When she's almost home I hold out her limited slip leash and ask her to put it on; she sticks her head right through the loop, Click and again lots of cookies! Yay, good dog!

This was fun!

Luna's updated Progress Chart - L2 Come Passed!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Daily Shoot #5.

Today's Daily Shoot assignment:
"Who are you? Make a self-portrait today and show the rest of us what you look like."
Oooh, fun! I have lots of pictures of myself with Luna, but of course today I wanted to make a new one. We ended up going to the beach with the dogs, so I asked my parents to take a shot of me with Luna. Not entirely a self-portrait, but I really wanted an outdoor shot. So, here it is!

This is my usual 'out-with-the-dog' winter outfit; my super comfy wind- and waterproof Fjallraven jacket with a grand total of 8 roomy pockets, a pair of jeans and fleece-lined wellingtons. Blue leash, Acme 211,5 whistle on a blue cord (you can just see it in the picture) and of COURSE, my dog!

I have lots more pictures of Luna having fun at the beach, I will post those later.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekly Worksheet for Week 8.

Here's what I plan to work on this week:

And since I've got the training bug, I tested Steps to Success L2 Target right after dinner. She passed with flying colors! That's double reinforcement for me; I get to sign off another Steps to Success exercise, AND one less behavior I have to teach. Actually that's not a great thing really, it's just reinforcement to the procrastinator that is me. ;-) Hmmm... (shhhh, don't tell anyone!)

Steps to Success Level 2 Target
L2S1Dog Touches wooden object in trainer's hand.Pass
L2S2Dog Touches plastic object in trainer's hand.Pass
L2S3Dog Touches metal object in trainer's hand.Pass
L2S4Dog Touches sticky note on the wall.Pass
L2S5Dog closes a cabinet door. Oh, she LOVES that!Pass

Here's to another week of fun training!
Luna's updated Progress Chart

Daily Shoot #4.

Today's assignment:
"Work with scale today and make a photograph that features a subject either larger or smaller than expected."
I'm not sure my interpretation is right, at dinner dad made a suggestion that would have been better but also much harder to get. I'll try to get a shot of that sometime and put it up on the blog.

Here's my idea for today:

I took some shots of the usual sleeping arrangements of our dogs; the little one in the big bed, the big one in the small bed.

The big bed was bought for Luna, the shepherd, the small bed was bought for Cedric, the little bundle of fur in the big bed.

Cedric however, decided that HE wanted the big bed, so if he sees Luna leave, he'll immediately get out of the small bed and hog the big bed. And Luna is too nice to try sharing it with him. ;-) And if Cedric wants the big bed NOW, he'll just climb up the back and Luna politely gets up and leaves. Ahhh....

And one last shot, just because I like it:

Luna prefers to have most of her body hanging out of the bed, whether she's in the big bed or the small bed. Silly girl.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Steps to Success L2 & L3 Sit.

Purely for your enjoyment; a picture of Luna at 3 years old.
Haha, we're on a roll this week!

Tonight I tested Luna on L2 & L3 Sit. My plan is to test her, and if she fails at something, it goes into the Teaching category and we work on it until she CAN pass.

First, L2 Sit.

L2S1Dog Sits while trainer walks 5' away and returns.Pass
L2S2Dog Sits while trainer walks 5' away, stays away for 30 seconds and returns.Pass
L2S3Dog Sits while trainer walks 10' away, stays away for 1 minute and returns.Pass!
L2S4Dog Sits while trainer walks around her.Pass
L2S5Applying Sits to life. Well, we've been doing that for nearly six years!Pass!

Then, on to L3 Sit.

L3S1Dog Sits up from Down. Easy peasy.Pass
L3S2Dog Sits up from Down 2' from trainer.Pass
L3S3Dog Sits up from Down 5' from trainer.Pass!
L3S4Dog Downs from Sit 5' from trainer. Again, easy peasy.Pass
L3S5Applying Sits to life. Again, been doing that for nearly six years!Pass!

This was actually a surprising outcome for me. Not so much L3 as we had been working on Sit from Down a couple of weeks last summer, and I know she really gets that. I was surprised that Luna could do a 1-minute Sit without whining and without lying down WHILE I held a clicker. A couple of years ago - see how good I am at procrastinating - I tried teaching Luna about Stays with the clicker. She could do them without, but adding the clicker made her want to MOVE! So I quit that endeavor. And now, after a year of consistently using clickertraining, I have a dog who is becoming quite innovative at inventing behaviors, AND she has learned to trust that she can hold the position I've cued until she hears the click, and the world won't end. A - W - E - S - O - M - E!

I will be testing these behaviors more regularly, and in different locations. Just to keep the skill and generalize the Stay to places with more distractions. Tonight we worked in a wide alley, we come through there several times a day on our walks. There's a playground on one side, a perpendicular path on the other side, and we worked in the dark. It was quite windy, so distractions where leaves across the ground, cars passing on one end of the alley, and the ever-present possibility of a dog showing up. Better yet, CATS! I will say I was glad that neither of those disturbed us tonight. ;-)

Anyway, I am PROUD!

Tomorrow we'll work on L2 Down - and possibly - L3 Down. She might just surprise me again!

Luna's updated Progress Chart again!

Daily Shoot #3.

Today's assignment:
"Make a photograph of something that captures a small bit the flavor of where you live or your culture."
Okay... I knew what I wanted, but the weather here is less than ideal for the shot I had in mind... It's cold, gray, colorless and muddy.

Either way, here's the 2 shots I thought were acceptable:

I've upped the saturation quite a bit to add some color. This is the view upon exiting our street, across the water is basically where our off-leash romping area starts. In the summer we have to share it with rather obnoxious cows, I'm always hoping they won't show up until late in the season. Especially since they've added a BULL to the herd two years ago! Yikes!

Steps to Success L2 & L3 Distance.

Since making my Steps to Success progress chart I got sidetracked and have been working exclusively on L2 and, unknowingly, L3 Distance. I've learned some interesting things.

1) I get stuck in the Teaching phase for too long. I keep thinking Luna doesn't get it, but when I do 80% right tests Luna usually hits between 75 and 95%. Also, when I take her out of the Teaching setup and start using the new behaviour in life, she's great at it. She makes a mistake maybe once, and then she gets it!

2) The sooner I start mixing the new behaviour with known behaviours (start as soon as the cue is attached), the faster, better and more reliable Luna responds. I did this for the first time when I taught her to Stand. I C/T'd for standing, once she got that I started telling her what it's called, and then I started adding in Sits and Downs and asking her to Stand. She was over 80% right, and she learned and generalized the behaviour in ONE 30-minute session. Stand is, besides putting her head through her collar, the most reliable behaviour she has. If she makes a mistake, I can reset her by asking for a Stand, then re-cueing the missed behaviour. It is also the only behaviour that's reliably under Stimulus Control.

3) Luna learns better when I start mixing stuff up and use the behaviour in daily life as soon as she knows the cue!

Now, if I can remember this next time I teach her something new...

It's funny really. Tuesday I thought she had NO clue what I wanted. Wednesday I thought she had NO clue what I wanted. Thursday I got fed up with trying to explain, so I started asking for the behaviour before she'd get a piece of my banana, or a piece of egg at breakfast, or a piece of my cheese for lunch. Just little things like that. She got better. Then yesterday I decided just to see what she would do if I asked her to go around lamp posts outside. After two 'what do you mean exactly?' replies, she nailed them. Then on our last walk for the night, I asked her to go around a stone pillar. Easy. I asked her to go around a framed tree. Easy. I asked her to go around a 15 foot wide fence. Easy. I decided to take a chance and ask her to go around a car. Again, easy!

So, what have I learned? I'm the one getting stuck, Luna is just waiting for me to USE the behaviour. She says, 'OK, I know what it's called, now what do you want me to DO with it?!' And if I fail to answer that question, she just starts mixing in other behaviours because she is bored, wants to speed things up or whatever. In any case, HER learning is not the problem.

I'll video her Distance behaviour sometime between now and next week. ;-)

Here's our updated Steps to Success Progress Chart:

Luna Passed L2 Distance Steps 1-4 & L3 Distance Steps 1-5.
I will be adding our Daily Shoot assignment today, but it will have to wait until our next walk, as it requires an outdoor shot.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday.

This always makes me laugh. When I vacuum downstairs, Luna goes up to my room. But if she hears an outside door, and I've left the door to my room open, she will often come running down to see who dares to come in, or worse, leave without telling her! And then this is the picture I see; sitting behind the door to upstairs, hoping someone will open it so she can check things out. This time I told her to go right back upstairs, I wasn't done vacuuming yet! ;-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Steps to Success Progress Chart.

Something I really missed with the new Steps to Success is the current lack of a way to track things. I'm sure that'll come when the book comes out, but what to do in the meantime? So I decided to see if I could make something that would give me a nice overview of where we are in training.

This is what I came up with:

Luna's Steps to Success Progress Chart.
Ain't that nice?! I really like it. Feel free to copy this one for your own use. Click on the pic for a larger version. The grayed out areas are non-applicable behaviors to that level, I haven't yet added this to all levels.

Also, we did more training! Yay me! As you can see in the chart, we worked on - hmmm, something to add, a time stamp! - Handling and Distance for L2. For Handling I was pretty confident she could pass Steps 1 to 4 without trouble, and as you can see, I was right! We've been working, outside of the Steps, on Handling Step 5 but I haven't really taken the time to sit down and explain it to her properly, so it is marked as Teaching Stage.

After Handling, I chose one of the things she can sorta do but I haven't taken her through the entire process yet. We worked on Distance Step 1. She was going around the pole (a stool) counterclockwise from six feet away, but I might have lumped so next time I will put the stool right in front of me. I have also begun adding a cue; 'Go 'Round!' and mixing that in with Sits, Downs and Stands. I think she did pretty good, but I really do not want to rush things, so we'll see what she remembers next time. Take the time it takes!

Why I think I've lumped; Luna was very vocal, threw a lot of other behaviors at me (we hadn't heard of Stimulus Control until a year ago and I have yet - again - to take the time to explain it!) and she generally just seemed a bit too frustrated to be fair. When I started adding in Sits and Downs with the cue for going around the stool, she calmed down to the point of no longer vocalizing. Obviously the Rate of Reinforcement had gone up here. I really need to think about that next time!

And before I mark them off, I want to do the Homework assignments officially. I will post those here.

Weekly Worksheet for Week 7.

These are the things I plan to do this week... but I'm a star at procrastination so... fingers crossed. I've made this in hopes of actually doing something other than taking Luna for runs with the bike.

Layout somewhat stolen from Katleen over at BZ Training. Thanks for the idea, Kat!

And thanks to this sheet I've actually tested Luna on Steps 1-4 of the Steps to Success L2 and she passed with flying colors! Way to go, puppy! Hopefully I will test or teach or train something else before this day is over...

Haha! Daily Shoot Coincidence.

Today's Daily Shoot assignment reads:
"Make a photograph of something old. Be sure to show us the character that age can give a subject."
Before reading this assignment I'd taken some shots of our West Highland White terrier mix, Cedric. He'll be 16 in March. That qualifies as old! Yay!

Here's why I love the shot: I had just fluffed up his pillow after Luna (yes, the shepherd fits in this bed, too!) had dumped all her sand from the morning run in it, and Cedric LOVES a freshly made bed. You can see he could hardly get in (1 - 2 - jump!), and the fluffiness of the pillow forces him into the corner, and he just lays down and sleeps. I was vacuuming around him, bumping into the bed, and he never moved. So, character of age; completely unflappable by whatever goes on around him, because he KNOWS, if we need him, we'll let him know.

And a little closer:

He stinks like a skunk, he has no teeth, he's virtually deaf and blind, but boy is he cute!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Daily Shoot #1.

The assignment for today:
"Sometimes what’s out of focus can make the shot. Create a photograph today where some/all of your subject isn't in focus."
Okay, that's not too hard... except that... when is the focus on depth and when is it 'just' not in focus? Ah well...

Luna was trying to sleep on her fluffy newish bed, she made it clear to me that she preferred not to have that lens in her face. I didn't give up, and so she decided to pretend being asleep. And that made her shift into a position that I thought was perfect for this Daily Shoot assignment!

I like this last one best. You can see how Luna had given up at this point and pretended to be asleep. ;-)
Awwww.... that's not very nice of me... well, then I guess I'll go make it up to her now!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

More retrieving fun.

Last Thursday Luna and I spent another great afternoon at the park. This time I'd taken my DSLR camera with me instead of the small compact I had last time. It was still quite hard to get good pictures though, as it was windy and Luna was way too fast for me most of the time!

First things first; water!
Fun shot
Stop takin' pictures already!
Look, the dummy is over there ma, let me go!
Well... alright then. ;-)
And there she comes! Ears up, yes Luna, I'm still here.
Speedy Gonzales comin' in!

Nearly there...
Yay! Homerun!
Round two. The dummy is up there, to the right of the stairs. Changed camera settings at this point, hence the different lighting.
And off she goes!
Up the hill... like I said at the top of this post, she was often too fast for me to get the focus right!
Got it!
She decides to takes the easy route back. This is fine with me, so long as, when I send her, she takes the route I've indicated to her. I LOVE this shot!
Whoohoo! Look at her go! ;-)
Lookin' at me, deciding to come down the hill here.
The flying dog!
Hi ma! I'm back! I love her happy face here.
Off to go get dummy nr. 3 around the corner.
And back already! Good pup!
Not a great shot, but I'm putting it up anyway. Dummy nr. 3 is home!
A muddy, happy dog. Such a cute face!
Dummy nr. 4 is in there somewhere.
Yay, got it!
Hey ma, there you are!
Okay... did I mention she's a bit camera shy?! Or she's just blissed out because there's something in her mouth. That's option nr. 2.
A wink, of sorts.
And off to get another one. Not a very sharp shot, but I love seeing this speed too much to leave it out.
Dummy nr. 5, check!
More happiness!
Yuck, incoming dog! Quick, to mom! (Very nice person, she saw us working and immediately leashed her dog. Thumbs up!)
Here I come!
Yay, I made it!
Time for a water break.
My cute little girl

Are you done now, ma?!
Retrieving amidst young trees.
I'm coming!
I've added this shot because it shows her technique nicely; we can see the dummy, she can't. She's going back and forth catching wind, which carries the dummies' scent, which will lead her nose to the dummy. Viola!
Got it!
Dummy in the middle of the shot. This one was much deeper than the other two, so she left it till last. For this one, she has to search deeper, and that is something she only does when she can't find any dummies closer to the edge. She was a little hesitant when I sent her to get this one, because she hadn't caught this one's scent before, so she wasn't sure there would be a third dummy. However, I said there was, so she trusts me and, when searching closer to me nets her nothing, she goes deeper and boom! There it is!
Coming back with the third (nr. 8 total) dummy. She's looking right because there was some noise, a woman loudly calling her dog who was harassing a horse.
Coming back with dummy nr. 9 which was in the bush behind her. You can see a grey line, that's a dirt road. I've deliberately put that between us and the dummies, as it teaches her not to be stopped by boundaries. For dogs, a change in surface can be as much a boundary as a fence is. In this case, there's two boundaries; first the road, and then the line of trees which she has to enter in order to find the dummies.
Just for fun. ;-)
She loves to get up on stuff. This is a picnic table.
Well, as you can see we had a great time once again, I hope you enjoy the pics!