|Luna hoping to see her favorite kittycat, while playing ball in the street. Look how fat she was!|
Weather conditions: 5C, muddy, windy.
Distractions: My mom, and our older dog Cedric
R1: Dropped it next to the gravel path leading past the park’s oldest restaurant, Luna saw this. Then I took her with me all the way to the end of the path before I lined her up and sent her to get the dummy. On her way back to me she had to pass a dog - female Rottie with a muzzle on, who ran after her a couple of meters - which she handled beautifully. She just kept right on going, only made an arc around the other dog and was all proud delivering the dummy to me. Great speed both out and back.
R2: Tossed it in the bush when she wasn’t looking. Initially she ran back to the location of the first dummy - which, for shepherd standards was FAR away - and I had to point in the dummy’s general direction and encourage her to search in the right area before she found it. She was working well, just couldn’t see the dummy even when she was right next to it - it’s orange - which I know about. So... a bit messy, but she didn’t give up and, being a shepherd, I LOVE that she ran back to where the first dummy was!
R3: Where was this.... hmmm.... oh, I remember; on the outside of a tall wire fence, between trees but a pretty open area. Again a hard place to see the dummy because the ground was brown, too. Luna saw me drop this dummy. Then, I took her away again, just continued on our walk, and my mom decided to turn left into a gravel path with heavy brush on both sides. I took Luna in here about 30 feet, from where she had no visual of the dummy or it’s general location. Then, I sent her. She went blasting off again, which I love to see because it means that she KNOWS there’s a dummy up ahead somewhere. She was away for a little while, then came back through the brush behind me, no dummy. I could tell she was still working though, just checkin’ if we hadn’t taken off without her, so I reminded her; ‘where’s the dummy?!’ Oh, right, I know! She took off again and came back almost instantly with the dummy in her mouth and along the route we’d taken. Yay! This was great; she had to work out of my sight, a good hundred meters away from me, and she did great! Whoohoo!
R4: I placed the dummy on top of a stone bench, Luna saw this and then I walked away with her. We walked about 200 meters away, and when I was ready to send her, other dogs were running around near the bench. Hmmm... interesting. I sent Luna, figured I could help her if she found the presence of other dogs daunting, but not at all! She ran right to the bench, jumped ON the bench - yay, she had remembered it was NOT on the ground! - and came blasting back to me with the dummy and a grumbling dog - lotta noise that meant nothing - running after her, whom she paid absolutely no attention. Wow, brave girl! I KNOW you can do it! Haha!
After R4 there were no retrieves for a while due to heavy dog traffic. I’m not tossin’ dummy’s with the risk of loosing them! Instead I let her climb up on some log piles, which she loved to do. Nice balance, careful steps and jumps. Good girl!
R5: Placed the dummy on top of a stone electricity box of some kind, it’s as tall as Luna standing on her hind legs. I placed the dummy 1/4 off the edge so she could grab it. Took her away again, about 80 meters because if I took her further I couldn’t see cyclists coming, sent her out, she ran, stood up against the building and took the dummy right off. Then she came running full speed back to me again. Awesome!
R6: Tossed the dummy in the undergrowth, visible to me. Luna saw where it was. Again, walking, walking, walking away. This one was nice, because Luna kinda went on with her own business instead of heeling - with eyecontact! - all the time until I would release her to find the dummy. We walked about 300 meters away, with twists and turns in the road, a crosstrack, and the dummy and it’s location out of sight from where I sent her. No problemo, she blasted off, my mom called our older dog - he’s as deaf as they come, but habits die hard I guess ;-) - which I hoped wouldn’t make Luna turn back before finding the dummy. It didn’t, because when she came back she had it! Great memory stuff. And, most importantly, we had a fantastic time.
Next time I’m gonna try having her stay, and then I’ll walk a good space away and toss some dummy’s. See if she can do those as well. In any case, it’s FUN!
Oh, and now that I've seen the picture at the top of this post; I'll weigh her again sometime today or tomorrow, she's finally slimmed down, so I'm curious to see what the scale says!