Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Engagement Challenge or Will Sonic Play With Me Instead of Squirrels

Warning: boring video up ahead. He's feeling mellow (the end of a busy outing), and I'm practicing "matching my dogs energy" to entice him into playing under distracting circumstances (in the middle of a public forest hiking trail).

I'm doing Meagan Karnes, Collared Scholar 2018 Engagement/Tug Challenge. 7 Days of playing with your dog, learning to play with your dog.  Sonic didn't fetch or tug when I got him, so getting him to play with a toy can be a big deal.  Even now,  he at least needs the promise of food rewards to tug, and he definitely needs to "be in the mood", so the video is him 'not in the mood' and me, gently, bringing him 'into the mood'.  It seems to work.  This is a 'benchmark video' in that I will do the same exercise under the same circumstances 7 days in a row (well, at my convenience & weather permitting) to see if there are improvements.

 As for the Official Tug Challenge Lesson 1, read on. I'll have video for that later.

I did Day 1, as prescribed. It was awful, he pooped, seriously, and I picked sup the poop, so deleted that one, wish I hadn't.
Basically, me playing with the toy is either completely boring or more than vaguely disturbing, and it also confirms that he has zero interest in the toy itself. I use a little frisbee with a pouch for treats.

I did decide to continue video taping My Way of getting him to tug, which involves starting with known commands, perking him up, then throwing the toy, and reward with food, then teasing & tugging.

I came away from the day thinking "MY DOG HATES TUGGING BWAAAAAA"

So I reviewed my video's, and good grief, the little guy is even putting his back into it, he's a little flying dog going after it, WHAT in HECK do I expect, that the little ex-village dog mister turns into a miniature SCHUTZHUND????

Lesson 1 taught me incredibly valuable lessons.

1. Video taping & review is incredibly helpful, because what we think is happening is not always the truth.

2.  The more you video yourself the easier it gets. I am very self-conscious about it, and always 'act different' and bring down the tone or try to hard. After have my dog throwing stress signals, then take a crap, and me bending over to pick it up, all on camera, well, nothings worse than that, right? I actually wish I HAD kept that video to review, to see, really see, what was going on with Sonic when my back was turned.

And #3  Stop comparing my dog to others, stop comparing myself to others.  EVERYBODY looks better, acts better, moves better, has better timing, and more exciting dogs (at least on this forum) than I do. So I need to just STOP THAT.

So Lesson 1 was great, very helpful.

Oh, #4, I now have two benchmark videos. 1 of me getting him to 'play' in the woods (one of the most difficult scenarios) and one doing my usual at the dog park (I use the small dog park if it's empty, or space outside of the dog park).

So, all good.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spring Fever- Squirrels Abound

Refreshing that off  leash recall with a lot of fun.  Will be hot and cold running squirrels soon and I'd hate to have to leash him up for no good reason.

Friday, March 9, 2018

I wasn't born in Canada -- I am an awesome dog

 Just a shout out to international dogs--Sonic's rockin' the snow.
He came from the Dominican Republic until his owners, from Haiti, got deported back.  Very good people where already helping them care for their pets, and when they were deported, their abandoned pets were fostered, vetted, and placed in appropriate homes.  Sonic was listed as "border collie mix for physically active couple"--yup.
And that's how Sonic showed up at my door.

ps.  video is Sonic & me playing fetch & tug at sunset.  not sure why the thumbnail sucks.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week Six, Agility

Wow am I pumped.
Way too pumped,
This is week six in agility. Boy am I excited.  Need to TURN IT DOWN, will be practicing my inside voice for next time.

Good Tree Hunting-Sonic picks a christmas tree.

Good Tree Hunting, Sonic's 1st Xmas (not a gsd)

I like to make fun of folks that call themselves dog parents, but, ack, here I am all excited about Sonic's 1st Christmas. And we took him to the Tree Farm to help us pick up a tree.
I was hoping for a cheerier shot, but my two guys are taking tree hunting very seriously.

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

And hey, OTHER THAN A BORDER COLLIE, what else do you see in him? I mean, I see an island dog (just google 'coconut hound', imagine him tan and flat coated and you'll see what I mean), but I will be forever curious.

Sonic was a VERY GOOD DOG at the tree farm, nice leash manners!

I'll get some Christmas pics with the decorated tree (and maybe decorated he), because this year I am going to be a besotted Dog MOM. Yes, SONIC, You WILL be forced into wearing red ribbons.