Good morning y’all – I know, I know, I’m late with the recap!
It was an interesting week with some bigs ups and some big downs.
We started out on Monday with group obedience. Shelby’s classes are drop-in, which means that people can come on whatever days work for them, and skip whatever days don’t. Last Monday was a pretty small group, but we got quite a bit done. Brody was being an absolute nut, so we worked on his send-out a couple hundred times to burn some energy.
After class (or rather, as a part of class), we took a pack-walk down to Starbucks and made the big, bad working dogs behave like citizens of society while we drank coffee at one of the outside tables.
We got approached by a number of people, which is why Brody wears a Tactipup collar with the words “In Training, Do Not Approach” embroidered on them in bright orange.
It’s not that Brody isn’t friendly and wouldn’t love to be petted by strangers all day – he is and he absolutely would! The issue is that he has no impulse control when it comes to new people touching him and they’d inevitably end up wearing him as a hat. Nobody wants that, so I generally just prevent the issue from coming up in the first place.
Our dogs were tested later on in the morning when a crowd of high school kids passed our table and a few just casually stepped *over* a couple of the dogs, mine included. Pro-tip – if you don’t know a dog, maybe don’t casually expose your nether regions to it…
Fortunately, our dogs are pretty mannered, so no issues arose, but it does make me wonder how stupid people can get…
Wednesday brought a semi-private lesson with my two favorite training buddies, along with group obedience in the afternoon.
Shelby pulled me aside after the lesson in the morning to mention that we need to start thinking of new ways to challenge Brody in his obedience. Not to brag, but he’s pretty rock solid at this point (hopefully typing that doesn’t jinx me in the future). He has everything for IPO OB all the way through a 3, including all positions both stationary and in-motion, send-out, long-down, heeling every which way you can imagine, and retrieves.
Obviously, we’ll keep maintaining all of those things, but Brody is pretty easily bored once he’s solid in a skill, which means that it’s time to get creative.
I’ve been working on on some silly tricks like the one above, just to keep his brain working. In retrospect, teaching him to weave between my legs while walking wasn’t my best decision, as he has started offering it when bored with heeling, leading to a couple of faceplants…
Friday was probably my favorite day for training. I met up with Shelby in the morning to go tracking, and Brody actually tracked like he knows what he’s doing! He’s tracking so well, in fact, that I’m entertaining the idea of entering him for an FPR1 (tracking only title) along with our UPR1 (obedience only title) at the Spring trial we are targeting.
It would be awesome if he was prepared enough to do that, as it would be great to try out tracking under trial conditions without the pressure of our IPO1 hanging over us.
That afternoon, Shelby and I worked some more on Brody’s secondary obedience (obedience in protection), and he had his best day yet. Ran both blinds, was clean in the guarding, and stayed clear headed through out. We were both pretty proud of him!
Saturday we (Shelby and I) were once again supposed to go over to a neighboring club. Vehicle was packed. Alarms were set for 3am. Woke up. Pass through the mountains was closed by a snow storm. Son of a…
So that was disappointing. We have yet more plans to go over next weekend, so keep your fingers crossed for us!