The last several weeks, Brody and I have been drilling hard on all aspects of the IPO1, in pursuit of the (maybe too) ambitious goal of competing at AWDF next month.
So, this week, it was time for a bit of a break.
Instead of working, we went for bike rides (a trick that only required Brody darting under the front tire of the bike and me faceplanting four or five times…), went for hikes, and played with the agility equipment we have at home.
Brody will likely never compete in agility – mostly because he launches over all contacts and bowls around the jumps like a bull in a china shop – but he really enjoys playing on the equipment. Not pictured are the weave poles and tunnel that I also have set up for him.
Agility (even if it isn’t real agility) is a great way to exercise Brody’s body and mind while also keeping it fun.
He very much enjoys obedience as well, and of course loves protection work, but you can only practice so much “fuss”, “sit”, and “platz” before you need to spend some time doing something else.
We did go to club training on Sunday, though.
I was a little concerned about how tracking would go since we’ve taken a week long break from it, but Brody didn’t seem to have lost anything. I laid a 225 pace track that consisted of three legs, two turns, and two articles. He was a bit distracted on the first leg, but settled after the first corner to nail the next two legs. He also downed on the articles nice and straight, which was nice to see.
In obedience we worked on his gun-shot reactivity. Brody really REALLY likes gun shots. I think they must remind him of the whip-crack in protection, because he gets pretty “spun up” about it.
I was pretty proud of him though, as he heeled through about a dozen gunshots, and then platzed through a dozen more. The platz was harder, and just when I was getting complacent that he would FOR SURE not break his down, he broke his down. Of course.
But hey, it’s an improvement.
Protection went really well, for maybe the first time in a long time. Brody was able to heel past, around, and away from the helper with no corrections. He was able to out cleanly (until the long bite, but I’ll get to that). He did some really nice, long bark and holds.
The helper and I were both extremely proud of him and the progress he has been showing over the past couple of sessions.
We ended with a short “long bite” and a short drive, because Brody enjoys that sort of thing. Unfortunately, he wasn’t so much about outing after that, though. It went a little something like…
“Dammit Brody, aus.”
Apparently “Dammit Brody, aus,” is the key, because he outed, we gave him a regrip, outed him again, this time cleanly and on the first command, then gave him the sleeve to carry back to the car.
Overall, a very positive, if not overly productive, week.