Thursday, November 4, 2010
Today we touched on Sits and Down again – and Henry is still much better at the former than the latter. The biggest issue with down is that my hands smell like yummy hot dogs and he’s spending more time sniffing than downing. When I get some distance from him, he actually performs much better!
I threw some "Stands" in there as well, and he gave me rock-solid stand-n-stares pretty much every time I asked.
We played “Go to Mat” – something Henry knows how to do with his mat, but got a chance to generalize a bit with a different mat. It was fun to see the gears turning in his little head as he put two and two together, and got all four paws on Wendy’s mat. After just a few minutes I was having a hard time getting him off the mat.
Next, it was time to work on Come. We started easy, keeping the puppies on leash and wandering around with them until they got distracted with something so we had a chance to call them. Great plan, except that little Sit-n-Stare didn’t seem to want to let me out of his sight. I ended up having to use other puppies as distractions, but even when all the way at the end of his (admittedly short) leash, he would whip around and return when I call.
And then for something completely different, Wendy brought out some things for puppies to walk on, over, up and down. There was an agility table, a wobbly plank, a large metal crate pan, a funky PVC contraption that looked kind of like a little ladder on its side… with feet, a large squishy exercise ball that mostly flat, and an A-frame.
He was a bit worried going down the A-frame… the first time… but had barely touched ground when he desperately wanted to “do it again!” Alas, not meant to be. Perhaps next week. He didn’t care for the squishy ball at all at first, but with carefully application of cookies he decided maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. In the end, it was definitely his least favorite activity. The least intimidating was the crate pan, by far. He has plastic at home, but the fact this is metal didn't phase him at all.
Somewhere in there Puppy Playtime occurred. This time he was turned out with the shy puppies, and while he was definitely the life of the party, I don’t think he was too lively (the shelties grandma might beg to differ!)
So - I guess I'd have to give him... what... 4.8 stars out of five? Had he nailed his downs he would have gotten a 5. Hopefully next week. The teenage months are just around the corner and it will probably be many months before he's this good again!