Sunday, August 29, 2004

A rainy Sunday

Well, I'm pretty excited because one of my people took me on a really long walk even though it's rainy and yucky outside. One of the tasks I'm learning (which is hard) is to not pull on the leash. The problem is that in my mind, it's pulling that gets me where I want to go, so my people are supposed to stop anytime I pull so that I learn that pulling makes me stop (one of my people sometimes does a variation on this by pulling me gently backwards so that pulling is associated with losing ground--but it really doesn't work that well). The problem is (as it almost always is when people try to train dogs) that they aren't entirely consistent, so sometimes pulling makes me go forward and sometimes it makes me stops. As one of my trainers likes to say, "dogs are gamblers, if it worked once, it might work again", so I keep hedging my bets. One thing that works well for me is getting lots of praise.

Normally, we have flyball practice on Sundays, but today the club where we practice is busy with an agility trial. We were going to go out to a teammate's farm, but it's so wet, rainy and especially muddy, that the captain decided that we should cancel.

Doesn't matter to me one way or the other since I wasn't going to get to go anyway. Since I'm still not entirely focused on going over jumps, I can't be trusted in the open.

I'm looking forward to Tuesday, when my first agility class starts. One of my teammates' person told my people today that they'll have to be careful about training me in both agility and flyball because each has slightly different expectations of how the dog-person team should work together. That was a good reminder, since I want to be first and foremost a flyball dog (though my people would also like me to be a therapy dog, but we'll have to wait a year of so before we'll know if that's something I like. One thing is that I'll have to learn not to jump on people if I want to be a therapy dog. Not sure I'm into that--jumping on people is REALLY fun and so much more polite than just standing there...).

I also heard a whisper that I might get to go to work with one of my people on Tuesday--I love that because there is a whole new set of people to greet.

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