Saturday, March 05, 2005

So, being Saturday and all, both of my people were home today and spent a lot of time with us pups. They are working hard to get me to associate playing fetch with tugging. In flyball, it's really good if we have something like a tug to run back to. My buddy Renzo will only run for food--that's fine too, but our team captains say that dogs run harder for tugs. I love to tug as a general thing, but I don't really see what it has to do with flyball, so I"m kind of disdainful of it when it shows up while I'm practicing.

When my person tries to get me tug before she will throw the ball, I usually just look at her patiently and eventually, I just walk away (she tries *really* hard not to give in and throw the ball anyway, but I put her in a kind of a bind--cause it's also not so good for me to decide when it's time to stop playing--something about getting a big head. Whatever, people are kind of weird.

The real thing I've been learning today, though is "be nice". See, I get a little persnickety when other dogs get too close. It's not all that predictable...for my person anyway and she doesn't really ask me what's the trigger, I'm not telling. In any case, the people don't like it, so today we've been working on "be nice"--which basically seems to mean, stop snarling and look at person. When I do that--bingo, a treat. Yay.

And that means today's lesson is:
Be nice, then you get a treat and keep everybody else from snarling

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Harnasses are for the birds

Normally when I play flyball, my person holds on to my hips. For a while I wore a harness, but that was back when I didn't have a very good recall and the team capitans said that it would be better for me to learn with a leash attached to a collar (that's for a leash correction--boy, I'm glad I got past those!

Anyway, today my person decided to put my harnass on me again. This is what it looks like

Originally uploaded by Pippin Noodle.

I don't really notice it that much, but when we went to run flyball (yeah, that's right, today is flyball day--yahoo!), my person held me by the harnass--I didn't like it one bit. I'd much rather be held by the hips--you know, a much more hands-on, feel-good touch just to set the right mood for a good, clean run. Much more civilized than being held like a common dog (or, dare I say it, a kitty... my kitties go outside with harnasses--never really though it could come to that for me)

What I learned today?
I don't like harnasses, BUT I really like flyball a whole lot

Big woofs to my pal Renzo, who had 10 pretty clean runs today--and even sort of passed into another dog. He does a good job, but boy is he a barker. Also, licks and kisses to Tansy who is doing a good job soaking in the whole new environment. It would have been great for her and us if she'd been with us from the start, but what matters most is that she's with us now!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

What kind of dog are you

I'm out of lessons for today, but here's something fun to try:

What kind of dog are you?

My person is a Keeshound. They look like this

Originally uploaded by Pippin Noodle.

She doesn't though....

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

By Jove I've got it

My person has been working with me over the last couple of months to learn to shut a cabinet door by pushing it with my nose (initial command for that is "touch"). The problem for me has been that I also know about shutting drawers by hitting them with my feet (initial command for that was "push"--that's a flyball command, too).

So, I'm a kind of pawsy gal and think it's a lot more efficient to shut things with my feet, so, while I would touch the cabinet door with my nose, I made it close with my feet.

My person was pretty patient--only rewarding me for closing the door with my nose. And if I just wasn't getting it, she'd back up and reward me for just touching the door with my nose adn once I remembered to close it with my nose, she'd go back to only rewarding that and eventually moving to a variable reinforcement (click here if you want to read more about this kind of dog training or read the book "don't shoot the dog").

Anyway, today I did it right right off the bat. My person could even send me from about 6 ft. out and I'd go close the door with my nose. I'm pretty cool, huh?

So, what'd I learn today?
With enough repetitions and the right kind of encouragement, just about anything is possible.

Monday, February 28, 2005


Well, hey, I learned something today...I went with my person for a playdate with a poodle about my age. For whatever reason (my person has been speculating, but, really, sometimes it's hard to know what's going on in our little brains), I was not going to play with her. In fact, I made it pretty clear that i wanted her to stay away.

I was definitely not charmed by her cute butt waggles or her play bows or her jumping like a pogo stick (even though my person was). I'm not going to let my person in on this, but at some level, it really doesn't matter WHY I didn't want to play--what matters is that I didn't. Basta.

I also continue to refine my lesson from Saturday that it's possible to nap while not in a crate. I'm getting pretty good at this lesson and am glad to learn it.

But I digress. Today's lesson
I didn't want to play with the poodle, even though she was cute as a bug.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Some days there's not much to learn

Well, I did a lot today--played with Tansy and Darby, went on a long walk, played with the kitties, played ball, ran around in the snow....but I don't think I really learned much.

Then, what did I learn today?

Some days you can do a lot without learning much at all.

Big woofs to my pal Renzo who ran at the tournament this week-end. Good going buddy--I'll be there to watch you next time.