Saturday, May 16, 2009

Busy day

Today was another busy day of training for Devon and Page. We started with a morning training session in the building. These sessions include obedience and agility foundation and tricks for Page and obedience for Devon. 

Page is really doing a nice job in her training, and we'll get video soon. Devon's obedience is also very nice. We're still perfecting her heeling, fronts and finishes, as well as teaching the Open exercises. 

Today we had an extra added distraction in the building. I know I have a small mouse issue in the building, and I recently cleaned up the building and put training toys in plastic bins. The building isn't totally critter proof, so I'm never going to eliminate mice, but I'd like to control them. 

This morning, halfway through Page's session, a mouse darted out from behind a piece of equipment leaning against the wall and ran along a side rail to a hiding place behind a post. It caught my eye and I watched it until it stopped. Then I looked over to the expen, and Devon saw it, too! We both watched it's progress to the back corner of the building, then along the back wall. 

I put Page up and got Devon out. She really wanted to go find that mouse but worked with me anyway. This was actually really good distraction training for her. When the mouse made its way along the opposite wall, Page saw him, too. Even though I appreciated the distraction training today, I guess we need to get some bait out there.

The dogs napped after their breakfast while I attended my Pilate's class. Then it was home to change clothes and the girls and I were off again. Devon did a wagon wheel drill while Page commentated then watched quietly from her crate in the van. After realizing this was Devon's time, when I looked back, Page was sitting intently watching. 

After Devon's drill, it was Page's turn. Page did a 55 yard track which included a two-lane blacktop driveway. Page really likes the tracking game, but I can't say she really understands what she's doing yet. She does understand once she has her harness on what she's going to do and she looks for the start flag. When she sees it, she races to it and pounces on her start article. Today she even gave me a down on the start article!

This was the third time Page has been asked to do non-veg. The first time shouldn't even really count because I had to abandon the track before we got to the non veg. Page wasn't tracking that day. Her second non veg was a one lane gravel driveway. This was difficult for her and I had to remove three rocks from her mouth as she made her way across. 

Today's non veg was much better. Page was tracking pretty well when she got to the curb. She found the piece of food on the curb and then did classic back and forth transition scenting along the curb. It was so interesting to see Page work the curb just like a big dog would. However, because of her inexperience she never ventured out into the pavement. I finally pointed to the pavement and she started transitioning again. After helping her once more, she finally went across the pavement into the grass where she found her glove.

After our "work," we went to check out a woods we'd been given permission to use. It was a little walk back to the woods; unfortunately it was too wet for us to walk in. On the way back, I let both girls off leash to run and have some fun. Then it was back into the van to the park.

I knew going to the park around noon would be risky since it was Saturday and there would be more people out (and dogs aren't supposed to be off leash). But it was cloudy and drizzling, and I hoped it would keep people away. We were able to get a 15 minute woods walk in, which was good enough. Both girls had a good romp and were tired and happy when they got into the van.

Back at home, I made lunch and Page looked tired hanging around the kitchen. Finally, she got up and stood in front of her crate in the kitchen. I opened the door for her, and she went inside and laid down. This was a first! She actually asked to go into her crate, yippee!! I was so excited I took a photo, which made her sit up to look pretty. Oh well, at least she got in by herself!

We had one more training session in the building (without mouse distractions) before dinner. Then we called it an evening for snuggling with mom on the sofa (for Devon and Connor) and chewing on bones for Page. I think Page is now dreaming of what she's going to do tomorrow, and Devon's trying to find that mouse!

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