Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pool Zen and Leaping Lynx

Nike is outside right now, by herself, and I will let her remain while she wishes. She is seeking to achieve pool zen. This exercise is as to "will it float" as tai chi is to kickboxing.

She has placed a floating Jolly ball in the pool. It has floated out of reach. She is moving it with her mind, and at some point in the next hour... or two, she will either force the ball to float to her or she will lose her state of zen and will leap in after the ball.


Today Madchen's new human came and picked her up. She will be meeting her new "brother" -- Darth (now Rommel) from my D litter (Enni x Cliff).

As soon as Madchen and her new human left, I had to run south into town on a couple of errands, then I drove north about 30 minutes to an agility lesson with Lynx. It was his second time on any obstacles and his first time ever trying to train in such a totally new place surrounded by new scents--a horse barn and indoor ring with wood chips on the flooring.

Overall, he was a VERY good boy. Before we started, I walked him around and he curiously eyed a pony not much bigger than him. I walked him down the aisle of the barn and back and he leaned on my leg a bit but didn't hang back or seem overly uneasy.

The lesson started with us doing a jumping exercise--teaching him to hop from one side of a pvc bar to the other. Although very simple, Lynx didn't quite believe that was the goal of exercise and kept offering sits with attention and downs. So, we switched to just teaching him to go over the jump between me and the instructor, so he would get that the "over" part was the goal.

We then did some A-frame training--which he thought was just dandy. Then we did some tunnel work--sending him through to get his toy. He wasn't super interested in tugging with his fabric "boomerang" or the rubber "stick," but he was happy to play tug with his ball on a rope.

He displayed very good offleash manners--wandering a little bit but remaining close and responsive when offleash outside and passing a car full of dogs. He met an Aussie and a Border Collie while he was leashed and the other dogs were offleash and was curious but not reactive.

He was a tad distracted, a tad less interested in his food than I'm used to--but I think I've just forgotten that focus on me for rewards, that the "working time" is a learned thing, not just something that is automatically born in the dog. But he wasn't distressed or worried, just curious and a bit looky. I could tell he was getting just a bit tired--and I think he'll sleep well with the mental and physical workout he got today.

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