oh my auggie

Recall Bootcamp

After a lot of thought and a lot of staring at my bank account, I decided to enroll in Susan Garrett’s 5 Minutes to a Brilliant Recall e-course. It wasn’t exactly cheap, but I asked myself what a good recall is worth. If somehow Auggie or Payton were to get out the front door, or maybe broke the gate in the backyard, or escaped from their lead at an agility trial… and were running towards a busy road with cars coming… how much is it worth if I said “AUGGIE” and my dog would turn around and come racing back to me without hesitation? The answer, for me, is that it would be worth a lot more than I paid for the class.

So that will be our winter project… how much work we’ll get to do outside once the snow dumps on us, exactly, is anybody’s guess. But I will at least be arming myself with the games and the learning to work on it later.

Both dogs have also been learning perch work. Payton is doing better than Auggie, who ever since I got out the clicker and tried to teach him to speak has added barking furiously at me to his repertoire of “stuff to try during shaping.” Auggie was giving me two full turns around the perch but frequently would stop and bark at me, so I dropped WAY back and am currently rewarding for two steps in a row WITH NO. BARKING. and hoping that eliminates the annoying barkface.
Payton, on the other hand, is now doing a turn and a half. Sometimes he gets overly excited and ends up slipping off the perch and since he is no longer on the perch starts jumping around the room (my puppy is so weird) but once he gets himself collected and hits the perch again, he returns very quickly to pivoting. I’m very proud of him… when I first brought him home and tried to teach him to touch a target, he wouldn’t do anything. He would just sit down and stare at me. Having gone from that to a dog who learned to start zooming around a perch purely from offered behaviours, it just makes me smile. I almost cried when I saw the light bulb go off in his head and he started stepping in a hurry around the perch. Hurray for Payton!

So I will probably be posting some updates here, maybe with some videos, while we work through Auggie’s Recall Bootcamp! I’m looking forward to it for sure. (How can anybody NOT look forward to not having to go out and retrieve their dog who is in the back of the yard barking at ABSOLUTELY NOTHING through the fence when it’s 20 degrees out and they are only wearing a t-shirt and boxer shorts?)

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