oh my auggie

Training Challenge 07/20/12

I haven’t posted one of these for a few weeks, mostly because I was recovering from our last agility/rally trial, partially because it’s still really stinkin’ hot outside and it makes it hard to do much work out in the yard, and also because I’ve been busy juggling a few other things. I don’t want to jinx it so I won’t say more just yet, but really fabulous things might be about to happen for the Sheltiechick crew!

So this week, instead of breaking it down day by day, I think instead I will just make a general goal. I have been working on teaching the dogs to swim and yesterday I decided to start adding in more as it relates to Dock Dogs. I bought a small plastic footstool that sits inside the pool (actually, it floats, so unless a dog is sitting/standing on it, it’s floating around the pool…) and had Auggie standing on the stool, click+treating for him nose-bumping our ChuckIt amphibious bumper. Being the rock star that he is, very quickly I had Auggie nose-bumping the bumper when it was floating in the water. Next step will be to get him to actually mouth the bumper.
Payton’s turn was next, and the poor dog made me laugh so hard I almost fell down in the pool, because he was trying to do his pivots in the pool. He kept thinking his back feet should be on the bottom of the pool and his front feet on the stool, and he should then pivot around the stool, right? No, Payton, no! Poor guy. Payton will actually fetch the bumper for me on land but he doesn’t want anything to do with it when he’s in the water, so I think I need to train a “grab the bumper” outside the pool (rather than just “fetch the bumper”) and then move back INTO the pool and generalize “grab the bumper” to him standing on the stool in the pool.

Of course, my parents want to re-roof the house this week, so the pool is due to be emptied and come down. I’m thinking this coming weekend I might actually go to the lake again and see if we can get some swimming done there. I think Payton will do much better now with his new life jacket, and could benefit from being in water that’s actually deep rather than a pool where if he tries he can actually put his back legs on the floor and just flail around with his front legs. Auggie, meanwhile, is doing awesome, particularly if I put a life jacket on him. He doesn’t seem to really need it, but with the life jacket on, his swimming became much smoother. Unfortunately he wears the same size as Georgie but they don’t fit the same, so I will have to buy a third life jacket if I ever intend to have all three dogs in life jackets at the same time. I could order one of the Outward Hound jackets in pink for Georgie and give Auggie her orange one…

So that’s the training plan this week – “GRAB THE BUMPER!” Low key but still a goal regardless.

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