I apologize for the long absence, it’s been a really busy few months.
Over the past few months, we’ve been doing weekly field and obedience lessons with the goldens, and sometimes with Rogue as well.
We’ve made a great deal of progress!!
We’ve been working on: heeling, sitting whenever I stop moving, walking in a figure eight pattern, stays, recalls, and having the dogs pay attention to my body language because in obedience I cannot talk to my dog.
I still need to work on their heeling and sit-stay, but overall the goldens are doing really well.
Rogue has a great stay, but she seems to be confused about heeling, when I’m usually asking her to lead out when guiding, so Susie has suggested Huib work with her and I continue to work with the goldens. Huib has said he’ll do that and I think it’ll b a good challenge for him and a great experience for Rogue.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, we’ll start focusing on field and our obedience lessons will reduce to once a month.
In field, Arizona is doing fabulously!! She no longer hesitates about retrieving the duck, and rarely feels the need to visit the ‘gunner,’ choosing to return to me as soon as she has picked up the duck. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working on her ‘hold’ because she often drops the duck in front of me instead of giving it directly to me. In order for her to obtain her JH (or Junior Hunter), Arizona needs to be able to put the duck in my hand. For her WC (or working certificate) she can just bring the duck back and drop it near me. In order to reinforce the need to give the duck right to me, I’m starting to ask her to ‘sit’ as she approaches and then continue to ‘hold’ the duck until I say ‘give.’ She’s doing it really well at home, we just need to continue practicing it outside of the home.
Canyon has also been progressing well in field, but with his seizures Susie has suggested we not go for titles because he could have a seizure while swimming. We had been hesitant about the water portion of the test for other reasons, mainly because he tends to get hot spots after swimming, so when the seizure issue came up, we fully supported the decision not to work towards the titles.
The incident that highlighted the seizures as a potentially life-threatening concern, was that last night while Canyon was waiting for Arizona to finish her land retrieves, Canyon had a seizure. Usually his seizures only happen when he’s at home and relaxing, not when we’re out and he’s eagerly awaiting his turn. So, once this happened, we realized that his seizures could create a life-threatening situation.
Canyon still really loves field though, so we’ll give him the chance to take part in the lessons, avoiding the water portion.
Rogue does not hesitate to retrieve the duck, so I am working on her ‘hold.’ Currently, Rogue will run over to the duck, come back and toss it at me. I don’t think it will take too long for her to catch on to what I really want her to do. I am going to start by asking her to help me carry things through the house, like I did with Arizona when I was teaching her to carry things. I think in the end, this training will add to her actual skill set as a working dog.
With the warmer weather approaching, our field lessons will now turn into group ones and become our Tuesday evening activity.
Well, that’s what we’ve been up to in field and obedience. I will keep you all posted on our progress and hopefully I’ll get back to regular blogging soon.