Who's a Good Dog?

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It’s true that when you record your practice, you see a lot more. When I rewatched the video from our last session practicing ORT boxes, I noticed that Franzi seems to be nose-pointing to the odor box from the starting line. (Good boy!) I also noticed that my starting line routine wasn’t as consistent as I imagined in my head. I should be walking up to the line, cueing him to search, and letting my line out. I think I set the boxes up too close to the wall behind us and neither of us had enough room to move. Franzi is really long from nose to tail and doesn’t do tight turns. I know this–I just have to remember that I know it. Making a mental note for next time.

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I recently started volunteering at the Center for Animal Health and Welfare.  Once a week I head over to the Center and work with one or two of their dogs on basic manners.  Yesterday was the fourth session with Ruckus, a young bully mix, who is a real charmer.  As his Petfinder page explains, he LOVES his toys (a plus for training because we’re teaching him to work for toys).  He also needs to learn some leash manners.  In the video clip above, he’s learning to wait at an open door until invited to go through.  (Apologies for the shaky camera–my fault.  I was filming while Maria, who works at the shelter, was working with Ruckus.)  You can see him figuring things out.  He makes mistakes, but that’s part of the learning.  He can’t learn that sitting works unless he sees that getting up makes the door close.  You can’t see it in this video, but he’s also learned to check-in after going through the door.

During my visit yesterday I also had the opportunity to meet two wonderful senior dogs, Merida and Big Bear.  You wouldn’t know Merida is 13–she dances around like a puppy and loves her toys.  But she is very polite when she plays.

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And if you’d like a swell guy to cuddle with you on your couch, Bear is your man.

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