Monday, January 31, 2011

Agility Update

Marley and I are progressing nicely. I may have resolved my front/rear cross issue; It turns out I know how do do them but I get the terms mixed up. The dog walk and tunnel are looking good.

We are adding the front cross to the jump and it makes so much sense. We have also started working on the serpentine. Everything seems to be going well, except I just discovered a new distraction.


I discovered this quite by accident, I rented the training yard to work on some equipment and we were out there around 11 a.m. It was a glorious January day, cool yet sunny. The tunnel was in a U shape and I sent Marley to the tunnel. She was doing great and I started to add more distance. We were about 5 meters away from the entrance and I started to move towards the other end after sending Marley. As she was running to the tunnel she noticed my shadow moving towards the other end and she turned to enter at our exit.

This means I will have to spend some time in the sun going through all the equipment to ensure my shadow stops being a distraction. Unfortunately, both Marley and I dislike working in the sun. What are the odds all of our trials will be held on overcast days?

Monday, January 24, 2011

I forgot Marley was a dog

Yep, I totally forgot she was a dog and now she is sick. After a trip to the park, I thought it would be nice to pick up some chewies for Marley. I purchased some treats and some rawhide wrapped in chicken. Since I was parked in a nice shady spot, I thought it would be a good idea to pick up dinner at the grocery store.

Marley curled up in the back to take a nap.

When I came back I found the bag of treats in the back seat and Marley had consumed all the chicken from the chicken wrapped rawhide and she was trying to hide the rest of the treats. I cleaned everything up and threw away the rawhide.

Marley usually just naps in the car and waits for me to come back. She has never eaten any treats I've provided in the car. I so did not expect her to feel comfortable eating in the car when I had a bag full of treats. I have to be more careful and not leave enticing items in the front seat. I don't think I'll forget she is a dog for a long time.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

K9 Cancer Walk

Time to mark your calendar for the 2011 K9 Cancer Walk. Marley and I really enjoyed this event last year.

On Saturday, May 7, 2011
Registration/Check-in: 8:30 a.m. Walk starts at 9:30
At Rotary Grove in Elk Grove Regional Park
9950 Elk Grove-Florin Rd.
Elk Grove, CA 95624

If you register by April 24, 2011 you receive a discounted registration fee.

I think it would be great if we raise more than $75,000 for canine cancer research this year.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stuck in a rut

I want to go somewhere fun and different!

I was driving Marley to the park and I realized we were stuck in a rut.

I decided it was time to shake things up and start doing something fun or at least different. Instead of going to the park we drove to the river and went for a long walk. It was a lot of fun and we were both reinvigorated by our change in routine.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Frisbee Training

I have not given up on having a dog that fetches. Since Marley refuses to retrieve tennis balls, I've decided to try something different. I got her a Chewber and we started the following training regimen.
  • I stored the Chewber in a container of kibble for about a month.
  • I started to use it as a food bowl.
  • After dinner I would hold it and ask her to "take it" and when she gently took it out of my hand I would praise her and give her a treat.
  • I started to gently roll it about a foot and I would ask her to "get it."
  • Once she figured out if she returned the Chewber she would be rewarded with a treat I started to gently throw it a couple of feet.
  • As she became better at bringing it back I started to feel excited about my future disc dog.

Today, I decided to see if we could translate our Chewber success to our Hurl a Squirrel. I was pleasantly surprised to discover Marley was just as excited about bringing back the Hurl a Squirrel.

At this point I still need to try this in a different location and I need to start withholding some treats. I'm still not sure how to encourage her to focus on the toy and not on the treats.

I welcome any advice or suggestions.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bad Bob

Marley is not allowed to chase cats. I do not allow her to chase cats while we are on walks or visiting a cat friendly home. If I catch her harassing or chasing Bob, I'll send her to her crate for a time-out.

I have to change my strategy for 2011. I've been home sick and I've managed to observe Bob and Marley during the day. I've discovered a horrible fact, while I've worked on Marley's behavior, I've totally neglected to curtail Bob's behavior.

Most of their interactions begin by Bob walking to Marley's bed. He'll sniff her bed, freeze and then flick his tail. Marley waits until Bob flicks his tail and then the chase is on! They run around the apartment until Bob decides to stop. Marley politely stops about a foot away from Bob and walks away.

At times, Bob will stop about a foot away from Marley and do a modified play bow. As soon as Marley looks at him, he flicks his tail and they are off for a quick game of chase.

At this point, I'm at a loss as to how to teach Marley not to chase all cats.