Thursday, August 8, 2013

I thought this was yesterday

Turns out we didn't all settle in for the long haul yesterday. It's hard to explain but I feel like maybe the honeymoon is over. :-)

Bomber is fantastic! He listens well. He listens to correction well. All around, we are slowly starting to become a team.

There's something underlying though. I think the first couple days he was unsure of us, but we asked him to do things anyway and he figured he should respond. Now, he still responds but sometimes gets a bit confused. It's almost like he thinks, "Oh, I really do have to figure you out now."

Bomber and the other dogs in 'down'
I don't want to paint the wrong picture. I truly do think Bomber is one of the best in the class. We are just at a point where we have to commit to each other. One of the trainers said something like, "You (the parents) have been planning for this dog for a year or more, but the dogs weren't doing the same for you." So, Corey and I were committed months ago. Bomber has to be convinced that it's a good thing to be with us.

I think we had slacked off on using treats a little too much. Today (especially this evening), we made sure to really use the treats. Every time we work with him, we all get better and better.

Rosalie was really lethargic this morning. She has been having lots of seizures and not eating well. Because of this, we were the first to practice tracking again so we could take her back to the hotel.

It was really neat to watch Bomber track Rosalie. This time we were in a more open field (yesterday we were right next to some woods). I could see him the whole time. Open fields are more difficult to track in because of wind and because there is less for her scent to stick to. (I'll talk more about tracking in a different post.) From what I could see, Bomber found Rosalie easily.

When we got back to the training center, we added more difficulty to sits and downs. Again! :-) This time we had all the dogs (6 of them anyway) in a "down" in the middle of the floor. We practiced "heeling" around the dogs while pushing a shopping cart.

More distractions while under command
After lunch, each team talked about the previous evening again. Then Jeremy went in to detail about how tracking works. I don't know what was wrong with me yesterday because tracking is amazing! Several times during his talk, I got teary thinking about the positive ramifications of tracking for Rosalie.

We practiced all of the things we have learned so far with Bomber at the hotel tonight. We have been having him be up on the bed with Rosalie too.

My mind keeps playing tricks on me. I keep thinking I will have a weekend at the end of this first week. We don't have a weekend though. We keep training straight through. We don't even have lighter days. AND the hotel doesn't serve dinner on the weekends so we have to cook, too!

Tomorrow we have our first public training session! I think I'm too tired to be nervous. Ask me tomorrow if I was nervous, because I'm sure I will be.


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