Puppy Tugger

I’ve been remotivating myself this week, so Rio and I have had some specific goals to work on. Waits, and Tugging!

Her wait training is going reasonably well; I find waits really boring to train which is probably why Kim doesn’t have one at all anymore, and Dylan’s has deteriorated to almost nothing. Oops. We’re hitting the three-D’s this week (maybe because it makes me think we’re working on Apparition, which frankly sounds way more fun), Duration, Distance, and Distraction. I need to start practising this in new environments too, but … boring.

I’ve been playing lots of tugging games at home, mainly switching between toys so that whatever I have is best. Rio has no problem with this game, she will attempt to tug with whatever I offer. She definitely loves her food so we do most of our work with toys, if I need to train with treats I can do but I much prefer tuggys for agility and flyball.

Rio will not pick up a dead tug toy though, so that’s our goal for the next few weeks. I’ve been throwing her tuggy out and then racing her to it, and she will race ahead to the toy … then she turns around and runs back and forth between me and the toy until I get there. Not quite the right idea!

I have been trying not to push her waits at training class, so we mainly play wait games whilst the other dogs are working. Speaking of, she was back to being super-focused and super-enthusiastic this week, she loves tunnels and was sending on beautifully through the jump wings to her toy (and then running back to me, etc etc). We also did some turn work around the pole, which is really starting to drive home now. I am excited about getting to run a dog who can turn again! Although I can’t say cik and cap as my Yorkshire accent mangles it, so my current commands for Ri are Go (extended) and Kip (collected). I’m going to sound ridiculous on course shouting kipkipkip but if it works, I’m willing to make the sacrifice.

As Dylan went to hydrotherapy on Tuesday, Kim got to take his place in class. She was very enthusiastic and excited about being there, even if she runs like an old lady these days (not quite as much flexibility as she used to have!). As long as she’s happy, I’ll keep entering her in the odd show (she’s at Penrith in June next), and let her enjoy herself.