As the weather gets better, the light lingers longer and I get more motivated I am working hard to spend a few minutes
playing training each of the dogs every day.
I presumed I was the one setting the time aside to
play work but upon consideration I’m not so sure I’m right. I find myself tripping over dogs at times now. And that prompts me to think. “What have I done with (Sally, Sampson, Brody, Thea) today?” When I think “nothing” that’s my cue to get organized and do something. So the dog cues me that it’s game time.
The dogs are always around. Don’t misunderstand me. If I can’t feel a dog touching me I look around for them. I can always see all of them. When Sally is awake she is watching me (which if you think about it makes sense- there is no doubt she has gotten the lion’s share of the
play training around here). That’s just the way it is. But now that I’ve been making an effort to do more with ALL of them they are much more aware of when it MIGHT be game time.
What have I been doing with the gang? Depends on the dog, and the day honestly. Lots of Zen for everybody. Flat work with the agility gang. With Thea I’ve been trying to do lots of confidence building things. Holding her back, revving her up and having her chase me. Brody does lots of zipping, a little tugging, some start line stays. Sampson mostly works on his listening skills. Tugging and releasing, sitting automatically coming straight to hand. Sally and I shake it up a lot. Some minutes are devoted to maintaining drive (tug, release, tug), others to calm down. I’m working hard to tweak her coming into position beside me and setting to work on position for start lines. She has not been taught this skill before and I’m annoyed I never realized how important it would be.
Literally 6 minutes is all I have some days. Less than 2 minutes a dog but every one is lovin’ it. (Except maybe Big T who finds we are all a little wired post work for a bit)