and for some of us work is all play …

at least that’s the way it rolls out around here …

I worked all the dogs a bit today

Sally did some complicated rear cross work and directionals  through tunnels and jumps .. she did some HARD weave entries and she grinned, and bounced and played through it all

Thea just did a few tunnels and front crosses; a little work on the table and  a couple of efforts at the weave poles .. she was THINKING .. and WORKING and I felt sorry for her .. it was hard work to have that much fun today! (She didn’t shut down, opt out or otherwise stress but she also didn’t pass me once … which means gears were turning!)
Brody just toodled through some tunnels being rewarded heavily if he flew them. He was not particularly impressed but he obliged. Much later on I worked on his play drive. He has been shaped to tug a soft toy. He tugs strictly because he knows it is a behaviour I want – and he has trouble doing it in the face of a high value reward. Tonight I had chicken rollover which is quite high on his list so thought I’d shape tug again. The first time I held the toy Brody absolutely ignored it. He danced, spun, bowed, barked, backed up and finally glanced at the toy. A quick mark, treat and repeat. I raised criteria quickly but was game to start with a look as the last time I shaped this activity was either last summer or the Christmas break. So – it went look, look, mouth on toy,mouth on toy, mouth on toy, teeth on toy and short hold, teeth on toy and short hold, teeth on toy and short hold, then rip it out of my hand. He repeated the rip it away twice then I held on gently .. and he tugged. Repeated twice perhaps three times and then we were done. The whole process took maybe 4 minutes – and that included rewarding Sally’s nice down and Thea’s nice sit as they watched. If I want Brody to drive for toys, on course, where ever, I MUST keep paying him for this behaviour. Revisiting the shaping work just made sense tonight – and it worked! I love it when it works!

Sampson got to play today too. He did jumps and tunnels and a couple of very very short sequences.
I also pulled out a long plank to start shaping him to run along it (in preparation for dogwalk/teeter work). I have never shaped this equipment before but Sampson was starting to get the hang of it – he was running his front two feet along it at least! (When he started he was leaping the plank and bouncing and was quite positive that it would burn his tender toes). The temptation to lure him was strong as he is very motivated by both food and toys but I am really curious to see what happens to a fully shaped dog (if it’s even possible!)

Hard, fun work  play for sure!