Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 6 of Training at 4 Paws

What a day!  I can tell the amoxicillin and cough syrup are helping me out both during the day and night.  Jacey slept really well.  She only woke up a few minutes before my alarm was to go off.  Breakfast at the hotel went really well also.  I placed Dublin in a down at the table with Jacey.  I dropped his leash and went and got her a bowl of cereal.  He stayed!  I'm so proud of him.  The reason I put him in just a down and not under is because the tables have the center pole making it ackward and hard for the dog to go the foot room thing.  Anyways, he was between Jacey's chair and an outside wall that no one would be walking past.

We made it to 4 Paws with Jacey screaming the entire ride.  We went to a park and began tracking for the morning.  The FIRST track (yes, we did two today!) was where Jacey walked with the wind blowing across her.  I got to feel the tug at the end of the leash today.  One thing that they warned us of was not being prepared for that tug, so I made sure that I was.  I didn't want to do a face plant and give everyone a good show!  But I'll tell you this, I could go a lot faster if I had skis on.  Dubbie was pulling like crazy.  When he was on Jacey's scent, the leash was tight and as he lost it, it would slacken up a bit.  I was able to see his body language and understand what it meant.  It is truly incredible what these dogs are capable of doing. 

Dublin is off to find his girl...and hot dog treats!

Jacey feeds Dublin his treats and we all praise him for a job well done!

Jacey giggles as Dublin wants more treats from her.

We got to go on a second track at the other end of the same park.  This time, Jacey walked with the wind blowing in her face.  Judd took the lead with this track and off he ran.  Let's just say that I'm a bit sore from all of this running.  Dublin again found Jacey and we were able to read his body language as he tracked. 

Getting ready for the second track of the morning.

Dublin is definitely on her scent now!  (She's on the other side of the white shed.)

Dublin gets more treats as Jeremy and Judd discuss Dublin's track.

Got anymore hot dogs?

Back in the car where it was warm!!!

After tracking was over, we went back to 4 Paws where we learned the "lap" command which is a passive command.  You use this when the child is upset.  Dublin will just lay his head on Jacey's lap during a "lap".  Go figure?!  He already does this in the car on his own.  They have told us that the more we practice the actual commands the more we will see them without prompting.  We also learned about tethering and practiced with another adult doing the pulling.  We practiced walking the dog in a "heel" as the other adult pulled and tugged on the leash.  We are to just keep praising the dog and motivate them with a treat to keep up if they seem to be getting behind you from the pulling.  We can also use the handle that is attached to the harness to help them forward if the child is REALLY resisting.  There is still lots more to practice and to learn.  They have five different behavior disruption techniques that we will be able to use with Dublin in different situations.

Dublin had to share his "place" with Jacey as she colors.
Learning the command "lap".

Judd, Jacey, and I went to the mall for lunch since we would be meeting there for the afternoon anyhow.  Again, the tables were ones with the center pole.  So I found a spot near a large post that was part of the mall structure where people would not be walking by, and placed Dublin in a down.  He did great!  The reason for this mall trip today was to learn about tracking in stores.  We went to Sears where Jennifer told Judd to hide with Jacey.  We start out on much shorter tracks in stores because in reality, you're not going to have five minutes pass before noticing your child is not with you in the store  (well, I hope not anyways!).  I found it interesting to see Dublin make large curves into the four way intersections of clothing racks trying to sniff his way to Jacey.  Apparently in store tracking, the skin cells don't have time to settle on the ground before you begin and so they will still be in the air.  Therefore, instead of his nose being to the ground, his head is up and sniffing the air around him.  Jennifer gave commentary as we did the track and I felt fairly confident that I could repeat it on my own.

We then had Jacey walk off with Jennifer and Judd got to give it a try.  Between these two short tracks it was interesting to see how much more "on track" Dublin was with the scent.  When I had him first, he took large sweeping circles at those intersections of racks.  Whereas with Judd, he just barely turned his head into that direction to see if there was scent that way.  It wasn't a full body sweeping motion but rather a simple head turn.  Very neat to see.  I'm hoping that maybe one day we'll video again and put it on the blog.  I'm sure you would enjoy seeing Dublin truly at work.  It was nice to see Judd take over the handling of Dublin and see that Dublin did well with him. 

After running in the morning and walking the mall in the afternoon, I was done in.  I needed to sit.  So we decided to drive over to Walmart where we had a few things to pick up and would continue to practice with Dublin there.  Judd took Dublin and Jacey while I picked up my chocolate fix that I might need during those "emergency situations".  :o)  (See previous post if you don't know about the emergency situations.)  I caught up to them and finished finding the few other things on our list.  I took Jacey for a ride in the cart, leaving Judd and Dublin behind.  It's fun because you can see the adult walking away with the child by looking over all the clothing racks.  But for Dublin, he can't see anything.  Needless to say, Judd got Dublin jazzed up about tracking Jacey and off they went in the middle of Walmart to find us.  Dublin did great.  We did come across an interesting thing right before Dublin found Jacey.  There was a woman in Dublin's path and she wanted to reach out and pet Dublin.  Judd didn't want to be rude but Dublin took over when he saw Jacey.  We praised him like crazy!!!

So then Judd took Jacey in the shopping cart for a little walk through the men's department to have Dublin sniff her out.  I got him excited about tracking and off he went.  No problem finding his girl!  We are so impressed that Jacey doesn't even have to walk somewhere for Dublin to be able to find her.  She rode in the cart both times at Walmart and he still found her.  Tracking is very intriguing and neat to see in action.  We will continue to practice at least a few times each week so that Dublin will continue to find it to be a fun game and to keep us well practiced in reading his body language.

We came back to our hotel room and vegged for a little while.  I actually got to take about a fifty minute body apparently doesn't remember the nap very well because I am getting a bit tired again!  I guess while I was napping, Jacey went over to where Dublin was laying down and decided to join him.  Judd got some great pictures!  After our short reprieve, we decided to try out tethering with Jacey in the lounge.  I didn't want to do it at the mall in fear of setting her into a complete meltdown.  So we waited to get back to the hotel.  She did fantastic!!!!  I am amazed at how much this little girl turns me into a liar and does well with things.  It was hilarious when Judd placed Dublin in a down and Jacey would run to the end of her tether and she would abruptly stop.  She thought it was the greatest thing ever.  Go figure!  Dublin did great with it as well.  He didn't budge an inch in Jacey's attempts to run past the end of her tether!!! 

During my nap, Jacey mellowed out next to Dublin for a little bit.

Jacey tested Dublin out to see if he made a good pillow.

Jacey giggles as she reaches the end of her tether.
Tonight was laundry night...of which I still need to fold.  Blah, blah, blah.  I guess I just need to remember that I only did TWO loads tonight for a weeks worth of wearing.  Normally I would still be washing and drying many loads past number two!  Jacey again wanted to come sit with me and ended up falling asleep.  I've really enjoyed this one on one time with her.  I think she has enjoyed it too.  Well, I'd better sign off and get in bed before this computer desk becomes too enticing to rest my head on!  Oh, and yes, Jacey is still sitting when we tell Dublin to sit or down.  Pretty funny!

Nothing like last nights yummy dinner!  It was Velveeta Shells and Cheese.  (Note to self - don't buy it again!)

Jacey got to talk to Bailey and Carsten tonight.  Afterwards, she got really relaxed and crashed on my lap.

Until tomorrow...


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