Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Weaves #2

I learned two important things in weave poles class last Thurs:

1. If I don't stop relying on the leash to get Iris' attention, Katrin is going to strangle me with it (and Katrin does have a point! It does me no good when Iris isn't wearing a leash so I shouldn't need it when she is).

2. If I'm "cooler than dirt," I'm also cooler than other dogs, people, the ground, cars, etc.

Iris was pretty good about waiting her turn during class. I had her out of her crate while Makin was running, and she gave me really good attention. Of all the dogs in class, Iris is least reactive to Makin, so I was stacking my odds a little there. Eventually, I'd like to work up to "watch a dog run, sit in the crate through the next dog, watch a dog run..." So she can alternate between giving me attention and sitting quietly (my ultimate goal would be for her to relax outside of the crate, but I think using the crate is more realistic right now). The way the class is arranged, waiting dogs sort of cluster around the door while one dog at a time works on the obstacles. So Iris does spend a lot of time waiting in close proximity with the other dogs. I think this is going to be a good thing for her to learn.

When it was Iris' turn, Katrin got her really revved up and excited. Iris was a lot less interested in the other dogs and more willing to just play with me. She was also much faster and more interested in doing the equipment than stopping for treats (or running off to harass other dogs, sniff the floor...) It was lot of fun! Now I definitely need to do more of this with her.

I realized that I don't do a lot of playing with Iris at home. When I do try to play with her, she'll immediately switch to playing with the Beagle (Henry is the coolest chew toy ever). If I have a toy, she'll keep playing with me because she can't let that Beagle have her toy! Goofy girl. I'm going to try using play as reward for weaves practice at home, so we'll see how it goes. And maybe on Thurs, I'll remember to be cooler than dirt.


Jules and Ike said...

If I don't stop relying on the leash to get Iris' attention, Katrin is going to strangle me with it

OMGROFL (I think I have that right), in other words, hysterical.

Tie the leash around your waist so your hands aren't on it.

[and guess what?! my word verification says Ikey!!]

And as someone who is working REALLY hard to build up a wee bit of toy drive in her odd duck Schnauzer, if you can get Iris toy motivated - DO IT!!!

Blue said...

Tying the leash around my waist is a good idea! I'm going to try that in the yard with her tomorrow.

Iris will play tug with me, but it's not quite her favorite thing yet. What are you doing with Ike to motivate him?

Cool word verification! :)

Katrin said...

You got it girl! I will soooo strangle you with that leash! (or just take it away from you FOREVER!) LOL!

For building toy drive Susan Garrett has a good 'system' (I think Julie did some of this with Ike)


Katrin said...

And I am IMPRESSED, you learned a LOT that class, LOL! 2 VERY important things. Hahahaha.

Jules and Ike said...

Yes, I used Susan Garrett's method. I bought a couple of toys that Ike thinks are beyond cool (real raccoon tail and screaming monkey) and they ONLY come out when we are playing together. That is the key really.

For a long time I misunderstand creating a motivating toy and thought it meant I needed to take away ALL of Ike's toys. not so - just have uber-special ones for toy drive "work"!!

Blue said...

That's a great link! I'm going to try that with Iris. Keeping a couple of toys just for "special" play is a good idea.