Thursday, July 31, 2008

5 Directions #6

Tonight we had our last 5 Directions class. I think we both got a lot out of this class. Iris was so good. She does exactly what I tell her to do. If I have my arm up, she stays out. If I bring my arm down, she comes in. My little dog swears she'll make a good handler out of me yet! :-) I really do have fun with my little red dog even if she is a crazy-head (and look at her head! Her eyes can't decide if they're blue or brown, her ears can't decide if they stand up or flop over, her funny little mane sticks out in all directions... She's a crazy head).

We started by working on the same tight-out-switch-out sequence that we worked on a few weeks ago, except this time we added jumps. Iris was stress sniffing when we started, but then she figured it out pretty quickly. I think I'm starting to get the hang of switch and tight. We've been working on those two a lot at home over the last couple weeks. Even more exciting is that they mowed all of the grass at the airport field last week, so I'm going to bring jumps and gates over there this weekend so we can practice this some more. At the very least, I need to try and remember that I have TWO hands I can deliver treats with. I am not an ambi-treat-deliverer. Like Zoolander, only with a dog instead of fashion sense (phew! I'd rather have the dog).

After that, we worked on the same sequence for "go" that we did last week. Iris did a lot less sniffing when we worked on this. She even started to go toward the other dogs, but turned around and came running back. Good girlie! I think a table in going to be my next project. Iris has no problem hopping up on it, but I'd like to work on getting her to down automatically.

Sandy brought her new Aussie puppy, Teddy, to class. He is adorable! I want to steal him, but I think eight people and three dogs is more than enough for one house. I'll have to settle for playing with Teddy in class. Iris says she's still the best Aussie ever.


Slightly off-topic, but I thought this post on Dolittler was really interesting - the comments are better than the post. Right now, raw isn't an option for Iris because she'd be the only one of the three dogs to get raw, which seems like a fast way to end up with food guarding. Anyway it's a study I've heard cited before, and I admit I've wondered about it in terms of ever switching Iris to raw (why risk making her reactivity worse?) The comments bring up some very valid points against the study results.


Jules said...

Hey Blue, Having a fear reactive dog (Ike), I have to say I experienced dramatic changes when I finally switched him completely to raw. Of course, there were many other factors - training, chiropractic adjustments, etc. But my personal experience was the opposite - much less reactivity!

Class was GREAT last night. Iris' last run was particularly nice - she (and you) are really *getting* it. Hooray!!

Blue said...

That's really good to know about Ike. I've gone back and forth about whether or not I want to switch Iris. It's not really do-able for me right now with the three dogs, but I'm hoping to get into my own place in the fall. I don't think feeding the exact same set of ingredients every day for the rest of my dog's life is actually completely balanced (I try and change Iris' around every so often anyway). Your dogs and Katrin's dogs all look great, and I'm sure Iris would think it tastes better.