Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring Training

We're taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather this week and visiting one of our favorite neighborhood training places - the cemetery. Training outdoors provides all kinds of new distractions - smells and sounds of outdoors, some traffic, an occasional jogger, bicyclist or dog walker, birds, etc. The cemetery we train at has several undeveloped (meaning no grave sites yet) open grassy areas for training and free play.

We spend a brief time working on the scent discrimination (articles) exercise, plus a little heeling and pivots. Then it's free time, which he uses to wander around checking out all the new sites and smells. I'm trying to increase the ratio of time spent playing and exploring outdoors with him vs. formal training. Maybe we both need to 'lighten up' : )

Between trips to the cemetery, we also stopped in our regular vet's office today to leave a blood sample. I decided to go ahead and have a complete thyroid panel done on him to rule out any thyroid problems. He just seems a lot less energetic lately. It could be some pain with the lameness issues that's slowing him down, or maybe something else is going on.

I took the camera along to try to capture some pictures of our outdoor training, but alas, the battery was dead. Maybe next time - if we get another warm day soon!


Jennifer H. said...

Wasn't the weather AMAZING the past couple of days??!! We are so ready for spring.

Kathie R said...

Yeah, And, it can't come too soon for me :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jackson,

Wish your human had her camera - would have loved to see some photos of you doing training and also of the cemetery.

I think you are SO amazing with all the things you do - especially getting stuff like your CDX! I've tried a bit of that and it's really hard! I can do most of the stuff but the scent cloth thing is just a bit beyond me! :-) My human was planning to work on that with me - but then she decided that she liked doing Canine Freestyle better and coz she only has limited time to train me, she has to stick with one thing at a we're now working on a new Freestyle routine instead!

What sort of things do you have to do for a UD?

Honey the Great Dane

Kathie R said...

Thanks! I think the AKC (American Kennel Club) UD title may be a little different here than in New Zealand. Here we have hand signals from across the ring; scent discrimination with metal and leather articles; directed retrieve with three gloves; moving stand for exam; and the directed jumping (going out across the ring, stopping and sitting on command, then taking the correct jump on signal from Mom.) It's a lot to remember - and sometimes I forget what each signal means! Is that similar to your UD exercises?

Your Freestyle is awesome. Can't wait to see your new routine :)