Just a quick update on our training and tracking progress.
It has been too hot to get out in the field much to work on tracking. Even if I could get myself up at daybreak - and that's a big if - it would still be too hot to track. Nighttime lows have been mostly in the 70s this month with high humidity. But - we did get out a couple mornings ago when the temps dipped to the upper 60s. I was really, really pleased with his enthusiasm for finding the glove. We did 30- and 50-yard straight tracks, with the track layer doubling back on the track, and Jackson took off flying (well, loping - which is flying for him : ) to find the glove.
What I'm noticing now with the longer tracks, is when he gets about two-thirds of the way out he realizes he can't see the glove and he starts using his nose. Now, I don't know if he is smelling the treat on the glove or if he is smelling the track, but either way, he is finding the glove with no problem.
The next level is setting the 30- and 50-yard straight tracks but not doubling back on the same track. I may stay at the current level a couple more times out to make sure he is using the scent of the track to locate the glove.
We are also going to the club regularly to train to keep us mentally and physically active : ) Trying to keep the training fun and games. Susan Garrett has been posting some videos about her training challenges and struggles. She talks about staying in 'Do-land' as opposed to 'Don't-land.' In other words, communicating to your dog what you want him to 'Do' rather than what you 'Don't' want him to do. It makes sense to me and I'm trying to stay in that land more often - but, it's hard sometimes : )
The American Kennel Club (AKC) is now issuing Therapy Dogs a new title - THD - to place at the end of their names. This program went into effect June 27, 2011, and Jackson received his letter and patch in the mail today.
From the AKC website:
"The purpose of this program is to recognize AKC dogs and their owners who have given their time and helped people by volunteering as a therapy dog and owner team.
The AKC Therapy Dog program awards an official AKC title awarded to dogs who have worked to improve the lives of the people they have visited.
The AKC Therapy Dog title (THD) can be earned by dogs who have been certified by AKC recognized therapy dog organizations and have performed 50 or more community visits."
Jackson's name is now -
ROBINDANES HEARTBREAKER UDX RAE THD
We are particularly proud of this title as this is one of the things he does best : )