Thursday, November 14, 2002

Tika Doing Good

Tika did pretty good in class yesterday and also last night when some friends' 3-yr-old came to visit.

Contacts: In class, she's doing contacts almost credibly. We're running the dogs over obstacles before & after the Aframe and dogwalk now. Tika's pretty fast but the dogwalk is a bit sloppy--I suspect because she's been running unsupervised across the dogwalk in my back yard and bailing off early on her own. Rachel suggests that I block off the ramps, which I've now forgotten to do 2 days running.

Jumping: She and I are still very green at running and jumping and handling. I feel so incompetent! She'll get it--it's just that I'm so used to dogs who steer pretty easily and who are old experienced hands (feet?) at the agility stuff.

Weaves: She did great weave pole entries and really fast weaves in class. She skipped one pole once--the second pole--because she hit them so fast she couldn't make it back into the 2nd pole after the 1st. She hesitated for a nanosecond, realizing she'd missed it, but we just went on, which is the right thing to do. Wahoo!

Tika on tableTable: She's really good at running onto the table & stopping while I run on. We're just starting to add the "down" to it. She loves being on the table, with Rachel's guidelines about playing with the dog on the table. In fact, she often takes her toy and just leaps onto the table herself to play with me--probably likes being closer to my level, plus I always play with her there!

Walking on leash: Well--A couple of weeks ago I was starting to think that never ever ever would she be able to walk nicely on a leash. I had even gone back to having a bag full of junk food and giving her a treat every time she was in the right position or turned back towards me without tugging on the leash first. Did that for about 3 days again and as soon as I'd run out of goodies, it was back to Wham Wham Wham on the leash. Then all of a sudden about 4? days ago--maybe a week? (sorry, the last 10 days have been a little fuzzy)--she started walking nicely on my *right* side again. It's as though there's a doggie Jekyll/Hyde thing going--left side she's the Leash Maniac, right side she's Miss Manners herself. I've taken to walking with Rem on my left and Jake on my right, too, and that seems to reinforce things for some reason. (Vs Tika on the left & Rem/Jake on the right.) I don't know whether this will last--seems that we went through this once before, too, and it only lasted a couple of weeks. But there does seem to be a glimmer of hope.

Small child: The 3-yr-old daughter of friends came to visit last night for a couple of hours with her parents. She was a little shy of the wild front-hall dogs at first, but Tika (although a dervish with her parents) was very gentle with her and even sat down briefly while she was next to the little girl! She never does that for *me*! After the little girl saw me telling Tika to Sit a couple of times, she tried it--and Tika actually sat for her most of the time! The gal follwed her around most of the evening, petting her gently, and Tika occasionally licked her face or hands, and didn't try to run away, and was a very good, sweet, patient, gentle dog. A side of her I almost never see! She would've been great in a family with kids.

Of course, Rem was the same way the few times he got to interact with kids--I remember him leading a couple of toddlers on a chase around the lawn, never moving very fast, just fast enough for them to almost catch him and then speeding up a little, all the time with a big grin on his face--and that was when he had a half acre yard and an entire house to hide in if he'd wanted to.

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