a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Dogs dogs dogs, what can ya do?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dogs dogs dogs, what can ya do?

SUMMARY: summarytext

Jake is so weird about playing. He's put on a couple of pounds in the last couple of months, so I really need to get him moving. He's usually (but not always) eager to chase a squeaky in the living room, but it's dangerous in particular for my assorted breakables if the toy gives a bad bounce, so I'd rather have him out in the yard. Besides, he gets good full runs better in the yard, where in the living room they're more like a couple of leaps and a pounce.

This afternoon I leashed the other 2 dogs and tried to get Jake to chase his toy. He was having none of it. I called him back repeatedly as he kept trying to escape into the house (at a full run, mind you, so it's not like he wasn't comfortable running). Wouldn't chase it. Wouldn't get it. I pulled his tail, pulled back on his collar, spun him around, blew in his ear and face--which usualy gets an excited chirp out of him, but he just folded his already-back ears even further back and ignored me. I tried putting him through a tunnel to make it look like a job, and he just stopped halfway into the tunnel to look out at me. I took him out to the side yard where sometimes he'll play, but he'd have none of that, either. I kicked the toy around, held him back, threw it in the air, bounced it off his feet, anything I could think of. Finally made him lie down in the side yard and walked away. When he came trotting aroudn the side of the house, I said "ah-ah!" and took him back and made him lie down and walked away for another minute. When I finally came back & released him, it took him only about 30 seconds more of exhortations to decide to play.

And then--it wasn't reluctantly--all of a sudden his tail went up and started wagging, ears went up, he pounced on the toy and brought it back. So I threw it for him maybe 20 times, if that (a very light play session historically) and most of those throws only 20-30 feet across the lawn. And then he didn't want to stop.

When he starts running and panting now, he makes these somewhat bothersome horking noises in his throat, as if he's exhaling around a flap of skin or something (maybe related to his increased likelihood of snoring, and louder). I don't want to push him into exercising if it's going to give him a heart attack, but he has no problem running across the yard to check out a squirrel (admittedly, not repeatedly) or, as I said, play indefinitely in the living room.

What a dork.

Boost did great in class today. Did very nice pretty darned fast full-Performance-height aframes over and over. Did full-height teeters pretty fast, still faster than Tika most of the time, I think, but definitely slowed if I was behind her. So I have to work more at getting her to drive to the end on her own. Did several sets of weave poles perfectly (which we've been having a lot of trouble with for several weeks)--but then I discovered that they are new 24-inch-gap poles, and mine are I think 20", which is in the USDAA range, but apparently AKC is allowing the full 24". This makes a big difference. So I put her through a few sets of the regular 21"ers up there at the end, and she skipped poles the first couple of times but then did good.

Tika -- well, got her to focus on me and play with me in the yard today rather than constantly looking for squirrels. I think it has to do with me mostly ignoring her yesterday and today while trying to get some work done. I'm trying to work on her "out" with intervening obstacles, and we're having trouble. I aim her in a sit-stay at the far side of a U-shaped tunnel, then I run at the near end and tell her "out" and she's fine. But if I put a jump between her path and me, she always comes in to it, even if I try to gradually sneak her sit-stay just past the jump so she continues to take the same line to the tunnel... but she doesn't. Argh.

Only 4 legs for her ADCH: 2 jumpers, a gamble, and a snooker super-Q. We could conceivably earn three of them this weekend (2 standard, one gamble, one jumpers offered). Then Bay Team Regional Championships next weekend has 2 jumpers and another gamble--they're doing 3 standards but I entered only one because she's also in Team and Steeplechase and Grand Prix and I'm also entering Boost in 4 classes. So that's plenty for me for the weekend.

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