a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Practicing Contacts II

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Practicing Contacts II

SUMMARY: Am I making progress?
What I've really discovered is that my dogs no longer have excellent "touch"es on the little clear plastic targets. If I'm holding it in my hand, pretty good, but on the ground, pft!

That's on top of Boost (in particular) apparently having forgotten how to run to the end to do the touch EVEN IF I remind her half a dozen times beforehand. Example, I put her onto the dogwalk downramp, tell her "touch" as I release her, she goes to the end, touches (more or less) and I give her a treat. Repeat 5 more times, with her starting further up the ramp each time.

Then go all the way to the beginning and do a normal dogwalk, and she not only drops her front feet off the side instead of doing a touch, but also stands AND BARKS AT ME! This is from a dog who has never been much of a barker.

OK, Nancy G, you don't have to tell me "I told you so," because I remember over & over when we were in class & Boost was young and had gorgeous contacts so I stopped using targets that the risk was deterioration of criteria, and I just went my merry way while her contacts remained gorgeous for about 3 years...

When did I notice deterioration? A year ago? Two? Doesn't matter, they're really decomposed now. So back to the drawing board.

Meanwhile, we're finally getting some hottish weather here, after one of the coolest July/Augusts in history in San Jose. Fortunately, this weekend's USDAA trial is in Prunedale, right on the coast, so--we hope--not too hot, because I'm sweatin' just sittin' here typing. We can't all sweat, but there are other ways of keeping cool--


  1. guess humans aren't the only ones that degenerate without practice. hmmm....guess that's why Katie doesn't heel anymore either. Darn. Guess it's like algebra. If you don't use it...well. You know.

  2. But it's just like riding a bicycle... right?

  3. awwwwwww frustration but I'm sure you'll get it back ..means more practise though - aaaaggghhhh!

  4. Never actually saw a Australian Shepard, riding a bicycle...

  5. Ah, but Boost is a Border Collie, so that's OK.