Establishing Routines

First, a video from our backyard!

I think we've finally settled into something that resembles a routine. They're getting at least a short walk around the block 5-7 mornings a week. This is always a short leash and collar walk as it gives us time to work on the skill with very infrequent stimulus. I'm also planning for a longer walk (30-60 minutes) every work evening. So far this week, I've succeeded. A downside to this city walking business is that I have to plan ahead more because otherwise we only walk on sidewalks.

Walking only on sidewalks is a problem because Buzz has been dragging his rear feet more lately (or I just noticed it because we're walking on pavement and he made a rear nail bleed yesterday)! So... today I haphazardly trimmed the fur all four feet and he wore boots on both rear feet. I also made it a mission to walk on grass as much as possible! We scouted out a whole new area in our "neighborhood" even!

Bailey alerted to two dogs across the street and down. She's really been more reactive this week and I'm still not sure why. We did not play LAT, instead I asked for right side walking and fed while walking until the other dog was behind us. I think my new goal behavior is for her to recognize a dog is there and then ask to continue moving. I'll see if we can set up scenarios like that in class.

We also alternate leashes. Buzz always starts out on the Flexi because his leash behaviors are always better (unless we're in a pet supply store). Bailey always starts out on a 6 foot leash. They both wear harnesses and when we find open space I switch the leashes often.

A huge success today is that they both complied with my request to get rid of that NASTY thing in their mouths. Bailey is very good about spitting things out when I ask her to. I usually have to decide if it's worth it to wrestle Buzz for the object or just let him consume it. I can't honestly say I've worked on this behavior but he dropped a bone tonight when I cued it! Bailey also dropped a squirrel carcass she discovered at nearly the same time. I was shocked and they were both paid quite well for dropping the nasty things they'd found!

I still need to get into the Kong filling and teeth brushing habits for them but right now, walking seems to be the most important. And so we walk! I could do without the wet though, oh boy could I do without the wet!

Hopefully I'll have time to get to Battle Creek again this weekend. Both dogs seemed to love it there and I certainly love it there!

(Apparently our music isn't working right now... oh well!)