I applied some of our new training methods today. Rufus seems to be taking to them well. Even Sophie, a notorious puller on the leash walked lovely at heal, so long as I bribed her with food. She made it about 90% of the way before we got to a yard with two barky dogs. Then she forgot I had food and had to pull and bark. But 90% is an A- in my book so I’m happy. And as a former high school teacher, there is nothing wrong with a little food bribery to get what you want out of your students.
So now I’m armed with a few new things: I have a treat bag to use basically whenever I’m working with the dogs. Plus a WestPaw ball and a Jolly Tug toy to tie to the flirt pole.
Rufus wore himself out with the flirt pole. Sometimes he caught the toy, and sometimes I had not tied the knot very well and he ran off with it. No issues. We also worked on some “leave it” skills and he did well. In the backyard with a six-foot privacy fence, he doesn’t get distracted. I will take whatever progress we get.
Of course when I first busted out the new toys both dogs were super excited. They each got to play with one, which works only in theory. They were super curious as to what the other one had. Then they got tired of playing “give me your toy” and just wrestled with each other.
Today has been a thousand times better than yesterday’s pre-Eric visit. (I wrote the earlier post yesterday and saved it to a draft since I was so exhausted.) I have a worn out Doodle Bug and a treat-happy Sophie. Life is good today.