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The two toy game – adding motion

Before I go on with the newer behaviors that I started working on with Chispa over the weekend (at the show, ringside, because I wanted to do something other than just feed her for being cute…), I want to finish up with the Two Toy Game. Obviously I'll continue to work on it, but this last step of three is really all that is required to continue building up a nice retrieve. Of course, having said that, my dogs are not retrieving champs by any stretch of the imagination – they have functional retrieves. Meaning to say, they'll bring back a toy, often through a crowd of staring border collies, and drop it nearby. And, during training, they'll bring back a toy to play with whatever OTHER toy I might have, or, continue playing with ME with the same toy.

Homemade Tug Toys

Homemade Tug Toys

I'm pretty sure I've already mentioned that I don't do a lot of toy/ball throwing – playing fetch has just never seemed to me to be an efficient use of my time with my dogs. If they need exercise, we ALL walk, off leash if possible, and over varied terrain whenever possible. If they need mental stimulation, we play games together that don't require a lot of space, or they play with food puzzles. And, of course, we do some agility. And, all too often, I see clients at workshops and seminars who have border collies who have learned to not come inside that magic “she's gonna throw the ball” radius, and when I ask, “do you play a lot of fetch with your dog?” the answer is invariably yes 🙂

In any case, here it is, adding motion to that beginning retrieve!

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The Two Toy Game – Get The Live Toy

Last week was an amazing week here at Clear Mind Agility, because it was Summer Camp Week. I'll write more about that later, separately, at www.daisypeel.com, where my ramblings on life in general reside. This is all about Chispa! No real “formal” training happened, but she did get passed around, a LOT. Between camp duties, teaching, and such, it often fell to my trusty helpers to make sure Chispa was cared for during the day, and she was a champ being passed around. My trusty helpers were champs too; Chispa knows not to chew on me, but each arm is a new lesson to be learned.

Chispa also got to play a little in front of a crowd, which was great. On the first evening of camp, Sandy Rowan, a wonderful instructor who lives just down the road, gave a presentation on motivation and drive – timely, as the instructors and campers were then able to refer to the material all through camp to keep dogs going til the last day. In any case, Chispa got to play with Sandy as a demo dog, in front of a crowd of people, while I watched on. It was a great opportunity for me to see how she'd function in front of a group of onlookers, and, after all, isn't that what agility (at the competitions, anyway), is all about?

I do think that it's important to take your show on the road, as it were, with your puppy. Even if “the show” is sitting for a cookie, or a very small recall, it's important, in my mind, to start practicing the PERFORMANCE aspect of those behaviors as a team, in front of others. And, as Chispa's future undoubtedly includes performing in front of onlookers in both a teaching/demo and competitive environment, it was great to see that she seemed to really revel in the whole process of being a demo dog (I think the term was “she's such a HAM”). Sadly, I was too busy enjoying watching to get any photos or video, but Chispa was clearly reveling in the attention, AND, to my delight, even seemed to enjoy and feed off of the crowd laughter when she did something “naughty”. I'm not sure if that sense of “got game” can TRULY be trained, personally. We (dogs and people) can learn to enjoy the game, and to cope with the obstacles that are put in our path when we choose to step in to the arena and perform in front of a crowd, but that love of the game, a love of showboating? I'm not sure that can be taught. Maybe, but I was happy to see that Chispa appeared to enjoy hamming it up for a crowd with Sandy.

When things finally settled down after camp, I got busy on shifting focus back toward some daily training with Chispa, as well as her puppy booster shot (which she didn't even flinch for, but then again, she was nose deep in a kong filled with cream cheese). So, first things first…

Time to make some toys…

Homemade Tug Toys

Homemade Tug Toys

If you're not seeing anything more in this post, it's because you're either not a premium subscriber, or you are, but you aren't logged in, OR, you haven't been a subscriber LONG enough to see this content quite yet. Become a premium member to get access to handouts, videos, and a discussion forum for this blog series!

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Subscribing below will sign you up to an email list to get notifications of new content only in this blog, and nothing else 🙂 You won't be able to see ALL of the content unless you are a paid subscriber.

Want access to ALL the content in this blog?

Paid subscribers get access to details on the training Daisy is doing with Chispa, as well as access to handouts, videos, and a discussion forum where a group of select (non-BC) puppy owners are working alongside Daisy with their puppies!