This weekend I worked on some commands with Harlow. Dried liver delights in-hand, we worked on eye-contact. More directly, looking into my eyes when I say “look at me”. I’d flail my arms around, say “look at me!”, and click the minute she made eye contact. I introduced a clicker into the mix for clarity, and now my challenge is to shut my mouth and let the clicker and the treats help Harlow figure out what I want from her.
We also worked on “drop it”. Although it is annoying when she brings a toy and won’t release it, it’s not going to effect her safety or the safety of someone else. It is good for her brain though. And working on that elusive habit of LISTENING TO ME. She got good at “drop it” too. Now we just have to keep it up so that she’ll do it automatically and not just when there’s dry liver handy.
I also took her for a walk on Sunday and for the first time used a backpack Kim gave us for Christmas years ago. When I first got it, it was too big on Harlow and I sort of tucked it away for a bit. But yesterday I got to thinking that this backpack could help expend some energy. So, I put a bath towel in each pocket so it was evenly weighted, and then I put on her new, crazy, somewhat dominatrixy anti-pulling apparatus and (after twenty minutes of trying to figure out how to get it on her properly), we were off!
But first we paused for a photo. I was excited to try, “look at me!” and see if she’d do as I asked. But I had no liver on me and she knew it, so I was out of luck this time.
Saturday afternoon I joined my family for Dad’s birthday celebration – a visit to the PEM followed by dinner, followed by cake, ice cream, presents, and a game of ancient good-god-that-game-goes-on-forever-Trivial Pursuit. I thought back on Christmas and how quiet all the dogs were, splayed out like randomly placed throw rugs. Thinking back on this made me realize how truly unrelaxed my dog was Saturday night during Dad’s birthday gathering. She just wouldn’t settle down. Busy busy busy.
I really don’t think a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit by a crackling fire counts as over-stimulating, so I do find myself wondering about the inner-workings of my canine. Of course, it may simply be that she didn’t get a chance to burn energy. Since we can’t go to the dog park for a while, I’ll need to figure out how to do that more effectively. Simple as that!
Simple…oh, Cyd, you’re so funny.