(May 8, 2008 )
Nothing too intensive today. First, I decided to experiment and try a generic head halter on Kaylee to see if she would tolerate it. (See the other post from today for more details about that.) We made a brief stop into Orvis (if you have an Orvis outdoors store nearby, they allow dogs and have a small but nice selection of high-end dog beds, toys, and tack.) and practiced not sniffing, sitting politely while I stopped to talk to an employee, and just general manners. Then we went by Petsmart to pick up some treats (I grabbed an empty bait bag by accident instead of the full one I meant to get), where she also did well. (Proofing her against kids is going to be a challenge. I’m beginning to think that the collie attraction for small children- toddler sized is best- is as genetic as a lab’s predilection for water…) and then on to the Fort Worth Water Gardens.
This is the first time I’ve been to the Water Gardens since 2004, when 4 accidental drownings (a malfunctioning pump caused the water to be significantly deeper than usual) in one day caused them to be closed and redesigned. The photo to the left (from Wikipedia) was taken in 2003. The Pathway with the people on it is no longer accessible and a retaining wall has been built around the whole thing to prevent people from walking down into the bowl. I understand the safety concerns, but it was still a little bit sad to see the change- it was gorgeous before. Now it’s just.. there. The meditation pool and aerating gardens, which are the other two water features, were still the same as always. We just walked around for a while looking at things, not doing much in the way of training. On our way out, we ran into a kid who wanted to play hide and seek with Kaylee and Grady (Lindsay’s SD, who was out of vest) So we and the dogs hid twice for him. He was more enthralled with Grady, a dalmatian, than Kaylee, much to her chagrin.
That was it for today. Kaylee is coming along nicely- she’s INTERESTED in the world and curious about things, but does a good job of hanging out and observing, rather than deciding to go actively check them out. Sitting and waiting while my attention is on something else is already a fairly well established behavior.
Behaviors worked on: LLW, manners, sit
Training time: 2 hours
Need to work on: Increase precision on LLW and introduce real heeling, downs, active (rather than default) stays, car behavior, not tormenting Grady in the car.