Sunday, July 5, 2009


Since Katie hates the van, I cannot take her with me when I take Riley and Reagan out to train (because we take the van). Stephen can't take Katie on hikes with his hounds because his Volvo will only accommodate 3 greyhounds. And neither of us wants to leave Katie home alone. So we solve the problem by trading dogs.

Of course, I think Stephen gets the best end of the bargain. Katie has to be one of the best trained greyhounds on the planet with an agility championship and a utility level obedience title......... and I get Allie. Allie is alright, but she is no Katie. I am sure Stephen would like you to know that she is a Field Champion lure courser and has a Canine Good Citizen.
Allie bounces between two extremes..... a live wire and near death. Allie is so lazy. Difficult to rouse, she can be slow to potty in the mornings and before bed. Allie would happily trade a long walk for a piece of kibble. She LOVES her crate..... because she eats in there and if she is in her crate she may get to eat again. Allie does not mind being left home alone. We could easily leash up the other 5 hounds and walk out the front door and she probably would not even get up. But wave a crumb under Allie's nose and she comes alive with dancing feet. "Do you want to see me sit? Down? Sit? Down?"
So we did a little free shaping with a box. Free shaping is when you do not provide the dog with any clues as to what you want him or her to do. You simply click and treat when the dog does something in the right direction. I provided Allie with a big box that I wanted her to step her front feet into. I clicked and treated for her interactions with the box. Eventually, I only clicked and treated for a touch with her foot. It took several sessions, but she finally understood that I wanted her front feet in that box.

I think Allie has enjoyed the extra attention and food. And as you can see, both are fans of the large round bed in our living room.