Friday, May 10, 2013

41-43 Weeks - Catch Up

At our last agility trial, Maddie earned the opportunity to play with Harp the Golden Retriever both days.  I have been working on taking the leash off... in that taking the leash off is not a signal to take off and play.  So that has been a challenge, but Maddie is getting the idea.  "Break" means you are free to do as you wish.
I was having trouble with Maddie not being food motivated in the mornings.  She would eat her meals, but refuse any treat offered.  She is bigger than Riley and Seven so she will likely always eat more, but as she closes in on adult size, it might be time to scale her back.
Maddie was eating two chicken backs and some meat mixture in the morning and three cups of kibble for dinner.  Riley and Seven only eat 1 chicken back, meat mixture, and 1 cup of kibble.  So I reduced Maddie's kibble to two cups.
And what a difference it seems to have made.  Suddenly Maddie is eating anything and everything offered at anytime quickly.
For the last couple of weeks, Maddie has been so much fun to train.  She is much more interested and motivated.  LOVE IT!
I need to make a video of her training progress.  Her verbal sits are great.  I can usually say "sit" and she will sit right where she is regardless of our distance apart.  Her retrieves are good, heeling is improving, and she is learning fronts on a platform.  We are doing two and three jump sequences (tiny jumps).  I am also working to gain control of her tunnels.  She gets so wild about tunnels.  She will turn around in them and shoot out and take off zooming.  So I have been working on sending her into the tunnel and giving a high value reward on the other side so she comes out of the tunnel looking for me.  Sometimes we do a jump, tunnel, jump, and reward.
But Maddie's scent work has fallen apart.  Remember the Scent-A-Whirl.  She was quickly finding the toy in the correct container and giving a strong indication.  Now she tends to indicate at each container and then eventually settles on one and indicates stronger.  I get the impression she is testing the waters and looking for me to give her a clue.
So the Scent-A-Whirl is in my garage.  I am just going to put it away for awhile.  There is no rush and I do not want to practice all the extra indication.
All in all, I love her new attitude and improved work ethic.
I was able to get Maddie under a wicket and determined she is 26 inches tall at the shoulder now.  About two inches taller than the other two.  She also weighs 58 pounds.  Only one pound has been gained in the last month.