Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Odds And Ends

Just a very random post...  First, Riley has been green lighted to get back to work.  She had some lower back and illiopsoas soreness that the rehab vet found.  I gave her 3 to 4 weeks off from work with lots of laser therapy, massage, and stretching.  Riley and I are so happy she is allowed to play again! We will, of course, be easing back into it.
Maddie is now 15 months old.  We are working on weave poles, jump sequences, and contact obstacles. Right or wrong, I depend heavily on food motivation in training and Maddie just is not food motivated consistently and never at a level on par with my other greyhounds.
Maddie is definitely forcing me to get comfortable using toys.  The funny thing is that I did want to learn to use toys, but had Maddie been food motivated, I am sure I would have long forgotten the idea of training with toys by now.  I have done that with all of my other hounds.  Travis, Katie, Seven, and Riley were/are very toy motivated, but I just never bothered with it because I am great working with food and they were/are great at eating. So I got the challenge I asked for. I try to approach each training session with "what will you teach me today?" instead of focusing on what I will teach Maddie.
Here is a little video of Maddie working on weave poles and contacts.
As you can see, Maddie was food motivated for the contact training the day I videoed.  I do have a feeding strategy that helps to promote food motivation on training days.  I tend to think about how much food Maddie needs to eat in a week rather than per day.  So on her days off and hike days, I over feed her and then under feed the meal or two prior to training sessions.  I use toys as much as I can, but some things (small detail work) are best trained with food.
Seven is doing great!  She is running well, training awesome, and staying sound.  Her "trick" wrist has been quiet and has caused her no problems lately.
I am just so grateful when all my hounds are happy and sound.
Seven's movie, "Pain and Gain", came out on DVD in the USA. There were no additional scenes, but the photo of she and Rebel Wilson did make the back cover.  I thought that was pretty cool.  I have now seen it about 13 times, I think, and can just about quote the entire movie. I still need to put together my photos and clips from filming to a couple of songs from the movie.
Well, summer is just about over.  I am looking forward to the heat not being a factor and being able to play/train/work dogs in the middle of the day!