It might be frozen, but it’s not a toy!

Dogs love to play with new things.

When you are a high drive working dog, everything is on the list.  Take for example, something frozen and shaped to fit perfectly in the mouth.  It is really fun to bat around with your paws like a cat.  Best of all it smells disgusting.  That’s right folks, the perfect toy of the day is a nice big frozen dog turd!

Even in two feet of snow, poo patrol has got to go on.  Get your trash bags and scoopers out lest your dog find a new “toy” in your yard.

In further news, we had a bit of a backslide.  Either the dog has reached a plateau or he never really knew what we wanted in the first place.  Indication work bombed tonight.  First go at it, he ran up to me and didn’t bark.  Just looked at me and started sniffing around. It may have been perhaps due to the fact I was not directly facing him when I asked for the bark. I ignored him to give him a chance to figure out why we were just standing there.  No go. I took him back to Aaron and tried again from 15 feet away facing him.

I asked for his bark again.  He ran to me, stopped, and looked around.  I waited and he finally gave me a few good barks.  The pup went back to Aaron at a full run and flew threw the air to get the tug.  Yay!

dog in snow digging

Not that!

I don’t believe a pause is necessarily a bad thing.

It can mean that the dog has noticed something has changed and is confused or distracted by it.  When training, you must always take in account the three D’s.  Distance, duration, and distraction. You must practice a behavior while changing only one of the three D’s at a time until he does his behavior reliably with that one change.  Then change a different D and so on.  You will then have a dog that will do a behavior in any situation for any length of time.

It could also possibly mean that the dog is bored or is trying to figure out what in the world we want from him.

The best thing to do is back up a step or two in the training process.  Go back to doing something that the dog could do reliably for a while.  For us, this means that Grom just barks for the toy.  When he does this reliably a few training sessions, we can work our way back up to the step the dog was having trouble with.

Always think, strong foundation.  After a plateau or “setback” a dog with often rapidly improve 🙂

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