Sunday, August 8, 2010

Soleil visits friends in Boulder

I was up very early Saturday morning to go for a 2-hour trail run with Sage and Summit. It's amazing how much TIME a puppy eats up in a day. Since I wanted to be out on the trail before it got too hot, that meant I needed to be up by 5am so I could train and play with Soleil and tire her out as she would be spending three hours in her X-pen while we went for the run.

When we returned, I immediately packed her up and we left for Boulder to go visit my friend, Judy, who has several Aussies. Sisu is her 6-year old competition dog and Merlin, her 6 mos. old puppy. Soleil got to play in the back yard and meet the dogs. We had to carefully watch Merlin as he thought Soleil would be great fun to play with but not only is he huge, he's going through that klutzy adolescent stage. So he got to perform fun tricks while calmly meeting Soleil.

As usual, Soleil was her very confident self. Exploring the yard, appropriately greeting both dogs, and digging a nice little Sheltie-sized hole in Judy's Hosta garden.

Training update-
Soleil is walking nicely on leash (only occasionally crossing behind to check something out). The hand touch is on cue. She is offering a sit and we'll start playing with a down this week. Her recall is very good right now and she goes crazy when being restrained for the restrained recalls. She is tugging harder now and her growl sounds like a Gremlin.
I feel like I've been taking my time with the trick/position training but right now I've really just been focusing on building play/tug drive and chase games. Her appetite has increased quite a bit so she is more interested in food now which is making it easier to shape behaviors.

Today Jen came over with Bode and we worked through the August Clean Run Central course (by Annie Pyle). We spent two hours running each sequence and analyzing strategy. Many times it came down to  handler location to get the nicest turns. I replaced two of the single jumps with spreads since I always like to practice crosses, recalls, and Sends over the double and triple. Afterwards, Jen held Soleil for restrained  recalls. Soleil loves this game and it really makes her crazy to get to me.

This afternoon, I decided to use the glue remover I bought at Sally's Beauty Supply to attempt to remove some of the excess glue on top of Soleil's head. It worked and she was such a good girlie to lay *mostly* quietly while I massage the oil into the fur. Then of course that followed with her first bath and nail trim. She was not a happy camper during the bath but when I took her outside in the yard to dry off, she forgave me and after rolling in the grass several times, she was happy to play tug.

We have another free weekend next week and then it's off to Laramie, WY for three days of USDAA. Soleil will get to meet lot's more people and since it's USDAA, she will get to hang out ringside (it will be interesting to see her reaction to a dog running a course since I never have her outside watching me train Sage and Summit).

That Thursday before the trial, I have a full-day seminar with Daisy Peel!!!! Stacy brought her out and I'm auditing the running contacts session on Monday and doing the full day high-drive Masters level session on Thursday. I am very excited to train with Daisy.


Ricky the Sheltie said...

Sounds like Soleil is learning lots and having fun too! There is so much to teach a puppy!

Can't wait to hear all about your seminar with Daisy Peel! I think that would be awesome!

Priscilla said...

Soleil sounds like a great pup to teach and she is just doing so well!!
Have fun with her!

Elayne said...

We're going to Daisy's handling seminar too, I'm also looking forward to it.

I saw Merlin on Sunday, he seemed so big to me but Judy says he should turn out on the smaller side. Such a little chunk man though, so cute.

Kathy said...

My last instructor did a lot of training with Daisy, and I got to watch a lot of videos and read a lot of the notes and all and she seems pretty awesome to do any training with. I love how Soleil looks so confident...her body posture just looks like she makes herself at home everywhere.