Sunday, June 6, 2010

Put your left paw in, put your left paw out....

Lately I've gotten back to working with Ava several times a day on little random training things. Today, in about three 5 minute sessions, I taught her to distinguish her left paw from her right. "Paw" means left, and "shake" means right. She's picked it up really easily - much quicker than I'd expected. After I showed her once that "shake" meant she had to give me her right paw instead of her left, she picked up on it. Its amazing! In all the times that we've practiced it so far today she's only slipped up on her paws twice, which is just utterly amazing. I'd be embarrassed to admit how long it took me to get my left and right's, well, right. I still have to remind myself that I "write with my right..." to figure it out. Sigh. Ava's smarter than me, really, she is.

Snickers, on the other hand, is a bit slower. Whenever I work with him on training, he gets so excited at the prospect of food - even if I don't have anything - that its almost like he flips the switch on his brain to "off." He goes bonkers. Really. Think of a dog going bonkers and that mental image will be Snickers. He can't figure it out. We're still working on it though!

I'm hoping to really get serious about Ava's training though. I've been looking into trainers nearby to do some more obedience work because she really needs something for when we're in an area with distracts. For a husky, she listens surprisingly well (after all the expectations I had, anyways), but if something distracts her and breaks her focus, its nearly impossible to get her to zone back into me again. And since I'm in what I'm fairly sure is the least dog-friend place in the US, I'm having some issues with it. I found one woman though - she's about an hour and a half away and does obedience and intro to agility, so I'm hoping that'll work out. Ideally, I'd love to see Ava getting into agility and possibly rally work. It'll be great for both of us, but namely her and her boundless energy that I'm so jealous of. Wish us luck!

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