Baby steps, giant steps and ramps

Set up a track for Toka yesterday, at Taughannock. I like training at the park.  After we work the dogs get to stroll around and play in the water.  Fun for all involved.

I’ve stretched the distance between his targets (a la Lucy Newton’s classes at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy) to 2 giant steps.  He did well, and pulled like a little tank.

I’ve signed him up for Hannah Brannigan’s Obedience ‘Skill Building 1’ class, also through FDSA.  We’re taking baby steps in the world of obedience training.  Here’s his baseline video for hand touches and beginning pivot disc work.

The hand touch will be the foundation for numerous obedience exercises.  Can be used for heeling, leg weaves, stands.  They’ll help teach him to shift his weight backwards, important for heeling and collection work.

We do pivot disk work for precision, and to teach hind end awareness.  He’s clearly much better at moving counterclockwise than clockwise.

And, of course, Toka has plenty of time and opportunity for social interactions with both dogs and people.  Here’s a video of him playing with two of his friends, Splash and Rook taken Thursday, July 29.

He’s played with Splash before, so she’s more appealing to him than Rook (and Rook is also a boy!  It was pretty funny to watch them meet.  Both of their little hackles went up for about 10 seconds as they stiff-legged around each other, before they launched into playing).

Last night, I took him to a party at friends’ lake property.  I had some reservations about bringing a puppy to a party, but he was great.  Charmed everyone, for the most part was very polite, and loved following the adult lab that was there.

This morning, I volunteered to run registration for the local triathlon.  Packed sleepy Toka up and was at the lake at 5 a.m.  Another volunteer’s responsible daughter kept an eye on him while I was busy – worked out great for both of them.

After registration closed, we walked around and saw bikes, bleachers, big trucks, lots of tents, tons of cars,  big lights, and banners flying in the wind.  I stopped counting the number of people who wanted to meet him at 100.  All commented about his looks and sweet nature.

He’s napping now, in preparation for more tunnel training and a play date with a Corgi this evening.

As an aside, Kiyo has been diagnosed with a strain/sprain of her right front foot.  Her right front foot is still bandaged, and when we go out has to be covered with her waterproof boot.

One of the few things she’s been cleared to do is practice nose work. I’m using a ramp to get her in & out of the car.  After one session of practice, she uses it like a pro. What a good dog!

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