Monday, June 27, 2011

Kipling's lessons - Day Seven.

Well the little man has been home with us for a week now (if you count that first night in the hotel). Since then he's learned lots of FUN things. Right now I'm concentrating on  what I'll call my top 10 foundation skills: Come, sit, down, his name recognition, patience, learning about an off button, learning to be quiet in his crate, house training, the beginnings of wait and stay and retrieving.
Kipling retrieving a metal scent article.

Retrieving is pretty high on that top 10 - not just a formal retrieve (a'la obedience), a retrieve is so much more::
- A means to reinforce motion in a behavior: When it comes time to pay for speed in the weaves or distance work (obedience drop on recalls, signal exercises).
- A retrieve is a super-way to burn off extra energy and to get in conditioning runs.
- A demonstration and reinforcement of a partnership - give and take. Team building 101.
- A foundation for those advanced obedience exercises: retrieve on the flat, retrieve over the high jump, scent articles, gloves...it's all about having a solid foundation of retrieve.
Kipling brings his own cookies to the party.

To that end Kipling has been working his retrieves - with any object. So far he's retrieved a spoon, a wooden dumbell, a plastic dumbbell, a metal scent article, a carrot, a bag of wellness snacks, a can of 'easy cheese', a recycled spice container with zukes inside (food tube), a hand towel, a tuggie, a dog dish and a string cheese wrapper. If I toss it for you and ask you to go get it, please go and get it and then you will get something - right now that something is food and play, but in the future it could be more retrieving or in the obedience ring maybe just a smile.

Just for fun:
March 17th, 2011: Ten week old Teller retrieves a metal scent article.
And a cute one that doesn't entirely fit in this post....
Kippie awaits his impending audience.


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