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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coordination and Balance training

On Sunday after a nice lie-in, lunch and walk with the dogs we took Zaz and Itzy to a Coordination and Balance Training class. The class was given by Hannah. It was a great class and well worth bringing any young pups. Thanks Hannah we really enjoyed it!

So on a beautiful Sunday afternoon we packed up the entire Obay crew and went off to Karen for lunch and a walk.

The whole sheltie crew fits nicely in my new car cages. I think the oldsters up on the top bunk enjoy their own personal crates and great views out to the world.

The three sisters (Zaz, Itzy and Yaz) could not be more different in personalities and looks. I love seeing how each personality develops. I do not like to give "labels" to each pup because people take it too seriously when you do. Instead I just like to enjoy watching them grow and develop into their own unique character. I think their characters are definitey also shaped by our own preferences.


Zaz and Itzy definitely like to stick together. Zaz especially doesn't see the point of other dogs besides her own little pack.



Hannah's "Balance and Coordination"class exposed the puppies to new wobble boards to wobble, cavelletti poles to trot over, ladders to coordinate their feet and ramps to help them learn to shift their weight. Everything very easy and slow for the pup-lets. Neither Zaz or Itzy had done work on the ladder yet nor the ramps or cavellettis. The most interesting thing about the wobble boards was something that no one would have guessed when watching Zaz on them that day.

Earlier that week Dennis made me a new wobble board for the pups as the only other wobble board they had been on was their baby one. I put the wobble board on our new paved area and just took it for granted that both pups would go on with no problem. Itzy seemed to have no trouble and pounced right on it and was soon doing her rights and lefts on the board. Zaz is much heavier and the first time she put her feet on the board it slammed down onto the slate paving and gave her a little jolt. That was it; she was not going near that thing again! I sat next to it and just tried to encourage her on it and she would circle the board confidently but just refused to put her feet on it. It became a game of just how close could she get to the board without touching it!

Yes! Our first training challenge! I was so psyched and couldn't wait to train. (get "That Winning Feeling" by Jane Savoie if you want to understand that joke right Diane and Ann?) Well really I wasn't that positive about it initially; my bad trainer brain just wanted to plop her on the board and say "get over it"! But then I sat back and thought "What would Susan Garrett do?" and I felt calm again. I would look at this as a challenge and shape it!

So we did and I clicked her for looking at it, nose touching it (she did lots of that!) and finally putting a foot on it. I also brought her out with Itzy and while Itzy was playing on it and getting treats; soon Zaz was getting more and more worked up over missing out. We did just 2 minute sessions 2-3x per day for 2 days and by the 2nd day she was on the board and doing her tricks happily. Result!

So you can imagine how thrilled I was that at this training class Zaz had no issues on any of the wobble boards even the big one that took the small pups for a magic carpet ride not unlike any Disney theme park ride!



I worked mainly with Zaz during the training but did bring Itzy out when I wanted to give Zaz a break. Both pups dealt with the new environment well and were focused on working with me. What more can you ask at this age? You would not be able to tell by these two videos that Zaz was worked with at all! Why does Dennis only do photos and videos of HIS dog? Itzy on the large wobble board. Itzy in the ladder. Itzy Itzy Itzy....

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3 comments:

Diana said...

The "get over it" comment cracked me up. Diana

Sheltiedoc said...

That's a REALLY wobbly wobble board! I want one! I fear for the hardwood floors, however!

Teri said...

I have also been having my "What would Susan G. do?" moments. I'm enjoying your blog. I have a sheltie puppy of a similar age, born Dec. 8.