Hops started his morning with perch work on a balance disk. I added myself into the mix and worked on him taking side steps with his back feet to end up in heel. He moved into heel better than into side position. We then worked on picking up a plastic measuring cup, a plastic dumbbell, a rubber handle and his nylon leash. He did a fantastic job, picking up each item and raising it directly to my hand, no backing up, no tossing the item, lifting and holding. Wow! We then played find the hole with his agility leash then a gentle leader. After putting his nose through the nose loop several times I put the leader on and had him do pushups, roll, bang and say hello while he was wearing it. He focused very well with it on. I then took it off and worked on backing without a target and built up to me standing up. He did great! It is interesting that he continues to pus his head down when he backs.
Later in the morning I played fetch with Hops, again with a ball thrown down the hallway. He was perfect, retrieving the ball thirty times in a row. Unless he accidently dropped it he brought the ball right back to me and dropped it at my feet for a treat. If he did drop it he picked it right back up and continued on his way to me. Good puppy!
Hops went to work with me today and had lots of play during the gap between my classes. First he played with two aussies, one 10 months one 20 months. They chased and wrestled and had lots of fun! When they left I played tug with Hops then had him do forward and lateral sends to a jump standard with tugging as the reward. I then practiced sending him to wrap a standard or wing then ran away, calling him to my inside hand with his toy in my outside hand as a distraction. As usual, if he came to the correct hand I passed the toy to that hand and played tug. If he chose incorrectly I removed the toy and we tried again. Next I put him in a sit stay, led out to the first jump then ran with him past two more. If he ran through all three standards I tossed his toy out in front of him. To end with I had him do pushups while on a short elevated plank. I elevated him so I could work on distance without him being able to move forward. He was able to do all three position changes with me three or four feet away.
This evening we went to our friend Kate’s house for nosework. Hops did a great job with all the interior hides (there were seven in all). There was a hide in a cat door, in a cat scratching toy, up on cat furniture (about 3.5 feet high), in toilet paper roll holder, on a basket, on the bottom of a trash can and on a table leg. He was a little distracted by all the new smells but got to work quickly and then went from hide to hide! He downed at all the low hides and sat at the medium ones. He had a little trouble with the boxes but that might have been because they were outside and he has not yet done nosework outside. I also think I need to do more on leash nosework with him. It was a great experience for him though and we were very proud of how well he did. After all six dogs had their turn searching, we brought Hops and Jack (their 6 month old lab puppy) in to play. They were not very interested in playing with each other at first but they warmed up and then had a romping good time! One of the funniest moments of the night was when Hops found their cat’s cat nip nail scratcher and he started rubbing himself on it just like a cat! He then played like crazy with the cat nip toy they had! Silly puppy!
Before bed Jeremiah had a training session with Hops. They worked on backing without a target, rolling over, bang, getting in a box, going around a chair, touch, face, it’s your choice with food, say hello, retrieving a handle to his hand, and balancing on balance disks. What a good team they make!