On the way home I stopped by some horses for Hops to be around and he did not seem afraid this time. He easily walked up to the fence, holding his ground when the horse approached us and was comfortable eating cookies right next to the horse’s nose. After that we drove to Renee’s house for a play date with Taffy. Hops loved exploring their yard and running around and around and around and around and around with Taffy!
I practiced some rally moves with Hops, starting with pushups on a raised surface to help him stay straight, then moving him on the floor out in the open. He did great with no barrier, there was minimal lateral movement on his part when changing positions. The most happened when he was standing from a sit. Then I added in fronts, heels, finishes, heeling, auto sits, moving sits/downs/stands and walking around him in a stay in all three positions. Moving around him with him in a stand is still challenging for him but he got it and did great with everything else.
Later I took Hops outside to play with me. I started by tugging with him then did some flat work including heeling with pushes and pulls, stays with recalls to heel and accelerating and decelerating, all with tugging as the reward. Then I sped things up by running with him and doing the same things. Then I had him do different moves with jump standards (rear crosses, forward and lateral sends, etc) with tugging as the reward. He is doing great with all of these and we have lots of fun playing! I ended the session with a two toy game. I threw one tennis ball then ran the other direction. When he caught up with me I had him drop the ball in he just retrieved and I tossed the one in my hand, grabbed the ball he just dropped and ran away again. He really seemed to like this version of fetch and came running to me with the ball every time and dropped the ball right away at my feet every time too.
For dinner the dogs first did some interior hides then they all took turns balancing on the peanut and doughnut. Hops was a very good boy and is very good at balancing! He is also a great nosework dog and did a good job with the elevation challenges I gave him tonight.
I started by supporting the doughnut but soon he was able to balance all by himself!