This past week I was so caught up traveling with Milo that the whole notion of working with Milo fell by the wayside. Oops. That’s OK (right?), everyone needs a vacation. Today we got back in the groove, at least a little bit.
When I asked him if he was “ready to work,” which is our cue that it’s training time, he lit up like a Christmas tree. Evidently, he was ready to work.
I didn’t have a plan, so this was more like farting around than working. But we had fun.
- We did some obedience basics: sit, down, stand.
- We did a few recalls on a long line, which are also practice waiting and coming to front.
- And then I laid down a couple of tracks and he worked them out.
Training is usually a lot of fun for both of us, I think because it requires that Milo and I pay single-minded attention to one another. It is actually quite a feat of interspecies communication: I ask him to do something, and he figures out what I’m asking and does it. We work hard at understanding each other. When the communication fails, we learn, and when it succeeds, we celebrate. The best thing about today’s session though was Milo’s happy face.
What sort of tracks do you lay out?
I love reading about your adventures with Milo!
Sent from my iPad 9.7
I’m so glad you like the blog! When I lay a track, I walk a path through a place I haven’t been before and drop a trail of treats as I go (sort of Hansel and Gretle style). The I go get Milo and take him to the beginning of the trail and tell him to ‘search.’ He puts his nose down and follows my track getting little rewards along the way. He likes sniffing and thinking hard, both of which are part of this exercise.
Obviously he understands language. But how? How does he understand the word “search” for instance?
I taught him. I’ll write a post about how when I’m not typing with my thumbs. It is basically a cue to start sniffing. Dogs love to sniff and so it is easy. I’m sure that when I started Milo thought, ‘she will give me a treat for doing this? seriously? What a sucker.’ It would be like someone telling me to have a hot bubble bath and a glass of wine and if I do that they’ll give me some cake!