Whenever I get a new dog to work with, my first job is to find out what makes this dog tick. Red Olive (or RoRo) as she is now becoming is no exception. There are absolutely things she loves and things she just doesn't care about.
#1 Dirty old tennis ball. No not just any tennis ball. New ones, not so much. Plastic orange, only if she has to. Bring out a yucky old one and wow, that turns her on. And by the way, don't even try to trick her by putting it on a rope. Just not the same. Ok, maybe play just a little, but really truly, just the tennis ball will be fine.
#2 Follow the leader around the back yard. She loves to just follow me around. If the other dogs are out, that is fine, but most important is that her human is moving. Freedom to smell all the smells, but keep an eye on the human. If the human tries to hide, that is a fun game too, humans are so funny. Humans can not hide from her. Even better, have a dirty tennis ball in her mouth.
#3 Resting in the shade next to the human with a dirty tennis ball
There is a theme here.
Other things that we are teaching her to like:
- Training!! So much fun. We have touch, stand on pivot bowl, it's your choice, and started on crate games.
- Chasing and killing toys! Still a work in progress, but we are getting some tugging.
- Wait for it...wait for it...ready steady "break!" fun game chase the human and get a reward.
She is really cute. Very sweet. Totally distracted by everything in her environment. A love bug. Intense when she wants to be. Appropriate will all the other dogs. (Except when she is jumping up and down in excitement and lands on Tazz. Let's just not do THAT again!)
It is a pain to have another dog in the household. Fin is not happy, Tazz and Rocks are perfectly fine with it as long as they get their time, and Maddie...well with Maddie it is hard to tell if she really cares one way or another. But, having the opportunity to work with a new breed is priceless. I have had many opportunities to work with people and their different breeds, but there is nothing like having to live with a pup to get to know the ups and downs of their personality.
Right now after two training/play sessions we have some quiet time in the crate. Essential to me actually getting some work done. Yes, I do have to pay the bills as well as play with a puppy, and walk 4 dogs, and practice agility with two, and pick fruit, clean up the garden, vacuum....the list goes on....