Monday, September 08, 2008

Slightly Updated Training List for Now through Oct 1

OK, let's call it our "Pre-Agility" List or our C2C 101 List

I had a nice talk with the agility trainer this afternoon and she said the #1 training priority for agility is getting Buddy to come when I call him because the dogs work off-lead.

Now, the whole reason we're doing agility is to give the dogs some structured play with me. Something fun and exhausting that includes a little obedience training and some structured interaction with other dogs. BUT part of me is fearful that the dogs may not be ready for re-entry into the off-lead dogworld. And that's something we'll need to just figure out. Either they'll be able to do it or not but I feel confident that if a fight were to occur I could pull my dog back safely and at that point we'd probably have to withdraw from class. Petunia did agility years ago, for six weeks, and never had a confrontation with another dog. If the dogs can handle the interaction I believe it will be important to them. And I'm speaking in the plural because I've decided to enroll in a separate class with each dog, if the trainer will admit each dog into a class. So there you have it.

And if we seem to be ready for agility that's OK because this training list will also help us get ready for Buddy's Canine Good Citizen training and for our general aspiration of living the good life. (Which at this point means the three of us safe and happy and healthy and not fighting. Seems to modest and yet so miraculous.)

So here's the list that I'm making into my next checklist (because evidently I'm better with a checklist):

  1. Walk with each dog every day: 40 minutes min on non-teaching days; anything okay on teaching days.

  2. Clicker train for eye contact ("watch"), both dogs, every day.

  3. Clicker train for coming when called, both dogs, every day.

  4. Maintain the current physical structure of our homelife every day.

  5. Study bark-reduction and make a baby step towards it with Petunia each day.

  6. Practice muzzle-time with Buddy, for fabulous treats, 5 to 30 minutes per day.

  7. Practice backpack-wearing during Buddy's walks at least 3 times per week.

  8. Practice gear-wearing time with Petunia, followed by fabulous treats or playtime, 3 to 10 minutes per day.

  9. Bring each dog into an interesting socialization context (such as a store or public event) at least once per week.

  10. Do at least one 30-minute down-settle with each dog every day.

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