Sunday, March 6, 2011


Puffin, looking very cute and proud of herself.

Cava, ready to help us re-decorate our house.

We have had such a long, snowy, icy and cold winter that it's been impossible to do any field training out of doors. But it has given us the chance to make great progress on teaching the young dogs to hold and fetch. It's a slow process, requring lots of repetition and patience, but both Cava and Puffin will now sit and hold a dumbell on a "stay" and they can also do a short recall and sit in front while holding the dumbell. As you can see from these photos, I can now substitute the dumbell with other objects!

It has been interesting to work with 2 young dogs at the same time and see all of the differences in how they learn and work. Cava is very good at any activity that requires a lot of movement, but finds it harder to maintain a static behaviour. Puffin is much better at the latter, but takes a bit longer to catch on to behaviours that require a lot of movement. At first, when I was simply teaching them to hold the dumbell whilst sitting, for longer and longer periods of time, Puffin raced ahead of Cava, making much quicker progress. But once we progressed to moving with the dumbell, Cava lept ahead of Puffin! Puffin struggled a bit with the idea of moving and holding the dumbell at the same time, but we took baby steps and she can now finally do a short recall at home with the dumbell.

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