Thursday, July 16, 2009

Update on Boston

So much for my posting more messages. I didn't realize it had been so long until I looked at the date of the last blog post. Time flies! It's been a busy time for Boston and me. I've been work-working quite a bit and Boston has been working on new skills.

We're starting to get into the stage in training class of what I call the "fun stuff". Getting beyond the basic pet obedience skills of sit, drop, wait, etc. Here are a few things we're working on now:

  • Push - the first step is to teach the dogs to push drawers and doors close. We're now starting to work on rocker light switches that we hold in our hand. The end result is the dog will rise to turn on/off a light switch on the wall.

  • Go to bed - we are shaping the behavior to teach the dog to go to a rug and lay down. A very useful skill in keeping the dog in a controlled situation - and out from under our feet!

  • Get it and give (a.k.a., retrieving) - we've been working on this skill for quite a while and it's one of Boston's favorites. She is extremely good at retrieving items and giving them to me. We're challenging her more and more with this skill by putting items under chairs, tables etc., on chair seats and the back of shelves, and under vehicles. She's up to the challenge and will go in for the items and bring to me. We are also raising the bar on the types of items she is retrieving.

Another skill we will work on in the future is "rise". This is used to chain with the push skill to turn on lights, among other things. Boston is trying to get extra credit and doing her own version of rise right now. She's quite the counter surfer. We have to be careful to push items back from the edge and keep a close eye on her.

Update on her diet. We have finally found a food that she will tolerate and are slooowly working her off the chicken and rice. It's taking at least twice as much time as a normal transition, but are seeing progress so I continue to move forward with it.

Update on the Boots. Boston has stopped terrorizing me with her tugging and attacking my pants (and legs!) so the boots have been repurposed. They're actually one of the best investments I've made. I use them now for chores, gardening and on rainy days. Here's a picture of a recent raspberry harvest from the garden. The day I picked these it was pouring rain, but as far as we're concerned well worth the inconvenience.

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