Monday, November 10, 2008

Polly's Progress

I've been continuing to work on Apollo's contacts, mostly the dogwalk since I think it is easiest on his body and can translate to the other contacts somewhat. I will probably get the a-frame out within the next couple of days as well though.

When we were in Pahrump, I was lamenting to Moe about what on earth I need to do with Polly's contacts because after the last standard run on Sunday, they were looking pretty pathetic. I think in retrospect he might have been a bit freaked out at Scott Chamberlain running so close to him because he sped up after the a-frame and that was really the only run where his contacts were BAD.

When I was whining to Moe, it was really just that. Me whining and not expecting anything. But I had forgotten that Moe is the Queen of All Contacts! She gave me some great ideas to work on with Polly. A couple things i was already doing (or trying to do), like making contacts the most fun thing in the world for him, only doing a few repetitions, and rewarding immediately after getting into position. But some other things she suggested were using the BEST food in the world for him, not just good food, but the BEST. I had been previously using cheese and hotdogs, which works great for Icon, but while Polly is kinda into it... he's not totally into it. When she asked me what his favorite food was, that was a no-brainer. Steak! She also suggested throwing the food on the ground and releasing him to it. Well a problem with that is Polly can't pick food up from the ground! (he's a weird-o boxer :). When I mentioned that to her, though, she asked, "How about a BIG piece?".

Why, yes, he can pick up a big piece. And by golly, I bet a bug hunk of steak thrown on the ground after doing his contacts would really get him excited!

So after a trip to Safeway and a Club Pack of New York Strip Steaks (they were on sale for $4.99/lb!) I was set to get back to training with him! (I did have to cook it first - Polly likes his steak rare, but it needs to be seared on the outside).

So I have to admit that I am happy with the results I am seeing so far! He's looking pretty good :)

Polly's work on the dogwalk from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

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