One of our biggest obstacles in our training has been motivation—one moment Mufaasa will be totally gung-ho and the next he just wanders off to sniff the ground. It’s extremely frustrating. However, we were going to a fun-match recently and a friend gave me some raw dog food that she’d mixed with egg and fried up and suddenly I had alllllllll the dog I could want. No running off, lots of enthusiasm, his running contacts were great and he even did his first full teeter!
There was another fun-show a week later so I got some raw food and fried it up myself and he was just as fabulous. He didn’t loose drive all day and kept up all the progress we’d made the week before. He had a bit of trouble with the chute, but we haven’t practiced that much, and I didn’t get a chance to throw him over the teeter before we started, so that wound up being a bit rough, but nothing that I found troubling.
Now, I’ve thought that I’d found his “thing” before and eventually he got tired of it or ran off with it (like his ball), which made it difficult to get around a course. In this case his drive stayed up all day, even when we went back in the ring two or three times after this to practice short sequences. I think the big thing is that he could go over a few obstacles and he maintained the same enthusiasm.
The other issue is that it’s been blisteringly hot, which is hard on big dogs, and even harder on black dogs. I dropped some coin on this cooling jacket, and it’s probably one of the smartest things I could have done for him. It works surprisingly well. It was sunny and hot (over 30°C with little breeze) and the blanket has kept him cool the whole time so long as I bring a 2L bottle of water to soak it periodically.
Our trainer thinks he he’ll be ready to show this fall, which actually means we’re pretty much on schedule for the goals I laid out earlier this year. I must remember to get his number from the AAC so we’ll be ready when we do decide which competition to enter.
We had a great practice last night and I’ll probably go out today (we took the first part of the week off and we don’t have a fun-show this weekend, so I don’t mind making him work three days in a row. Usually I try to spread our practices to two or three a week, but with days off in between). I must say, it’s nice to post about something universally positive, especially as I’m in the middle of a mini stay-at-home vacation. Now to head to the mall and check out the new Lush store that opened and try very hard to not spend all my money (this is one goal I will likely fail at….oh well)!