April 10, 2014
I confess. I am an accomplice. Last night I helped Tammy dream up and number 11 tasks for a training game.
During our session the next day, Tammy reaches into her magic bag of training tricks and pulls out a pair of six-inch cardboard dice. RUM Steve, standing in the background, arms folded, immediately states, "Those are contraband."
Tammy freezes, contraband burning her hands. "We didn't know!" doesn't cut it, does, it?
Tammy explains the premise of the game...that it is training for the puppies on many levels...the handler will have the puppy sit while he throws the dice, which then becomes a moving distraction for the puppy, something it will encounter in the working world...the number on the dice will determine what task the team will perform, things like wiping the puppy's feet, "giving" and "taking" a ball, loose leash walking around cones...doubles means the dice thrower will do the indicated task and throw again...
Tammy offers to get rid of the dice and move on to the next exercise on her never-ending list.
RUM Steve grins his Cheshire grin and waves her off. "Go ahead," he says.
|The dice are tossed. FLD Bravo watches keenly - as does FLD Bear from the sidelines.|
|The task? Do 10 jumping jacks with your puppy in a sit, down or stand.|
|FLD Bear's task is a recall across the room past distractions.|
|FLD Axel must "take" and "give" the tennis ball.|
|FLD Bear thinks jumping jacks are boring.|
|FLD Copo readily takes and gives the ball.|
|FLD Dax isn't too sure about having his paws wiped!|
When we leave for the day, RUM Steve makes sure the contraband leaves with us. They do not remain in Unit 8.