Monday, June 9, 2014

Ignorance is no excuse?

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.

A woman dressed in a green t-shirt and blue jeans is standing on the left side in front of a grey cabinet. A man dressed in the prison blue uniform with glasses just threw a pair of six inch dice. He is holding the leash of a golden retriever in his left hand. The golden is sitting on his left isde, leaning and looking at the dice. The puppy is wearing the blue Future Leader Dog bandana. Two other men dressed in the prison blue uniforms are standing behind and to the right. At the bottom right corner is the head and front paws of a black lab puppy, wearing the same blue bandana. The puppy is lying down on the painted cement floor and looking at the dice.
The dice are tossed. FLD Bravo watches keenly - as does FLD Bear from the sidelines.
The man that was holding the leash of the golden retriever has set the leash on the floor and is now doing jumping jacks. The golden is lying down and looking up at the man. There is an african american man dressed in the prison blue uniform standing in the background watching. Someone's knees are just visible to the right side of the photo.
The task? Do 10 jumping jacks with your puppy in a sit, down or stand.
A young black lab puppy wearing a blue bnadana is walking away from the camera toward a man that is squatting down in the background and to the left. The man is wearing a dark blue fleece jacket and blue pants. He is calling the puppy toward him, his left arm is resting on his left knee and his right hand is tapping the painted concrete floor. The puppy is dragging his leash past two large dice on the floor. There is also a small orange cone on the floor behind and to the left of the man.
FLD Bear's task is a recall across the room past distractions.
A man dressed in the prison blue and orange striped uniform is squatting on the left side of the picture, he is holding the leash of a young yellow lab in his left hand, whcih is resting on his left knee. The lab is lying on the concrete floor facing the man to the left. The man is holding a yellow tennis ball in his right hand in front of the puppy's nose. The puppy is looking at the man and not the ball.
FLD Axel must "take" and "give" the tennis ball.
An african american man is doing jumping jacks to the left of a a young black lab puppy. The puppy is wearing a blue bandana and his leather leash is draped to the floor. The puppy is facing away from the man and looking to the right. Two other men are standing in the background to the right. Another man is sitting on the far right side, half out of view.
FLD Bear thinks jumping jacks are boring.
A man dressed in the prison blue and orange uniform is squatting down on the left side, facing right. He is holding the leather leash in his left hand, which is attached to the collar of a small black lab puppy on the right. The puppy is standing facing the man, with his head down and mouth open, about to take or give a yellow tennis ball to the man's right hand.
FLD Copo readily takes and gives the ball.

A man is half-kneeling on the painted concrete floor on the left side of the photo. He is wearing the prison unform and is looking down at a small german shepherd puppy lying on the floor in front of him and to the right. The man's left hand is wiping the left rear paw of the puppy with an orange rag. The man's right hand is holding the lower jaw of the puppy, whose mouth is open. The puppy is wearing the blue Future Leader Dog bandana. There is a yellow lab puppy in the far background at the top right of the picture, lying on a mat next to a man's leg.
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.


  1. Oops! Well, at least you got some good training out of it. Down / stay during jumping jacks is pretty challenging, but they passed!

    1. Indeed! They did very well. Thanks for stopping by, Dexter!