Sunday, November 30, 2014

Risky recalls?

August 14, 2014
Chippewa

The chow hall is crowded with teams and puppies and Nylabones and Kongs are strewn about on the floor. The door to the yard is propped open for the summer breeze. Practicing off-leash recalls in a prison isn't very risky. After all, where could the puppies go?

Tammy starts a series of three recall exercises with a "blind" recall. She holds each puppy at the far end of the room and has the handler go out of sight. When he is hidden next to the ice machine, or squatting behind the trashcan, or just tucked in behind another team at the end of the lunch table, he calls. Tammy releases the now-excited pup.

One puppy takes advantage of the situation. His paws scrabble on the tile floor, he snatches a Nylabone and hightails it out the door on a run that reminds me of Norman Rockwell's painting, "No Swimming". His handler goes to fetch him.

This one isn't the only opportunist.

After a few more puppies make a break for it, I can't hold back. I say, "What are you teaching these puppies? How to escape and steal things?" Everyone laughs.

Tammy switches sides for the recall past a distraction (me again, on the floor with my camera); the puppies are recalled away from the door. This works much better.

A very blurry shot of a young black lab running from right to left. The dog is wearing the blue Future Leader Dog bandana. There are four men sitting on lunch stools along the left side, all are wearing blue priosn pants and white t-shirts. There is a woman in the background on the right side wearing blue jeans and a tan t-shirt. She is on her knees, with her hands on her thighs. There is an open door in behind the guys on the left.
I have no clue which puppy this is running past me. Note the open door in the background - he completely avoids it!

In this blurry shot another young black lab is running to the left, but the dog's face is more in focus than the rest of the photo. Two men are sitting on the left, one is leaning his tatooed forearms on his knees. The woman behind the puppy has her hands open because she just let the puppy go.
This pup races to his handler and ignores me too.

After these two risky recalls, Tammy has the teams practice the In-For-Training (IFT) recall. The handler has his puppy sit, down or stand, then walks in front to the end of the leash and calls the puppy to come. The pup must not do a "fly by" and must stop close enough for the handler to grab the collar. Easy-peasy.

Two men in blue prison uniforms stand on the left side holding the leashes of two labs that are on the right. The man closest to the camera is bald and is looking down at a young chocolate lab. The lab is walking toward the man and looking at him, he is also wearing the blue Future Leader Dog bandana. The second man is behind the first man and is an african american, although he is mostly out of sight. The leash he holds is attached to a young black lab that is sitting further to the right looking at him. In the background sitting in front of two large windows are two men.
Chris (in front) and Ro call FLDs Bandit and Sammy.

Before heading out to the yard for more training, Ro rolls a large blue ball into the room as a distraction. 

A group of at least five men and their puppies circle a large blue ball that is on the floor. Some of the puppies aren't interested and are looking away, others are straining to sniff it.
Oooo, the big blue ball!

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