29 December 2010

Snow and Christmas

Trying to get an update online finally. These are a few pictures of the girls in the snow right before Christmas and at Christmas.

DH got a Nano Bug for Christmas. Molly is sure it is a dog toy.

The girls will do anything for MARSHMALLOWS!

17 April 2010

Buddy Cube

The other day it occurred to me that Shawnee might like the buddy cube. I don't think we'd had it out since Molly was Shawnee's age and she wasn't very interested in it. It is also very noisy, which can get annoying.

The buddy cube is basically a die with a hole instead of a dot for 1. You fill treats or kibble into the hole and it gets put into an internal maze for later release. You can adjust the difficulty by turning the hole insert to modify the size of the release holes.

Shawnee loved it and Molly even got into it more than she had in the past. So this is something they'll be getting to play with once in a while when we can stand the noise. (in other words, NOT on migraine days!!)

The added advantage with Shawnee is that it got more food into her. She hasn't been eating well, although crating her at meal time over the past week has helped some.







In case you are wondering about Molly's unusual attire, she is still generally stuck in a sock or bootie or at least vet wrap to protect her one toe. The vet thinks it started with a small injury, but she keeps licking it and making things worse. It is mostly healed now, but she is not yet ready to leave it alone.

05 March 2010

Training Session 1

My health and a number of other things going on (Shawnee in heat, Molly with a problematic toe injury, and a sick horse) have prevented me from getting to the training goal before today. I just did a short session with the girls--worked Shawnee while Molly was on mat then worked Molly while Shawnee held a stay (She isn't advanced enough to mat on anything like Molly is). I started with a few post-it targets on hand then quickly advanced to my knee. Once they did that a few times, I moved the target to the doorbell. No problem--they targetted it there. Molly did have her usual "are you sure I'm not supposed to retrieve this?" issues but Shawnee was easy going and confident.

Unfortunately they are not yet pushing hard enough or precisely enough to ring the bell, but I am sure we can work that out with time.

I'm very proud of them for remembering the yellow target when it has been so long since we last trained with it and we had done so few training sessions on it.

26 February 2010

Training Goal: Ringing a Doorbell to Signal Potty Needs

The border collie forum I frequent is now adding a clicker training club for those of us who want to so we can help encourage each other to get training and give advice and feedback on problems. HEre is my first goal with these two.

problem: at this point, Molly is pretty easy to understand because she barks when she needs out. Shawnee is more confusing because she tends to just stare at you.

Overall goal: to have the girls ring a doorbell placed at their height when they need to go out to potty.

rough training plan: both the girls already have a strong hand target with their noses. So now I want to add a Post-it note to the target then be able to move the target to other things. That way I can place the target on the door bell itself and get them ringing it with their nose. Then finally I can phase out the target. Once they are ringing the bell and training sessions, I can start trying to teach them to ring the bell when they need to go out. I am not sure whether I should use a cue as an intermediate between training sessions and potty ring.

Current status: I last trained a few weeks ago. I had both the girls relatively successfully nose targeting the Post-it target placed very close to me.I will probably need to back up to having the Post-it on my hand because of the time since I last worked on it.

Intermediate goal one, which is probably actually due on 6 March: getting the girls to target the post it with their nose when it is placed on the doorbell. Hopefully this will at least sometimes ring the bell.

I will try to post progress reports frequently. Maybe even after every training session if I can get the time and energy for it.

09 February 2010

Frisbee in the Snow

There is not much other than snow going on these days. But one evening last week, we got the girls out into the pony pasture for a round of frisbee while the ponies were in the shed eating.




Those three were from one catch. Pretty typical of casts when both girls get to run. Shawnee gets there first, but Molly does the retrieve!