Sunday, July 26, 2009

Our not-so-exciting week

Now to tell you about our not-so-exciting week! On Monday mom took me to the schoolyard (an elementary school near our house where we walk sometimes) to try my new chute. It went well and I didn't have any problems doing the chute there.

Tuesday was supposed to be our handling class. We arrived at the class time (9:30AM) and the instructor told us class had been changed to 11:00 - lack of communication - since we live 40 minutes away, we couldn't just go home and come back later. So she said we could just practice on our own. It was fun to have the agility field to ourselves, but mom was sorry we missed the class. She likes structure and everything! We did some dogwalks - nothing spectacular there - and the chute - but I refused to do it the first time and mom was majorly bummed out. She got out our target and then I started doing the chute for the target. I did do it a few times without and then mom tried one last time and I refused it again. This chute problem is just crazy!!! We only stayed about 30 minutes because we both got worn out and hot.

On Wednesday and Thursday it rained almost non-stop! We tried some more free timing for Ludo's tricky t-day but had no luck. All I ever offer to mom is scratching at or licking the box. Like I said before, I am not clicker trained or used to shaping. I like to be shown or told what to do! So any way, we didn't make a trick video this week either. But we did practice weave entries with our plungers in the house and that was pretty fun!

On Friday we went to my favorite park and tried the chute there. Mom even took one of my jumps and so we did jump, chute or vice a versa. It went really well (except for when I ran off to greet a dog that was walking by - mom was not happy and I got in trouble for that!). I flew through the chute like I never have a problem. Now mom says she'll have to get creative and take me and my chute to places I have never been before.

Yesterday it rained most of the day again! The flowers and the grass really need the rain but staying inside all day is boring to me!

Have I told you that I have two domestic ducks as neighbors? The college kids who rent the house diagonally in back of us raised 6 ducks this spring. They kept two of them (we try not too think to much about where the other 4 went) and while we're pretty sure it is illegal to have ducks living in your backyard in the city, we have enjoyed having them around. They like people and dogs and if we go out into the backyard or if our neighbor and her dogs go out, the ducks start quacking and quacking and come to see us! Mom thinks it sounds like they are laughing. The sad part is - what's going to happen to them? You're not allowed to release domestic ducks into the wild and there aren't many people who want ducks. So we don't have much hope for them having a long and happy life. Poor ducks!

Well, guess that's about it for now! Today's weather is nice - no rain so far - so we had better get outside and enjoy it!

Gotta zoom!



Sara said...

Have chute...will travel! That should be your new motto Ricky.

It has been raining a lot here too, but we only have one plunger :) I liked how you knocked a bunch of the plungers down! Ricky...tearing up the course!

Bree and Reilly said...

I like your ducky neighbors but how can you stand there and not bark bark bark like crazy at them ????? My mom use to keep and breed gucks back in Australia (cross between a duck and a goose) and has a soft spot for geese. She says these are beautiful...oh did you know you eat goose and duck eggs and they are excellent for making cakes!!! I wish we were getting some more rain, it has just been hot hot hot here.

Diana said...

Dont worry to much about the chute. Sometimes that happens. Next time you get a successful chute at class, really reward. Give mulitple treats and act like it was the greatest thing she ever did. Then dont do another one until next class time ( or next time you go there to practice). If you focus to much on it, the dog will start to worry about it.

We have our own chute problems. So we can relate. Diana

Cool Design Shelties said...

WOW! Your have ducky neighbors :o) They are looking very beautiful these ducks :o)


Marie said...

I loved the plunger weaving! That was great. As for the chute, try not to worry too much about it. I think it's a good idea to go to different places, but just remember that once you get a success, reward big and then try to quit while you're ahead. That's the hardest thing for me to do. I always want to try it just one more time. :-P

As for the ducks next door. They are very pretty. We have a neighbor across the street with ducks, but they aren't nearly as people friendly as your neighbors ducks are. We got to take care of the ducks and their 13 ducklings last week while the neighbor was out of town. It was kind of fun, but I don't think that I'd want any for myself. LOL

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Furry khlever use of plungers!

The dukhkies were khute too!


Dawn said...

VERY nice weave entries Ricky, no matter WHERE that mom puts those plungers! And all the advice about the chute above sounds sensible. Don't overdo and eventually you'll be fine with that silly chute! And the ducks? Amazing that you don't bark your head off at them! They are very pretty!

Honey the Great Dane said...

oooh...I love your duck neighbours, Ricky!!

That is a really original use of plungers...hee! hee!

Hey - don't give up on the free shaping / clicker training. You just need to gain a bit more confidence at trying things out yourself instead of being told/shown what to do - I don't think you prefer to be told - I just think you're not used to thinking for yourself! So it may just take a bit of time. Maybe if your human did the "switch the cliker on" exercise again, just to get you really worked up about gettign a CLICK?

Also, when I first started free shaping, my human actually didn't use an object - she just stood in front of me and clicked for anything I did that she liked (including me offering tricks I already knew) - this got me into the frame of mind that I didn't have to do ONE specific trick to get the click - that I had to keep trying different things because what got clicker a minute ago might not earn the click anymore so I have to try something else. Even if it's just alternating between you offering different tricks you already know in the beginning, it's just you getting used to thinking up things yourself and making decisions yourself...then you can gradually extend from trying out different tricks you already know to trying out actions you might not know but which you might do naturally anyway. For example, my human taught me to look up on command during one of my free-shaping sessions by just clicking whenever I happened to look up slightly! :-)

Good luck!
Am having trouble with making a free-shaping video too although in my case it's because I keep breaking the items I'm supposed to be doing tricks with! I always like to bash things with my paws as the first and foremost action to try but unfortunately, not many things can withstand being bashed by my paws...!! :-)

Honey the Great Dane

Johann The Dog said...

Wow, Ricky you are so nice to those duck! I would be herding mad if I saw those!!! BTW - they are cuties :)

Great weave entrances too! Just thinking if you ever get a clog you'll be set fur life, BOL!!!

Don't worries about the chute, you'll get it.

Hey, Mum's been trying more shaping with me lately, and you know how I like to just cut to the chase like you? Well, Mum has been waiting and not looking at me, and being super calm. And I've kinda stopped barking at her and being so manic, and offering up all kinds of stuff. Maybe it's because she's calmer, or maybe it's because I'm gettin' it, but it's working better :)

Hope you have a pawsome week!

Nat said...

Loved the videos! Those weave entries are looking great. Nice ducks too, Wall-e would go crazy if he had ducks as neighbours!

Mika used to prefer to be told what to do too, but we kept at it and continued to try "101 things to do with a box" and free shaping games, and one day she started offering behaviours. She still gets stuck on one behaviour sometimes, it depends on her mood, lol!

Thanks for the very nice comment on my blog! Yep, Nationals start on Thursday! (Although we'll just be running on Saturday and Sunday.) Excited!!! Luckily they're within driving distance so we won't have to stay in a hotel!

~Nat, Mika, and Wall-e

Lian said...

Chute is a funny thing, I am sure you will crack the problem in no time.

My Titan likes to told what to do, he is clicker train but he does not want to know what shaping is! So don't give up, you did really well. I have been enjoyed your trick videos a lot.

I like your neighbour's ducks, they are so cute.

Honey the Great Dane said...

Hi again Ricky - your ears look fine to me - I don't understand - what is wrong with them? What are they supposed to look like? Are Sheltie ears supposed to look a certain way?

Honey the Great Dane

Morgan in Pittsburgh said...

how the heck are you so quiet with ducks on the other side of the fence??? That would make me crazy.
your pal, Morgan