So I've been trying to get caught up on reading blogs because I had over 300 in my Google Reader . . . I'm down to 150 so I'm getting there. In my readings I was catching up on one of my favorites, Honey's blog, and came across this post (http://bighoneydog.com/2011/11/sydneyhome-trickyevening/) . . . and as most of her posts do, it got me to thinking. I have two (three?) high energy breeds, a Siberian Husky and a Beagle/Mountain Cur cross and I am NOT at all consistent with our exercising. Sigh. And yes, most of my excuses are selfish and lazy. Talk about feeling bad lol.
When we went to my parents house on Christmas day we had some fun with the four wheeler (yes I'm still working on getting the video ready to post) and Jackal was sore for a few days after that. He's had issues with one of his rear legs since he was a puppy and I think it was my fault for over exercising him on asphalt. So I have to be really careful not to let him overdo it, however letting him get fat and out of shape is one of the worse things I can do!! I also slacked off on my own exercise since I decided to take a break during November for NaNoWriMo and well I never got back to it. So one of the things I'm going to get back to for 2012 is exercising, both me and the dogs. I'll post more on my goals for 2012 on New Years day.
So for now, since we're all out of shape and lazy lol, I'm starting with two ten minute walks a day, one before work and one after. I also have a bad habit of marching off at a fast speed in a hurry to get done instead of enjoying the scenery and time spent with my dogs. So now when we walk we're walking in the ditches (softer on their joints) so the dogs can sniff around where the deer, raccoons, rabbits, armadillos and opossums roam around lol, because a dog sniffing is like us reading the newspaper. They love it! We can only do that in the winter though because in the summer the grass gets tall and ticks are horrible. We're also practicing at running, walking (while they trot) and walking slow (so they have to walk too) for changes of pace. So far they definitely approve of our new way of walking. :)
So anyway, when we got back from our after work walk today I decided to work on all of the tricks Jackal learned for 2011 (January: Crawl, February: Shy, March: Fetch Leash, April: Close Door, May: Marching Paws, June: Go to Bed, July: Paws in Bucket, August: Say Your Prayers, September: Stand, October: Recall, November: Sidepass and December: This one is a surprise!) so that we can start videotaping them. He did fantastic! I guess the walk got him in a training frame of mind because I could not have asked for better. :D
We've been having trouble with his sidepass . . . the way we were doing it before was having him stand in a heel position on my left and us walking sideways to our left, but I was bumping into him (or tripping lol) and his front and rear just weren't working together. So I finally turned to face him and lured his nose to his left while gently pushing his hip to the left. After clicking for that once he did it all by himself the second time!!! I was so proud of him! So even though it didn't look like he was doing well the other way it obviously was sinking it and my new method just made it click for him. I love it when a behavior comes together like that.
The other one we're having trouble with is Say Your Prayers. I'm having him do it on his little stool and he does great sitting with his paws on it (that took forever to teach), but he doesn't hold it long (I guess it's not comfortable yet) so I haven't been able to get much duration and thus can't get him to tuck or rest his nose on his paws . . . So for now he's sitting with his paws up instead of saying his prayers lol. We'll keep working on it, but it won't be finished for our video.
We worked on most of his other tricks too. The only ones we didn't cover were his recall (he's really good at this in the house so far), fetch his leash (he loves this one and is great at it) and shy (this one needs work, but the session was getting long and I was out of treats). We'll catch them next time. He's getting a lot more confident with closing the door on the entertainment center. When it slams shut it doesn't startle him anymore lol. I can probably start trying to work on another real door now. :)
Also on his Stand I have inadvertently taught him to bounce his front end in the air when he pops up out of a sit. It's so cute! I might let him do that or I might fix it. Not sure yet. :) He's also doing great on his Go To Bed behavior and he's so cute doing it! He gets so focused on me that he doesn't really pay attention to where the bed is. When he misses it and lays down I don't click so he bounces up, backs up and lays back down. I just laugh at him until he backs up onto the bed and lays down, then I click. It's so cute. I love his enthusiasm.
Anyway, sorry this got so long winded. We had so much fun and I just wanted to share. Keep an eye out for the video. I'm going to try to get it done soon, maybe this weekend. It may be a week before I get it all ready and posted though, just depends on how busy I am. :)