Thursday, August 2, 2007

Training Doofus

High drive = complete doffus

OK, maybe that's carrying it a bit far, but really, I'm not sure that super high drive is all it's cracked up to be. You know, obedience training with Holly is pretty strait forward. She totally gets it that if she does such and such, treats or a toy are produced. And she learns new things pretty easy. She has a will to please, and she's a thinking kind of dog. Being a bit of perfectionist, she seems to get the idea of 'That was sloppy, try again'. And she's a somewhat soft dog that needs only the gentlest of verbal corrections, and really trys her heart out to hear me tell her how wonderful she is; I swear I can see the grin and the spark in her eyes when we really nail an exercise.

Now, Mikey. I haven't done obedience with Mikey in about a year. The week after my first Rally-O class with Holly I 'tried' to do some obedience with him, and realized that he had forgotten everything he had ever known about 'formal' obedience. And I thought 'whatever' because we were both enjoying agility and there's plenty of time to get around to obedience, right?

But we've had some rainy evenings the last few weeks, and it would be nice to slowly bring Mikey up to speed in obedience. Gaaah! I suppose it's not as bad as it seems, but after working with Holly, Mikey is not that much fun to work with in obedience. Awful, isn't it? Mikey has a 'wonderful' high drive and he's great at agility, and I bet he will be really great in obedience someday. Right now though, he wears me out in obedience; he's all over the place, a complete wild man. Instead of trying to figure out want I want from him, he just wildly offers behaviors and then is like 'Gimme treat, gimme toy!!'. A complete airhead! He really doesn't seem to care what I want him to actually do, he seems to think that any random behavior should be good enough. It doesn't help that we're doing this in my small living room, where there's not that much room to move around. I don't mean that he's not smart or that he doesn't have a will to please, but when the treats come out he gets totally hyped up and his brain goes out the window. And rewarding with toys or a ball are even worse; his eyes actually dilate. What I need him to do is slow down a little so that he can actually engage his brain.

In the mean time I just need to be patient, and not give up on Mikey. Because supposedly high drive = great performance. But for now, high drive = doofus.

A picture of the full moon from a morning walk this week, and an attempt to catch a pretty spider web covered in dew on the bayou.

Holly and Mikey say 'Hi'.

Currently reading 'When We Were Gods' by Colin Falconer

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