Sunday, January 9, 2011

working for a living- Marco on January 9

I usually put Marco's meal allotment in my pocket and he has to earn his dinner by practicing the various obedience exercises he knows or that we are working on. Today it was nice enough outside that I thought we would work a little on tracking again.  Marco has a natural desire to investigate with his nose.  I have to make some adjustments in our training because since he is not restrained,  and he wants to be near me where it is rewarding, it is hard to lay a track without his assistance.  What I end up doing is making a snow scent circle and placing food there and then walking backward and placing food in the steps as he works his way down the track, where I will then lay another scent circle, which gives me time to put in a few more steps!  The positive part is that he learns to work through where other dogs have run, etc, and follow my footprints.  Since I am also trying to take a few photos, I need enough distance to get a photo of him working the track!  Talk about multi-tasking!

And here is Marco with his Orbee ball.  I actually found these on line and ordered them for gifts for our annual schutzhund club gift exchange.  I found the large size to be extremely large, far too big to use for training but a nice play object (which Pre also enjoys) and I think they will be useful for targets for send aways because the dog can hit them with speed and not break a tooth and the large ones are too big to swallow and choke. What they term the medium size is slightly smaller than the "large" balls on strings that I use for training.  They look like a little globe.   At any rate, Tom selected the gift I had brought and no one else wanted the Orbee ball so we ended up taking it back home with us.  Now it belongs to Marco.
True to what I observed when we initially tested him, Marco prefers to possess and guard rather than retrieve.  He will bring the ball back in exchange for food, though, but for the most part his toys will need to be on lines to ensure their return, I think.