Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Perri's Hold

The last time that I posted about the Dreaded Dumbbell was in September.  Since then we have worked on the exercise a handful of times, often with a wilting poodle.  Like Molly's weaves, "She doesn't like it.", I knew that somehow I was (of course) the problem all along.

Over the past month I have been trying to best choose a Fenzi Academy class that can help me teach Perri, and after reviewing our Library lessons, I have decided that I was lumping parts of the retrieve chain on Perri.  What we were having a lot of issues with was her picking the DB up and then doing a hold but only a light one and then dropping it at the slightest provocation.   We have been focusing on a more solid hold. Last night for the first time again I saw the tail wagging.  I paired each rep with a pivot of Perri's body, which she loves, and it keeps her up and happy.  Something seems to have clicked and I really do think that she understands that she needs to hold the DB until clicked or otherwise released.

It is true progress that I could take a photo of her doing this.  I have tried in the past (should not have been taking photos with how delicate she is.) but she would drop it before I could even raise the phone to eye level.

I feel very good about this.  I feel extra good that Perri wants to keep trying.  She is not the same dog that she was a year ago!  Of course, I am not the same either.  I have learned her so well.  I know when I can push for more, and I know when I need to back off and do a trick, an easier rep, or do a break for her brain to soak in the information.  

My brain is still full of "Nevers" for Obedience, but I am having fun with the training and my brain does have a big "Maybe" that it just might all fall into place after all if we just keep having a good time.


  1. That's awesome!! The hold is definitely the hardest part of the retrieve! I find that once i can get to 3 full seconds, then the hard part is over and more time comes pretty quickly.

    1. Oof this is music to my ears :) The DB has been one of mine and Perri's most enormous obstacles with no end in sight, I feel like we took a huge step forward and I am glad to hear that some part of the retrieve chain might be just a little bit less of a hurdle!