Thursday, July 30, 2009

2x2 weaves, Day something

I've done it. I've found the toy. The toy that will motivate Winnie [almost] no matter where she is. The toy that I will now use to teach 2x2 weaves.

I haven't been able to do weave training every day, either because I have been busy or because I haven't found the right "moment" to train. Winnie can get really picky when it comes to motivating her with toys. Since I don't want to train 2x2 weaves with treats (they're hard to find in the grass), I've been trying to increase her tug motivation. Unfortunately, her desire to tug is unpredictable. Sometimes she'll be really enthusiastic about tugging and other times she will look at me like I'm crazy if I try to reward her with a game of tug.

Outside it's even worse. Once she goes outside she completely loses interest in the toy. She sometimes goes after her chuck-it tennis ball, but again she's very picky about when she wants to chase after it. She prefers to sniff around and/or run and play with the other dogs. neighbor has these squeaky soccer balls that she throws for her 2 Yorkies when they're outside. Winnie LOVES these balls and will chase them nonstop no matter where she is!

Today I happened to be near Petsmart so I bought 2 of these glorious soccer balls. Winnie went nuts for them, and even as I type she is sitting by her "toy collection" waiting for me to play with her. I don't think she has ever been this excited by a toy!

Staring at the ball from several different angles...

I did some 2x2 training with her tonight using the soccer ball and we made some nice progress.

This is the stage of training we are at now:

I'm now confident enough to move her training to the grassy area, either to the one in our apartment complex (something I don't want to do because I'd have to carry the poles back and forth from my apt) or in my friend's backyard (ideal, because we already have a set of 6 poles at her place). I want her to start gaining some speed, which she can't do in my apartment because I lack enough carpet space.

I'm hoping that by next week or so she'll be able to do 4 straight-up poles from all angles.

And that was my nerdy agility blog post for the day!


a corgi said...

great motivation!! squeaky toys are Koda's favorite toys too!

glad agility training is going good! that would be a "drag" to have to carry the poles around

enjoy the weekend!


Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh, it's great when you find a toy which really motivates them, isn't it? Love the pics of Winnie staring at her new toy!


Ricky the Sheltie said...

I like "nerdy agility blog posts"! It's awesome that you found a toy that Winnie loves so much. I am pretty much like Winnie when it comes to toys and mom still hasn't found a toy that will always get my attention. So we're happy that you did! Good luck with the 2X2 weave training - we'll be interested to see how it goes!

Kelly said...

She is so cute! I love that photo of her sitting on her bum (the first one). They look so funny when they sit with their back legs straight out hehe.

Are you planning on competing w/her in agility?

Laura said...

She is so cute!!! I'm glad you found a toy that motivates her too :) I'm still working on finding a toy for Lance, but right now I've been tugging with him on a bunny fleece for 5-30sec before I put it away! I generally use the manners minder now for our agility training, but before I got that I just used a target. But it would be so much nicer if I were able to throw a toy!

Keep up the agility updates!

Laura, Lance, and Vito

ocmist said...

OOOOooo a SQUEAKY TOY! I LOVE squeaky toys, but they usually don't let me play with them. Dott's master gets them for HER, but when I take them and make Stuffy Snow out of them, I get in trouble... :( I do anything for tiny pieces of lamb and rice jerky and that is what Mom uses to train me in my helper dog activities. BG