Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jumping introduction and The Great Poop Chase

Today I gave Wall-e an introduction to jumping, with the use of stride regulators. This method of teaching a jumping foundation to 4 to 6 month old puppies was created by Susan Salo, and has since been adapted by a couple other trainers. Today I set up the beginning exercise -- 2 PVC poles set 32" from each other (Wall-e's height multiplied by 2.5). One of the PVC poles was placed between between two winged jump standards.

I had my mom hold Wall-e in front of the first pole. I led out a bit past the second pole, and placed some treats on a target in front of the second pole. (I'll have Wall-e do a Sit Stay in front of the first pole, instead of my mom holding him back, when his Stay is strong enough so that the treats on the target aren't a distraction.) When I said "Go!" my mom let go of Wall-e. He jumped the first stride regulator, then the second, and I released him to his treats with a "Get It!". He seemed a bit uncertain if he should trot between the poles or bounce them (if they had been a few inches closer they would have been too close together to bounce), but he ended up bouncing, which is exactly what I wanted him to do.

We took a break for playtime and then he got to do a second repetition. He went over the poles with a bounce in between, and he seemed quite a bit more certain about what his job was -- to bounce the poles! I'm sure that the more repetitions he does (in a few more very short training sessions), the more certain he'll be.

Now for a different topic -- something I call "The Great Poop Chase". Whenever Mika or Wall-e "does their business", I pick it up with a bag and put it on the top of the railing on the back porch so that I can bring the bag inside when I go in the house. When I picked up Mika's poop this morning I guess the wind blew the bag down from the railing and onto the ground, because Wall-e suddenly raced over to the poop bag on the ground, picked up the bag, and started racing all over the yard like a lunatic! When Mika saw that he was running with something in his mouth, she started chasing after him. And then there was me, walking calmly behind them so as not to encourage them to run any faster!

After the dogs had done a few laps around the backyard, Mika soon lost interest, but Wall-e kept on galloping around the yard with the bag swinging from his mouth. When he saw me walking towards him, he did a play bow and then, when I was just out of reach, darted away. "Betcha can't get it from me!" But, I was eventually able to walk over and trade the poop bag for a Charlee Bear treat, which Wall-e was more than happy to do!



  1. Wow, it sounds like Wall-e is a real joy to train, and a smartypants too!

    His face has such a beautiful expression. He looks thoughtful and well-mannered (well, as well-mannered as a five month old puppy can be expected to be!) yet always ready to play and learn.

    Great story about the chase :)

  2. You're right!! He is thoughtful, well-mannered, and always ready to play and learn! He's a great little boy and I'm so glad we got him. I just love working with him, he puts his whole heart into his training.