Takoda GETS barrels, May 20, 2015

Takoda will be 16 weeks old tomorrow and continues to make great progress in many different ways.  I’d say the most significant progress has been out on walks in the “real world.”  Today he offered heeling about 80% of the time. The other 20% he walked on a loose leash and checked in with me often.  Given where he started off a few weeks ago, which was a happy, enthusiastic, energetic, curious puppy who wanted to meet everyone, I thought it would take MONTHS vs WEEKS to get to this point.

I have to say the drizzly weather is contributing to our success this week because there are far fewer people out running and biking but we did encounter that same group of 30 or so runners with the whistle commander. Takoda did great and kept all four feet on the ground when one of the runners “just had to meet the super cute puppy.” As soon as she disengaged, Takoda reoriented to me instantaneously and completely on his own. He didn’t even watch her running to catch up with the group!  BIG YEY!

The rain has been fantastic for being able to change up our walking route. We’ve even been able to walk along one section of the ever-so-popular Boulder Creek Trail as a result of the uncharacteristically Scotland-style weather which apparently most Boulderites are not willing to venture out into. Having spent 20+ years on the East Coast, I guess I’m used to rain.

Since I don’t have videos of our walks, I uploaded a couple of videos shot today in the yard.

(above) Takoda ran around the barrel so well in both directions today, I decided to add some distance.

(above) Lil running around a table and doing some flatwork at 5 months old.

I thought it would be fun to compare what Lil and Takoda were learning as puppies.  This is the first video I uploaded of Lil in 2009.  She was 5 months old at the time (Takoda is now 4 months old) but we didn’t get Lil until she was 13 weeks old so that gave Takoda a 5 week head start on learning various skills so I thought this was a reasonably fair comparison.

I can still remember what a fast and fun learner Lil was as a puppy.. and still is as an adult.  In terms of running around an object, I think Lil figured it out quicker (she is super smart) but I had to gradually increase the distance with her.  Takoda took longer to figure it out initially, but once he did, the distance came “for free.”   The video of Takoda was the first time I tried adding distance. After I stopped recording because we’d be out of the frame anyway, we did a few more reps from 30+ feet away and Takoda confidently and consistently drove towards and around the barrel in both directions.. like he was born to do that. Hey wait a minute.. HE WAS BORN TO DO THAT! 🙂

I’ll have to get some video of Takoda doing the same type of flatwork like Lil is doing in the video. He is following my body cues brilliantly and enthusiastically.. just like Lil.

The next two videos are a follow-up on my post about tugging styles.

(above) This short video is an example of one of Takoda’s many styles of tugging. I refer to this style as moderate arousal level.

(above) A short video showing how Jake and Lil play tug. I think Jake’s tugging style and vocalizations are hilariously cute. Lil rarely vocalizes and is less-intense than Jake for sure. But then again, she is less intense than Jake is across the board.

I’m loving experiencing how ATs and BCs are inherently different and how they are the same which I suppose is largely due to them all having the same trainer.