I can’t believe Phenom turned 6 months old last Wednesday. Hard to believe, but time flies when you’re having fun. Over the last month we’ve just been doing lots of little bits with short sessions. But some of the things we’ve been working on are starting to take shape and be a little more interesting to watch.
We’ve really been focusing on building her tug drive. Once she was pretty interested in playing with the toy with me we added food in as a distraction. Also – surprisingly this really helped build her enthusiasm for tugging. She was frustrated because she wanted the food, but she knew what she had to do. And neither of us gave up – so she channeled that frustration and energy into her tugging. It’s fun to watch her focus as she tries so hard. She has a lot of heart.
We’ve also been working on retrieving. So – I’ve been rewarding her a lot for bringing the toy back. That’s also helped build her tug drive – sort of like a nice little behavior chain – tug with me, bring the toy back – get reward.
Impulse control has been another area of focus. I really want to be able to throw the ball for Vega while she waits her turn. This has been many small sessions starting with crate games, then using a mat and finally no mat. Both Vega and Piper have been great team members helping us out with this.
I’m so proud of all the things she is learning and all the fun we are having. Here’s a little video recap of some of what we’ve been working on throughout the last month.