Saturday, August 2, 2008

Find It!!!

The following is an example of how smart dogs can be.

This morning while we were training up on Mount Prospect, with Tyril, I was tossing a ball for Summer, and it rolled down a hill as she was chasing it, and it rolled all the way down, under a chainlink fence and down a wooded gulley.

I wasn't keen on losing a nice $6 ball, so we went round the fence to the opening at the end, and I sent her ahead, telling her to Find It, over and over. She immediately went into Hunting mode and trotted back and forth the area, air scenting for the ball. And true to her doggyness, she sure as heck Found It!!

Tyril was pleased. Some dogs have the instinct, and some don't. I guess he didn't realize that she was capable of it.

I told him how I taught her what it meant. And I literally only started doing this about a couple of weeks ago.

I started by rolling the ball around for her on the grass and I sat next to her, to get her interested in the ball. (She has a weirdly low drive for the ball for a spazzy drive dog...) I'd let her lay down and chew on the ball for a bit, then I would ask her to Out it, and I'd pick it up and threw it further away and usually in a tall patch of grass where she couldn't see it.

She'd then trot out for the ball, but because her drive for the ball wasn't high, she wouldn't chase it down. I started calling out Find It, Find It, over and over and over again. For some reason, the repetitiveness of the command encouraged her to air scent for the ball, and the moment she located the ball and bit down on it, I'd squeal out GOOD GIRL!!!!! open my arms and encourage her to recall to me for a good rubdown and some treats.

It didn't take long for her to learn what Find It meant. Which was how I managed to save $6 and get the ball back this morning. Good job Summer!!!

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