Monday, April 25, 2011

Heated Work

Today was probably the first "hot" day we've had in Maryland for quite a while. The thermometer says it's well beyond 85 degrees, and my hot dog Ferguson here seems to think so too. We went for a simple walk, and for about half of it, Ferguson dragged along behind me, walking at what I call a "pokey" pace at the end of the leash six feet behind me. However, halfway through, he sped up to walk next to me...I think he realized we weren't going to turn around at that point and gave up. *rolls eyes*

I wasn't unsympathetic to the weather, and had him wear his outward hound cooling bandanna (though ours is an embarrassing shade of pink...but hey! It was only $1!). This didn't seem to make much of a difference to him though, unfortunately, but it was probably better than not having it.

In any case, he came in huffing and puffing after a 20 minute walk, drank some water, and laid uncomfortably on the carpet, huffing and puffing for a few more minutes. After a while, I realized that all my other dogs (labs) naturally would lay on the tile to cool off...and this had apparently never occurred to Ferguson. So, I decided I'd try to teach him.

I went to the kitchen, called him, and asked him to do a "down." He obliged me, and I then gently rolled him on to his side as I usually do, accompanied by a belly rub. It was at this moment that I believe Ferguson had an "AHA!" moment, as his eyes half closed and he looked exceptionally contented, despite the harder surface.

He stayed there for about 30 minutes in cooling bliss ^_^

In other news, CGC practice is going well. Ferguson's sits are pretty good, while he is slow to do them, they do get done, and much faster on grass. However, I've learned that he (probably at the fault of my own) has a hard time doing a "down" from a "sit." This is probably because of how I taught him to sit, by stopping him before he would go down and praising him like crazy. So, now, he remains at a sit unless we get up and start over and head straight into a "down"....I really do need to get in touch with the CGC evaluator to confirm how this might work -_-. Is "down" part of a requirement of the test? If so, must it follow immediately behind a sit? Or can it be two separate commands? *Sighs*

Maybe tomorrow.

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