Fred and I were becoming a close pair. From the first night not wanting anything to do with him. Now I kinda like him. He grew on me.
When I got him I tryed all sorts of things with him. Stuffed animals, raw hide chewys, treats, different kings of balls to play with even different types of Kong toys. Nothing peaked his intresed. I thought to myself that this is going to be a boring dog. He doesent want to play with anything. Walking is going to the only thing to do? Great.
So we did a crap load of walking out front back and forth. Along with training. The more things he started to learn the easier it was to teach him new things. They say poodles are smart and I got to see that first hand.
People would ask me why don’t I let him off leash to play. Repeatedly I would hear throw a ball for him. I would tell them because he won’t do anything. He’ll just stand there. I tried a ball and he doesn’t do anything. So I walk him to get him exercise.
One day I was sitting out front with Fred enjoying the afternoon sun. Fred was laying next to me calmly. Probably half asleep totally relaxed.
I did notice another handler har come out side with his dog. He jokingly threw his rubber Kong toy at me to get my attention and it bounced just a few feet from me and kept going. I wasn’t holding the leash at that time. There had been no reason to. Because I was the only one out there at the time.
As the ball bounced by, Fred got up so fast and ran after the kong. If I had blinked I would have missed it.
At first I thought another dog had run by and Fred was is hot pursuit. But to my amazement he went and brought back the Kong, layed back down and started gnawing on it. I was in utter awe! what the hell did I just see? Does he like Kong toys now?
The handler never got his Kong toy back. I gave him another toy to replace it with. That was the only toy Fred liked.
From that point foreword we played fetch. I’m glad for it too. Makes for a little more entertainment for me also.
A HUNTING FRED WILL GO
It had been about a week throwing his Kong toy for him. He was a very fast dog.
I had been noticing though if he didn’t see exactly where I threw it, or it went to far he would get lost looking for it.
I think something was wrong with his eye sight. So I just threw it short distances. When I taught him the stay command I started to incorporate that in his play time fetching the ball. But again his eye sight came into play and he kept loosing track of it.
What I noticed him doing all these times he lost tack of the ball was his technique in looking for it.
He would run to where he saw it last and sniff and look for it by doing a spiral sniff pattern. Start in a small circle and work his way out word in a spiral pattern. He would do this every time without fail. Somtimes he would find it and others times he wouldn’t. But always do this funny spiral pattern.
When he couldn’t find the Kong he would periodically stop and look up at me as to ask, “Jesse where the hell it? I can’t find it.”
It was funny for me to watch him. He looked like a dog on a mission. To find that Kong!
But after awhile it got boring for me waiting for him to find it. So what I would do is. When he looked up at me I would point in the direction of the kong and say “its to you left Fred over there”.
Doing this I got to thinking about our training, and how we use simplified words that are easy to understand when we train. So I got smart myself, and cut out the nonsense words I didn’t need to say. Now I just point and say “Fred, Left” or “Fred, right” or “Fred, back” or “Fred, out”.
Several days later he was picking up on the lingo. He was finding faster and faster every time. Sometimes he would just run out a ways and stop, turn and look at me waiting for the clues to find to Kong. I guess they were really turning into commands for him. Now it was fun for both of us. I even started making it harder for him by making him lay down and stay with his back turned. Throw it and after it layed at rest then say “Get it Fred”.
Slowly I took my hand signal away and just used my voice. He got so good at listening to me, I didn’t have to wait for him to look up any more. Just yell out which direction he should go when I saw he going the wrong way.
Sometimes I would play a joke on him and tell him to go the wrong way. Just to see him look more. But not to often. I didn’t want to undo all the hard work I’d put into him just to loose his trust of me to lead him in the right direction.
He really turned out to be a neat little dog.
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Categories: Jesse Bailey