Daily Archives: August 15, 2011

22.2 pounds!

Rush and I went to visit his vet this morning. He weighed in at 22.2 pounds and I just measured him imprecisely at around 16.5″ at the shoulders.

Rush continues to impress all those who meet him with his calm disposition and acceptance of all kinds of experiences. Nothing seems to faze him. The tech today, who hadn’t met him before, commented that Rush was behaving better about getting his temperature taken than the tech would be, given the same method. Rush did get a little indignant about getting his bordetella vaccination, but that was it.

After the vet, we went to visit my friend Deena (who is beginning to recover from her broken finger, but is still in a very bulky cast). Deena has a lovely backyard pond. Rush was playing in the yard (as were Dancer, Elly, and Deena’s dogs)–I looked up just in time to see Rush leap off the side of the pond and land quite a distance out. He swam nicely to the side and clambered out, but didn’t dive in again.

After visiting Deena, we drove to the training barn. He watched while I worked contacts with Dancer, and then I did a little agility with Rush. He loves tunnels and did all the tunnels that were out. He’s starting to do hoops, and he even experimented with climbing the a-frame. We played tug, and I threw the ball for him a few times, too.

All this activity seems to have tired him enough to sleep; he is napping on his mat right now.

Real research (OR why haven’t I seen this article before?)

Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessive about research. This article: Training Frequency Research is about how often to train a dog for optimum learning.

(I’ll note that I haven’t seen this article before because it just came online in June.)

Now, it’s about beagles. 44 beagles (quite a thought, right there), trained to jump into a basket and sit there while the trainer walks away and comes back. Some dogs were trained every day; some several times a day; some, once or twice a week. The dogs that learned the most were those trained once or twice a week. (I’ll just note briefly that all dogs were trained using operant conditioning: i.e., clicker training.) Those dogs made the most progress (learned the most), too.

I find this knowledge really useful; it means that training agility once a week is a GOOD thing!