The last of summer's blooms, hanging on.
Yesterday yielded a good block of time to take the dogs out for some serious water retrieving.  We went to a slow-moving waterway - although with the wind yesterday, the dogs may argue that it was fast-moving - and retrieved all by our lonesome.  I sat down at the edge of the bank and fingered the grass and dying blooms of the fall.  The dogs seemed to love coming up right beside me, dropping the ball, and then shaking the cold water off on me!  Normally I avoid this by backing up as I say, "Release!" but since I was being a lazy bum, I guess I had it coming!

Trooper completely dominated the water retrieves yesterday.  I could NOT wear that dog out.  Usually it takes about 20 throws and he starts to swim more slowly and becomes more lethargic when coming out of the water.  Not yesterday, though.  I threw the ball about 50 times and not once did he slow down!  Cosette wasn't her usual rockstar self, but she managed to get a few balls in.  She's taken to waiting until Trooper is fully in the water before she dives in, which gives him a head start which she just can't compete with.  I have no idea why she is waiting, and she only does it some of the time. 

I then brought them up on dry ground and had then retrieve in an empty field.  That seemed to finally tire them out.  Once they were marginally dry, we headed back to my car.  They were tired enough that they just walked peacefully beside me, sans leashes. 

I love my water-lovin' dogs.  =)
10/30/2010 02:53:04 am

dry grass is the best towel :)

a few days ago I was out with a friend & her
2.5 year old black Lab
great dog-
he does subway,buses,outdoor malls, etc amazing with children in a sit/stay

in a hydro field-
when she is with someone else he can go off-leash (she needs the support)
he found a ball -and we spent (with another older Lab and owner-his dog has perfect recall)
almost 30 minutes in biting, freezing rain and wind (where the heck did that come from?)
and her dog "played" with us- just out of our reach-never sat still long enough

we let her handle the situation but frustration was mounting
we walked away numerous times
he followed and then bounced away from us

I marched over to him (had enough of this business)
did a firm "sit-stay"
he eyeballed me
I eyeballed him
he didn't move as quickly
the other lab person grabbed the collar
dog now on leash

have suggested she always use a "long leash" or lunge line
& to hold mini-sessions 3-5 times a day to practice re-call
but always on a long line

she feels she has spent enough money that he should be 'good"
learning is ongoing
I find even 3 days of these
mini-lessons have improved a dog's response

I am now frustrated.

He is terrific dog-but could be so much more.


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