We started out the day with some quick training on-leash to remind Wotan of the do’s and don’ts out on a walk. Having been away from such a high stimulus environment of dogs and kids for several months it takes a lot more impulse control than around our neighborhood at home. We grabbed some coffees and then made our way down to the beach. Wotan is like a pig in mud on the beach. Frolicking and galloping his way up and down the sand, running up to every dog he sees, it’s a magnificent sight to watch his floppy behavior become even more ridiculous down at doggie heaven.
We got the ball out and started to play, although forgetting the chuck-it was a big mistake. The wind blows steadily enough on the pacific beach that what usually would be a 50 yard toss would travel maybe 10 yards. It only took about an hour before the cold and my elbow decided to make the first trip to the beach our shorter trip.
Perhaps the most fun was meeting a little 8 week old golden retriever named Brewer. His family had 3 other goldens, predominantly older though, but he was too cute for words. After a brief meeting with showers of puppy kisses, Wotan decided that his attention was better spent on other dogs as opposed to my lack of attention. He started sprinting up and down the beach with his tongue dangling half way out of his head. I walked towards him to get in better ear shot for a recall and to my wonderful suprise I had a little 8 week fur-ball joining me for the adventure! Talk about too cute to handle…
I had a successful “casual recall” with Wotan at over 80 yards through the distraction of balls, dogs, sticks, sea washup from the recent tsunami (some pretty smelly and rotten stuff: “fillet mingon pour le chien”). I was thankful it worked however if I had been a little more responsible I would have made sure to have my jar of baby food to use his formal recall because THAT was very lucky.
Had some wonderful “leave it” opportunities with other dogs and distractions, all with instant ball game rewards. You can never have too much “Leave it” or recall training. I met my match with “leave it” on the dead seagull. He didn’t try to eat it thank god but boy he sure as heck wasn’t going to stop smelling it. Earned a big ol’ “timeout” for that one.
Always remember that every moment is a training opportunity! While they are particularly impulsive as adolecents (not any different from human adolecents), the continued training will only shine all the brighter as they mature into adulthood.
The Pawsitive Packleader