Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dockdogs Practice

Today was the last Cascade Dockdogs practice of the year. With the holidays coming up and temperatures dropping, they take November and December off. And wouldn't you know, we also had an "off" weekend with no shows or trials! I didn't get the dogs out to Hagg Lake for swimming this summer as much as I have in the past and I also didn't get in any actual practice with Heffner jumping off of the boat docks. Yet another goal for next year! At any rate, that combined with the much cooler temperatures today did not leave me horribly hopeful that today would be the day that Heffner would happily jump off the dock. Adam even came along (he says he's building up some serious husband points, and I would have to agree with him!LOL) to watch and take some pictures and video! And you'll see why I'm wearing hip waiders!

We started off on the puppy dock because I wanted to just get him in the water. Kind of "warm him up" to being in the water and easily going in. Heffner had different plans however! He did get somewhat into the water. That puppy dock area is pretty shallow for him, but wasn't really having it. He would go in so far and then back out. I wasn't about to force him to do anything, but I was going to spend some time and try and work him through it.

Heffner trying to get a little help from dad!
























As you can see in the video, he was seriously not thrilled about going into the water. If you look at the videos I have of him swimming out at the lake (scroll to the bottom of the post to see them) you can tell that he definitely likes it. I'm not sure if it's a temperature thing, a water color thing (the water is a weird green color and you can't see through it at all), a distraction thing, or a combination of all of the above. He was a lot more willing at the practice back in June, but it was also a lot warmer at that point.

I gave up on the puppy dock and decided to go wait in line for the competition dock and see if he was more interested there at all. He has actually gone off the up ramp on that dock once, but that's it.




Welllllllllllll, the competition dock was also a no-go. I couldn't even get him to put his front feet in the water! He's never been this reluctant to go in the water before. And to top it off it took me a minute or two before I could even get him to pay any attention to me. He was looking all around at the people along the sides of the pond and the other dogs running around. I finally splashed some water on his chest to get his attention and he reluctantly started looking at me and where I was pointing. After about another minute of him obviously not wanting anything to do with the water, we got off and let the next person in line get up there. I'm not frustrated, but I am a little disappointed. I didn't have high expectations of him wanting to get in the water today (even though there was an am. staff. there that was having a blast in the water even with her super short coat and lack of body fat), but it would have been nice if he looked like he at least sort of wanted to. I'll have to wait until next summer to hopefully get some time out on the boat docks and really work with getting him to jump off of them.

On the upside of things, he did soooooooo well at ignoring the other dogs and not reacting when he was barked at or growled at! A lot of those dogs get super amped up while they're waiting in line for the big dock and that's a situation that could really push his buttons in the past, but he was super calm and not making a peep. He has really figured out how to switch into "work mode" for agility trials and other "competitive" situations. He's come to the realization that he doens't have to be the task master whenever another dog vocalizes. And thank goodness for that!!

Here are some video clips that Adam and I took between us of some of the other members of the club.










1 comment:

my2danes said...

lol @ heff not wanting to get wet, mine would be like that i think. It does look really cool over there now though, so i dont really think id want to get in that water either.