Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rally Level 1 Title!

We have been trying to keep cool in the hot weather. Our landline/DSL line got cut in the driveway again so our internet has been out. Ambrose and I have been doing interesting things but it has not been easy to post of get on your blogs. I sent Barbara to the library to use the wi-fi there so she could post this exciting news for me.

I earned my APDT Rally Level 1 title this weekend!

We entered 2 trials yesterday and one this morning. I qualified in all of them to earn three legs and my RL1 title. More letters after my name!

I like doing Rally. The courses are fun and your person can talk to you and praise you the entire time. It is work though and I had to have a little down time in my crate between runs.

Of course Barbara gave me lots of treats for being such a good, smart girl. I got 4 ribbons and was allowed to pick a toy from this big box. I selected a tug toy snake. I am not going to let Ambrose touch it as he will get cooties all over it if I do. He can get his own toy snake when he gets a rally title!

I hope our internet is better soon so we can read all your blogs and post more.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Trust Experiment

The nice researchers at the Duke Canine Cognition Center requested my help with another one of their experiments. Barbara says it is just because my name came up in a random sampling of their data base but I know that they really like me there and that they think I am very smart.

This experiment was to see if I would eat a treat near some one I didn't know or would prefer to eat one near some one that had been nice to me. Now I am an equal opportunity treat eater but I was very happy to participate.

The first part was wonderful. A nice Duke student named Isabella sat on the floor and petted me for 23 whole minutes!! She scratched my ears and then gave me a butt rub.

I thought this was so nice that I let her rub my belly too. She talked very sweetly to me. You can see how much I enjoyed all the petting.

She even let me rest my head on her leg! You should all try to get in this experiment if you can. 23 minutes of non-stop petting is wonderful.

After the petting marathon the students moved some screens around the room. I was very curious especially when some little trays came out from under the curtains and Mary put treats on the trays. I was tested to make sure I could take the treats off of the trays, which of course I could. Some dogs are afraid of the trays but not me.

Then Mary put more treats on the trays and a some one came out from one side of the curtain and sat near the tray. Sometimes it was Isabella and sometimes it was a student I didn't know.

When Mary said ok, I was allowed to race to one of the treats and they marked down which side that I went to. We did this 16 times so that meant I got 16 treats!

Camilla, Isabella and Mary were very nice to me and even gave me a Duke diploma!

I am always happy to advance scientific knowledge about dogs and get lots of treats at the same time.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Do You Have C.L.A.S.S.?

I was so down when I heard that I was not selected for a dream date with Mango. To take my mind off of my disappointment Barbara has had me training for C.L.A.S.S. That is the new program from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and it stands for Canine Life and Social Skills. You can read all the details at

There are three levels, BA, MA and Ph.D. It is always good to have letters after your name. The tests are practical skills that all good dogs should know. The exercises get harder in each level.

A group of us got together at Paw In Hand to practice all the BA exercises. Next week we are going to have a "mock test" in preparation for the real thing in August.

Here I am practicing the Wait for the food bowl.

My BFF Ayla is doing a great job with the Settle on her mat.

Jade is only 7 months old but is doing well in her down stay. In the BA level you have to do a stay for 1 minute. Your person is right next to you but the evaluator talks to them. In the MA level your person is 15 feet away and other people walk around dropping things and acting as distractions while you stay.

You can do a sit stay if you prefer. My Drill Team buddy, Teddy, is demonstrating that.

There are bonus exercises so you an earn your degree "with honors". My boyfriend Trotter is saying his prayers for the bonus trick exercise.

There are several other exercises in the BA including loose leash walking, leave it, come and leash manners, give and take etc. Check out the program. Trainers in your area will be offering it soon. The APDT promotes education for trainers and reward based training which is a good thing for dogs.

I had a fun time at the practice and it took my mind off Mango for a while.

Ambrose will not be posting today because he is a very bad boy and it is doubtful that he will ever have any letters after his name! He stole some Burt's Bees soap from the bathroom counter. He ripped off the paper and ate 1/2 the bar before Barbara caught him. Disgraceful!!

Hope you and your families have a Happy Independence Day!