Monday, October 31, 2011

The Box

Remember that big box of stuff from the APDT Conference? I wanted to open it right away but Barbara said that we had to save it for a rainy day! What??? Anyway she wouldn't let us open it but kept us busy with other things. Last week we went to UNC to give a demo to the General Psychology class. I must say that I did a very nice job. I did a really fast recall before 250 students from the back of the auditorium all the way to the front. Even Ambrose behaved well and both of us worked with the students so some of them could get practice doing clicker training and operant conditioning. Of course we got lots of petting and treats. Unfortunately there are no pictures of this.

But today, Halloween, was a rainy day and we got to open the box. At first I was disappointed because all that came out were T-shirts. Who wants bits of cloth? But my nose hadn't deceived me and once Barbara removed the boring shirts we got down to the good stuff.

Look at some of this loot! There were several new toys as well as 7 different flavors of treats!!! I can't wait to do my treat palatability research. This is a heavy responsibility but anything for science.

Ambrose immediately grabbed one of the new toys and raced around with it.

Then he started to bite it and just look what he did! There are holes in the toy already and he only had it for 5 minutes!

I am not happy with Ambrose. Today I had to snap at him when he came too close to my toilet paper roll (all cardboard rolls are mine). I thought that he was maturing lately but I was wrong.

Tomorrow night Barbara is giving a talk on Coping with Canine Adolescence and Ambrose is the poster boy. Well he did take 2nd place in the Mangominster Bad Sports class.

I hope you all had a Happy Halloween and that you didn't eat any chocolate (you know it is bad for you).

Friday, October 21, 2011

APDT Conference in San Diego

Barbara abandoned us for 10 whole days! Well she brought us to K9 Kindercare (which we love) while she took off in a plane for San Diego and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Conference.

This is the premier national conference for dog trainers who come from all over the US and many other countries to learn from the best trainers, behaviorists and vets. Some of my heros spoke at the conference including Suzanne Clothier, Pam Reid, Sue Sternberg, Terry Ryan, Ian Dunbar and two of my personal friends, Teoti Anderson and Hannah Branigan. I was very jealous that I couldn't go but it is a people training conference and Barbara was very busy there since she is on the conference committee and had work to do.

San Diego looks beautiful and I would like to see a palm tree. I don't think that we have many of those in Chapel Hill.

I was a bit shocked when I saw pictures of chickens at the conference! I understand that people practice their timing by training chickens. I do not see the point in bothering to train chickens as I would prefer to eat them.

It wasn't all work and studying at the conference. Dog trainers are very into socialization and there were activities every night. The beach party looked like great fun and I was disappointed that I wasn't there to see the surfer dog.

But the thing that has caused the most commotion here is that we found out that Barbara met our blogging friend Murphy!

Murphy lives in San Diego which seems like a very cool place. If you read his blog you know that his person is always taking him to the dog beach and Great Dane meet ups and other fun dog events. What a life! Anyway, the conference committee needed demo dogs for some of the workshops and Murphy was one of them. We are sick with jealousy that Barbara got to meet him and Ambrose and I did not. He is such a big handsome guy and did very well as a demo dog.

We are glad she is home now though. The best part is that Barbara always brings us new treats and toys from the trade show at the conference. She bought so many this year that they wouldn't all fit in her suitcase and she had to ship some of the loot. This box came today and I can tell you it smells very good.

We can't wait to see what is inside and to perform our yearly research to find out which is the most delicious treat.