Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday in the Park... with Rigby!

Saturdays are our tracking days and we spend the mornings at Mingo Creek County Park in Eighty Four, Pennsylvania with our tracking friends!

It's been a while since I posted some videos of Rigby tracking, so here we go.  The one video is quite long, so if you're going to skip one, skip that one -- I'll post it last. 

The first video shows no tracking, it just shows how excited Rigby gets waiting to track.  In this video she is watching Ellen, a/k/a The Hot Dog Lady, lay her first track of the day.  She really is enthusiastic about tracking, to say the least.

This next video is her first track of the day today.  This is the first time Rigby saw two flags on her track. In a Tracking Test event there are two flags present, the start flag, where the tracklayer leaves a scented article, and the flag 30 yards away that gives the handler the direction of the first leg of the track.  Rigby did not seem phased by the second flag at all.

Rigby's third track of the day was shorter than the other two and went in a downhill direction.  She had finally settled in by this point and did a nice job on this track.  Today we also decided that at the end of each track I will sit down and play with Rigby to make the interaction at the end of the track more personal.  This seems to be a pleasant way to enjoy tracking with my pup!

The last video for today is of Rigby's 2nd track.  This was a long track, 100 yards long.  With the wind and the track laid across a hill Rigby had some problems at first and kept going uphill instead of staying straight on the track.  Once she figured out the scenting patterns she settled in and did well.  If you're not going to watch this whole video (and I don't blame you) at least watch the end and the fun play we have together.  To me that's the best part of this video and the best part of the day!

Special thanks to Rich Seibert for filming today's tracks.  It's not easy to walk in a hilly, rutted, grassy field and hold the camera steady and keep everyone in focus, et cetera, and Rich did a great job!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Walk In The Park With Rigby

 It was such a beautiful day for a walk, so Rigby and I headed out to Washington Park to hit the wooded trail.

I decided to take the camera along and record some of the things we saw along the way, as well as get some new photos of Rigby, who is growing into a very lovely young dog.

My view of Rigby during most of our walks.
There are a few areas of the park that have log cabins.
This area looks like a little settlement.
Rigby liked the split rail fence...
...I just didn't expect her to leap over it!

I think she enjoys these afternoons jaunts.
Heading down the trail.
Afternoons are quiet and we don't see too many people on the trails.
Rigby gets to stroll out ahead when the trails are empty.
A look at the trail.
Heading toward the next trail.

I took a few photos of things we saw in the park today as we walked along.

Of course there were many spring plants...
...and flowers.

Washington Park is the home of the Pony League Baseball World Series and there are many ball fields all throughout the park.  Today there was a girls' fast-pitch softball game taking place in one of the fields.

A boy and his 3-month-old puppy, Chloe.
Two guys throwing a Frisbee.  Rigby was enthralled watching them
and then when the Frisbee rolled toward her she tried to steal it away!
Another of the log cabins.
This building is in the center of the park.  It is open air and
has a dance floor and a stage and benches lining the sides.

Rigby thought she'd take a rest on the bench inside the park building.

Such a pretty girl!
Wish every day was a walk in the park!  Those days when you need a pick-me-up there's nothing better than spending time with Rigby on the park trails!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Rigby's Home Movies

Grab some popcorn, it's movie night with Rigby!  These are a series of short videos showing our training for some of the exercises that Rigby is learning.

The first video shows our start of work on the Retrieve Over High Jump.  This exercise is designed to teach Rigby to go over the jump turn and come back to the center of the jump.  The idea is to give her the muscle memory to pick up her dumbbell, turn quickly and come back to the middle of the jump, no matter where the dumbbell lands when I throw it.  Here I'm just throwing food for her to retrieve.

The second video is just some dumbbell retrieves, first with her plastic dumbbell and then with a metal scent article dumbbell to get her used to having the feel of metal in her mouth.

This video shows some short heeling patterns with Rigby and then a couple recalls from a short distance, followed up with a bit of a recall game to keep her coming in quickly when called.

Here is Rigby playing one of her favorite games, retrieve the glove.  This is to teach Rigby to love gloves as she needs to find a glove at the end of each of her tracks.  This lesson has carried over and although she is not yet picking up the glove at the end of her tracks, she does play retrieve with the glove as a reward when she finishes each track.

Here Rigby practices her fronts and then some drops that, in time, will develop into her drop on recall in the Open Class.

And, in working toward the Utility Class, Rigby is learning to watch my hand direction for the Directed Retrieve.  Here I throw a treat and direct her toward it with my hand and then release her to go get the treat.  She returns and does a front and then lines up to do the exercise again.

Finally, this is just a bit of fun, Rigby playing and being herself.