Basenji adventures

Last weekend, Amelia went to a rally trial. AKC. She qualified in both Advanced and Excellent, giving her a 7th leg (out of 10) toward her RAE. She didn’t place, but she got enough points to Q, which is all we’re interested in. The judge commented on her being a nice working basenji. She also said Amelia looks as if she’s keeping track of exactly how many cookies she’s going to be owed for her performance. The girl is nothing if not pragmatic. She’s truly a “what’s in it for ME?” kinda dog.

This weekend was Professor’s turn. He went to his first lure coursing event, and got to run a short practice run. It was a gorgeous day for coursing, sunny but not too hot. We had him run out about 100 yards, then a friend caught him, they reversed the lure, and he ran 100 yards back in toward me (and the lure machine).

I was thrilled with his practice; first, that he ran away from me after the lure; second, that my friend was able to catch him easily out in the middle of the field; third, that he came running back in; fourth, that I was able to fairly easily catch him at the end. Even with all the dogs and people in the background. He did sheer off to investigate a pulley, but that’s ok for his first time out. He was totally unfazed by the lure machine and the odd noises the lures make as they go around. And he seemed to really enjoy chasing the lure.

The catching him, though, is the big deal. We’ve been doing Susan Garrett’s online recall course, and it’s paying off. We can’t do all the games and exercises because we’re still working on fundamentals on a lot of things, but he has gotten the idea that being caught is a good thing. She does a collar grab game; for Professor, I’ve modified it into a “snatch the puppy” game where I grab him around the chest and lift his front feet off the ground and treat. I do this since the dogs don’t wear collars when they course. And he was totally cool with a relative stranger catching him, and with me catching him. Amelia used to lose points for “delay of course” when she was running, because she was so hard to catch. In her case, it was because she liked to run so much, and she’d figured out that the lure always runs again, so she’d just hang out about 10 feet away, waiting for the next course to start. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed to decide on their own when they’ll run.

Tomorrow, we start our puppy pre-agility class. Professor is going to be a busy little boy!


One Response to “Basenji adventures”

  1. Jody B Says:

    Thanks for the address. I noticed something about RSS which is a way, I think, to keep track of blogs, but I have no idea how. So into favorites you’ll go.

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