Since we have been at this for a while, Seppel knows how to do the majority of the exercises in the IPO Protection phases 1-3. It's a good and a bad thing. It's great in that we can do each exercise fairly quickly, but it's a bad thing because there isn't a lot to work on. I have been told it is stupid that I drive an hour to show up for training that sometimes only lasts 15-20 minutes. I don't care. When my dog is doing well there is no reason to work for an hour. We have a great time when we go and it is completely worth it to me whether we work for an hour or for only 15 minutes.
Anyway, last week Ryan and I started talking about other things we could work on to keep things fun. I told him I really wanted to work on Seppel's heeling, just to fine tune things and also get better attention from him. Ryan suggested doing building searches [k9 type work], and also teaching Seppel to muzzle fight.
Here is an example of muzzle fighting:
I bought Seppel a baskerville muzzle. As far as basket muzzles go they fit a lot better than the wire ones and appear to be far more comfortable. It was also reasonably priced, I paid $20 for it. I got it last Friday. Seppel already knew how to put his face into the muzzle courtesy of his previous owner. I bought a can of squeeze cheese which helps deliver a speedy reward when he is wearing it. I plan to try to get video of him learning that he can do things with the muzzle on. It's kind of like the first time you put a collar on a puppy - they don't like it initially, but they get over it when they realize they can still do things.
In June there is a trial down in Salem, our goal is to try to get Seppel his BH. I plan to work on the obedience and pattern as much as I can so we can hopefully be successful. Last Saturday at club he broke his down stay to try to catch a bug. Haha.
Today Seppel got to try the building search! First Ryan amped him up and then let him come at him. He then let Seppel watch him "hide". The third time he hid while Seppel was out of sight. It was pretty hilarious because Seppel was using his eyes instead of his nose. I swear he looked in Ryan's direction three times before he found him. That was also after Ryan made some noise. It will be fun to see him progress with this - it's just another fun thing we can add to his resume and he thoroughly seemed to enjoy it, even when it took him a bit to find Ryan.
We aren't going to training next Wednesday so I'll have a week to work with him more on wearing the muzzle, and to practice some obedience. I also want to track him a couple of times before we go to club. We were told he can graduate to a 12ft line, I also want to work on articles with him more.
I am really excited for this summer and I hope he can get his BH!