|Barked: Wed Jan 2, '13 3:32pm PST |
|My girl is a real working dog: extremely intelligent and very alert. She's 7 months old now and as I got her from the shelter I don't know what she is exactly, but she seems like a belgian shepherd/collie mix. She hit puberty just now, has been quite the handful when it comes to her energy levels and alertness. I'm visiting my parents in the woods now for the holidays and all the changes (plus experiencing fire works for the first time) have made her quite hyper out on walks. I would have her off leash at first, then put her on the field line just a security leash and I would just let it drag on the floor without holding it, and now I'm at the point where I don't feel comfortable with that anymore and just keep her on leash at all times. The reason for this is that she has gone into MUST-CHASE mode more and more. I taught her to not chase joggers and was working on cars and bikes and this was going wonderfully: she entirely stopped noticing joggers. Now when she sees one from a distance less than 50 meters, she'll want to chase with the biggest smile on her face. Keeping her on leash now is going well, we trained not pulling quite a lot and that's going really well. However, I would also like her to be able to run around without me having to go into eagle mode, scanning the surroundings continuously.
I want to give her something to do: next to the training of not chasing, I want her to feel like she has a job and that she's useful. She loves it when I tell her to jump over/circle logs, so I do a bit of that while out on walks. When she's a bit older I'll definitely wanna do lots of agility, herding etc. with her. I wanted to ask you guys: what kind of job can I give her when we're out on walks? All ideas are welcome, especially the ones that include me also being able to relax and not having to constantly be on guard/focus every last bit of my attention on her
(I'm also keeping in mind the times that I'll want to walk with someone and have a conversation which is quite impossible at the moment ^_^)
For instance, I was thinking of letting her carry something that is important, like keys or a wallet. Of course I don't expect a dog to know that these are high value objects, but with how smart and sensitive she is I can imagine her to understand by watching me that these are important things. How would I go about getting her to like to carry stuff around up to a point when it is much more interesting than the environment, especially those fast moving human legs? This is still a child craving to explore every last bit of her surroundings. Yet she loves to focus on me when I am being interesting (i.e. telling her to do something), so I am sure that with the right conditioning and motivation she will be able to have more than enough focus.
Any other ideas?
Thanks a lot!
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