Friday, September 16, 2011

The bell collar and other successes

A few weeks ago I decided that it was time for Kenzi to start wearing a bell collar when practicing searches. I probably should have done it a while ago, but anyways...

I brought it out and was reminded of why I'd put it off. She didn't like the loud clanking bell next to her ear and was like "whoa - what's happening to me?!?!" I did take the bell to the collar to muffle it just a bit but after that I ignored her response, did some upbeat training and took it off her. The next day I put it on her before playing ball. Just as I suspected, the desire to play ball trumped the uncertainty of the clanking bell. We repeated a few more times.

This past week at SAR training, I put the bell on her and she worked beautifully - no issues with the noise. It reminded me about what I loved in her from the get go - her adaptability. She'd had limited human interaction for her first 6-7 months, yet she is adaptable. Give her a little bit of time to figure out a new situation and she is fine with it. I love that about her! As an added bonus that night, she worked within the search area (no turning a four acre search into a forty acre one...), recalled beautifully while searching and ignored the dead deer at the edge of her section. I was quite happy with all of this.

The other success had to do with the cat. Ferdinand to be exact. I took Kenzi out in the yard to work her and Ferdy was sitting there. Joy. I expected brain freeze from Kenzi. Didn't happen. She was very aware of him and glanced a couple times in his direction but that was it. We did healing, recalls and send outs with really nice focus - I even sent her out where she had to run past him and she stayed on task. This to made me very, very happy. I was sure to convey that pleasure to her!

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