Thursday, May 06, 2010

Here and There

I laugh and joke about Mac, and if you've met Mac, you probably laugh and joke about and at and with Mac, too. Today V and I went on our regular shooting expeditions and came home to let Mac out and generally hang with him. And I was inspired to video him doing one of his more benign tricks. It's not a trick, actually, it's a "formal heel." The dog (i.e. Mac) is supposed to sit in a specific spot, a specific distance from the handler (i.e. me). That's his "here" command. Here is a nice lady with a nice dog demonstrating "heel."

Nice, calm, focused. All words I probably wouldn't use to describe when discussing Mac and dog training. When Mac and I took our two "doggie dancing" classes, we learned all of our tricks on both sides of the body. So we needed a formal heel (or our version of it) on both sides of the body. Mac learned to spin in both directions, shake on both paws (he already did both paws, but not to match my coinciding hands), to walk on leash on both sides, watch both sides, etc. So, I needed a word I could remember on the other side of my body (my left) that was the same as heel/"here." Being the ever clever cookie, I chose "there."

Mac loves this "trick." People love watching Mac do this trick, because he is so... enthusiastic about it. Which is part of why I decided to video it today. Lots of people train dogs in hallways to help them do things "straight"- not out at the butt, or anything. We've never trained in the hall, though, so this was a first- I've always just kind of let Mac be crooked, and we've never worked in a constrained space, which made for even more flailing on his part and I believe at one point, he climbs the walls. Trust me, he always flails and flops and jumps. The hallway just exaggerates it.

Have fun.


Schwang said...

Oh, that was great. I like the little hops.