Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cali - Cars, houses, stairs

Each day, we go down the dirt road to the paved road. We turn left and go to the mailbox to pick up the mail. That's the regular route. Cali knows it now. Funny that she's quite happy to continue up the paved road if I don't ask her to turn down our road again. Sometimes horses can be what's called barn sour. Not our Cali. She loves working.
And, on this route, she is out in front with me at her hip. Her pace and pull are getting more consistent.

We got a start today on busses, cars and stairs.We have a small wooden deck with stairs that are open backed. Some dogs have trouble with stairs like that. So, I decided down the stairs where Cali could not see that they were open would be the first step. She came down the stairs like a trooper. She's going to have to come down stairs in a really controlled way in time. I'll be adding a target to help her come down one at a time. But, first things first. We got down 4 steps. And, we went up them too. She was especially careful about going up. I didn't use her guide harness for this work because I wanted her to learn how to do the task. Later, I'll teach her how to do the task while guiding.To get to the porch we took an easy trip through the house. She stopped where there wasn't enough room for the both of us and I had to move a chair. Good girl.

Then we had the big challenge of the day. I wanted her to jump into my trailer through the side door. She's been jumping out that door since the first day But, I needed to show her that in through that door was a possibility. We'll call this the up, up and away day.

We created a ramp up to the side door and Cali just came right in. We went out the other side and with out a thought, Cali jumped in going back the other way. It's a pretty good jump in through a small door. At the same time I wanted to simulate busses and steep ramps. I backed my truck up to the ramp and dropped the ramp so it went up steeply into the pickup truck bed. No problem, she went right up that ramp onto the slippery truck bed. She followed me around the bed of the truck and back down the very steep ramp. The first time I load her into my back seat or the back of my SUV, I'll use the ramp.Into my car is a big jump for a little girl. Only two jumps into the trailer today.We now have a plan for cars. Once she knows she can get in, she is more than willing to try. I've got to remember to let her figure it out and not try to hard to show her. She really is the rule that if she can, she will. And, she's a real thinker.

We didn't do the relieving bag today so Cali kindly went for me while I was cleaning the stall. The girl is thinking ahead. I swear she reads my mind sometimes

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