Posts Tagged ‘Marsha Houston’

Cedar Shakes the Woof!

November 7, 2014

This week we’ve introduced Cedar to the pipe tunnel. It’s kind of fun to have 16″ diameter teacup tunnels. They’re lightweight and so very portable. They are also of an appropriate size for a young puppy!

Here’s a video of the introduction:

We used the same methodology that we might use in mixed group classes. One person manages the dog’s leash, while the other makes the presentation of the tunnel… and goes to the other side calling the dog in excited fashion (maybe even making contact through the foreshortened tunnel!)

The leash manager will see to it that if the dog tries to go right or left around the entry to the tunnel, she’ll come to the end of her leash. If she volunteers to go through the tunnel, then the leash will slip through the trainer’s hand, rewarding the dog for her choice.

Over time, you add length to the tunnel, and gradually bend it, to the extent that the dog cannot see the exit from the entry.

This is a simple methodology and subscribes to a training philosophy that as much as possible the dog should choose every footstep. We don’t push or pull the dog through any performance.

By the third day, Cedar has a pretty impressive command of the pipe tunnel:

If there is a down-side to this introduction to the tunnel it is that the handler is considerably embedded in the context of the presentation. So our next step is to emphasize the verb or command for the performance of the tunnel, and begin working at greater and greater distance so that she has to go away to offer the performance without her handler hovering over, or flapping arms.

A Growing Dog

We’ve been carefully tracking Cedar’s growth on the Nobel Growth Chart:


Cedar appears to be following the growth pattern of a Sheltie and should come in very neatly just under 16″. Whether she remains true to the predictable growth pattern of a Shetland Sheepdog remains to be seen. We don’t know what kind of beast was her sire, after all.

At 7 weeks Cedar weighed 3-1/3 lbs. She was weighed yesterday at the vet’s office at 10 lbs. Clearly, she’s getting enough to eat.

Cedar’s FB page.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The web store is up and running. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.