Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Wild Beast Within

My wife has been working hard to release the "Wild Beast Within" Patriot. We adopted Patriot at age 2. He had been kept in a show home with a lot of other dogs and had only done showing. We naively thought he would know a lot of obedience commands as a show dog but he did not even know "sit". He was well socialized though and very used to being around people and other dogs. The reason all this was needed was that Patriot was very methodical in agility and was not always making time. We did work up an interest in "the bunny" and Patriot is now a good racer and lure courser. He seems to think cars are big bunnies though.

Patriot had zero interest in toys when we first got him with the exception a show squeaker which he would pounce on once and then quit. Dawn eventually discovered that the key to play with him was running and chasing. She was worked up to an interest in toys and games. He is now just starting to retrieve toys and the dumbbell. She gets him excited and playful whenever she can. I was watching them last night in class and it was a joy to see him really working for her and running through tunnels.

It's funny how many whippets, who are the fastest dog under 200 yards, are slow and methodical in agility. A lot of whippet trainers rely on food and I wonder if play could be used more with whippets.

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