Oct 10

(Not Quite An) Agility Pup

For my birthday Dan got me two lessons with Kathleen of Heart Dog Agility and an overnight in the Santa Cruz Hilton.

Princess Ada could get used to this.

We had lessons with Kathleen on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.  Since Ada is just a beginner so we just learned some basics including how to effectively train using a clicker.

We started off with Target Training which helps Ada learn to interact with her environment to get a reward.

Ada gets a treat for touching the target with her nose.

Ada gets a treat for walking to and then touching the target.

Then I had to get her to stand in a box without luring or gesturing.  She just had to try things and see what would be rewarded.

First she gets a treat just for touching the box.

Next she gets a treat for stepping into the box.

Finally she gets a jackpot (3 or 4 treats) for standing all feet in the box.

We finished off with Kathleen helping Ada overcome her fear of walking through a tube.

Ada weighs her fear of the tube against the deliciousness of hot dog.

Although Ada has a long way to go before she’s an agility champ, I think we’re all excited to learn more and it was terrifically fun.  What a great birthday!

UPDATE: Something to aspire to: National Finals Small Dog Agility Course (video) and National Finals Large Dog Agility Course (video)

Aug 10

Smarty Pup

On Tuesday Ada graduated from Smarty Pup 201.  The instructor Fawn Pierre was absolutely fantastic – she’s very patient and engaging and so good with pups of all different temperaments.  We can hardly wait to sign up for the next class!

Smarty Pups!

Congratulations Grads!

Apr 10

The “Inconveniences” of Dog Ownership

When you first get a pet dog, your life will go through some big changes.

With everything you do, you have to figure out what you’re going to do with the dog. Leave her at home? Take her to a sitter?  Bring her with?  Is she even allowed at this event?

Couch Pup

Ada at home.

And then you also end up thinking about what your dog needs. Does she need to eat?  Does she need to pee?  Does she need some exercise, socialization, education?

At Puppy School

Ada at puppy school.

No doubt, it’s a big life change.  (My mom jokes that “it’s good training” because I guess this is a lot like parenthood, but about 10 times easier.)  We go to parks and beaches every weekend.  We rarely eat in restaurants.  And on the rare evening that we do “go out”, we only stay out for a few hours.


Ada on a walk.

We also eat lunch outside almost everyday (which in my opinion is hardly an inconvenience).


Ada at lunch in the park across the street from my office.

All in all, I think Ada has just encouraged us to live a more active outdoorsy life.  And I think we’re better and happier because of it.