All the dogs – Vanstone, Kurtz, Harrison & Mars – are doing the same things so I thought I would group some info together and then give a few more specific notes after.

They have been exploring the Island along with me. We went to Cabella’s a few weeks ago and they all handled the taxidermy very well. We were in a wheelchair and practiced doing an Up on the counter to practice a transaction where the dog gives the client’s wallet to the cashier, then gets the purchased items from the cashier and back to the client. This is a more advanced skill and we are not at completion yet but we practiced the beginning stages of it.

The dogs came with me to the Mainland and spent a few days with sitters while we had our Annual Graduation followed by team meetings. They came back refreshed and ready to do more training which is always a great sign.

Today we went to Parksville and, one by one, I took them through some public areas practicing buttons, retrieve, heels, sides, etc. Vanstone and Mars are enjoying retrieve, Kurtz is still trying to figure it out and once he does he’ll catch right up to them. Harrison has been at this a little longer so he’s way ahead of all of them.

Mars is picking up almost anything he can find. We are working on channeling this enthusiasm so that he picks up only the items asked of him. It’s a good problem to have and his retrieve is coming along well; he is already picking up 3 lb. dumbbells with ease. He always wants to be doing something; we are working on an on/off switch when in the house and not needed to work.

That’s it for now.  Until next time!

Submitted by: Rob McKay, Advanced Instructor.  Rob has four dogs on his string and works remotely from his home on Vancouver Island.