Monday, May 13, 2013

Reintroducing Indy to the Tunnel

Alan and Jenn gave us a fantastic backyard agility course for our puppy adoption almost two years ago.  Since we don't have a fenced in yard, we haven't been able to set it up outside.  The only part that really works inside is the tunnel because you can just set it on the ground.  Well it had been a while since we had taken it out, and Indy has forgotten what to do with it.  

"You want me to do WHAT?!?"
"I don't know, it keeps moving..."
When in dobt, Indy always goes back to barking.  Sometimes it is for something he wants, but in this time I think the tunnel was frightening him a bit.  Treat lures weren't helping.

"Bark!  Bark Bark!"
I tried moving the tunnel to the hallway where there would be more space for Indy to run through.   Indy was not impressed, and a little suspicious.  He kept running into his jail in the living room, afraid that I was going to try to trap him maybe?  

"I have to keep my eyes on it at all times, expect for when Mommy comes near, then I'll run away and hide."
Treat lures helped a bit, but Indy continued to be suspicious if I moved while he had paws in the tunnel.  He would go in with his front two feet, and then STRETCH as far as he could to get the treat in the middle.  

"I want the treat SO BAD!"
I finally left the tunnel with some treat (pulverized freeze dried chicken liver) in the tunnel.  I could hear him licking the floor of the tunnel from the other room.  I figured that his exploration was a good thing and that he was getting more comfortable.  

Come dinner time, we gave him his food in a dispenser ball.  I rolled the ball through the tunnel and SUCCESS - he chased after it!  He would also go in to pull the ball out if I placed the ball in the middle of the tunnel.  

Finally, 24 hours later... it happened.  Indy got over his fear and started happily running "THROUGH" again!  

And then I was finally able to capture the picture that was the whole goal of this process - Indy laying down in the tunnel.  

"Can I have that treat now?"
Indy has done pretty well with agility at the dog park, but we would love to work on it with fewer distractions.  Now we're ready to go set up this whole set on Mackinac in July!  (Hopefully all of the roaming dogs and passing by horses won't be too much of a distraction...)  

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