Day Seven

Making up for the complete wash that was Wednesday‘s training, yesterday we had quite the full and busy day.

We started in downtown Albany and walked around outside. It was absolutely freezing! But for the most part the streets were much clearer than downtown Schenectady and it made for much easier walking. There were a few curbs, though, that were not cleared and some of those had some rather astonishingly high snowbanks, which gave Uschi a lot of practice in find a way. Aside from some rather severe dog distraction, she did a really wonderful job. She was really interested in sniffing all of the fresh snow and for the first time in our training I used her head collar, which got her attention back on task right away. Well, if you discount where she just lied down in the middle of the sidewalk to rub her muzzle in the snow. The funny thing was that this was at least ten minutes after I put the Gentle Leader on! We also took a trip into the Alfred E. Smith Building to get the required revolving doors done, which went completely without incident.

The dog distraction concerns me more. She’s been distracted by dogs and cats a few times in the last week and managed to get focused again fairly quick, but we had a dog pass by us while at a crossing and she just wouldn’t let it go. It actually took me falling on her to get her to really start paying attention again. We’re both fine, by the way. The fall was while traversing one of those mile high snowbanks and Uschi ended up in a spot where the snow was much deeper than anticipated. She sunk right down to her neck and I overbalanced and went down on one knee by her. Anyway, we’re going to take a trip to one of the pet supply stores in the area next week and try and get some dog distraction work in, hopefully something like that will help alleviate this from getting out of hand.

So, after a few hours of walking around in the blistering cold, we headed off to Crossgates Mall where we walked at least five miles.1 We got in the necessary escalator work and practiced some follow. I’m very happy at how little she’s bothered by people — and it’s a nice reprieve to not have a dog with child distraction which I’m realizing had become nearly out-of-hand with Yara. I won’t deny I should have worked more with her on it, but it was very inconsistently an issue. I mean, she noticed every child in her line of vision but it was infrequent that she’d really act on it.

For reasons I’m not entirely clear on we decided to go to the movies. I’m not complaining, since obviously I do take my guides to the movies with me, but it was kind of random. We decided on The Season of the Witch and all I really can say about it is that it seems much longer than the hour and a half or so running time. I guess it’s all that walking 400 leagues or something. Honestly, it seemed to lack much of, well, anything. I don’t know. Basically it was just this thing that was on the screen for awhile. Uschi was completely unimpressed and slept through the whole thing. I take that as a good sign.

After that we had dinner (or a very late lunch?) at Ruby Tuesdays and called it a day. Today we have a short day, since Jason’s leaving, and then we’ll pick up a few more days of training next week to finish things off.

Oh, lest I forget, here’s some cute photos I took last night:

  1. The mall is one mile from end to end.


  1. Uschi’s most likely just fascinated by all the things that she hasn’t seen before (or too often). Hopefully, it’ll get much better after more training.
    …and she looks adorable in those pictures :)

    • I’m actually very pleased with how solidly she’s working already. The dog distraction isn’t to a point where we can’t get her passed it, so I’m hardly worried.

      She really is a very affectionate and cute dog, I have to say.

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