Sid, now Tux, was adopted into a home where he will become an agility STAR. He has a big brother named Zack to teach him the ropes and he sure is loving life!!
He’s proving to be a very fun dog to work with and different from my previous labs and Zack in that he’s much more “visually-oriented” than “scent-oriented”. Maybe this means I will finally have a dog I won’t have to worry about losing to horse poop in a less-than-pristine competition arena!!! :^) But then he does have that “border collie eye” which is quick to lock on to other dogs, livestock etc. so that is a different kind of distraction to train around. Fortunately he came to me with some very nice foundation skills (thanks to some good work done at the Hailey shelter) and is both food-motivated (maybe that’s the lab part of him :^) and CARES about a human’s opinion of what he is doing! I can usually quite successfully distract him from whatever he might get “fixated” on with some food treats, and lots of praise when he re-orients on me. I did notice with some amusement that my neighbor’s six black angus cattle, who were lying down in their pasture 20’ inside the barbed wire fence, got UP and watched Tux very respectfully when he “gave them the eye” as we walked by on leash this afternoon. I think they would occasionally get up when I would walk my labs by, if they were VERY close to the fence, but I never noticed this sort of movement at this distance. Tux must have a pretty confident “presence” about him, from the perspective of a cow! (Of course my labs never spent much time staring at cows as they walked by, either – being much more interested in the scent of – generally unseen -- Hungarian partridges, deer, the occasional fox, or local cat poop along the road.)
From his adopter:
Anyway, lots of interesting stuff going on and lots of learning happening for both Tux and me. I should add that Tux is responding very enthusiastically to his agility foundation work too – he’s learning directional commands around gates and barrels, has started learning hoops and tunnels and “following a path” – plus the fundamentals like a stay on the start line until released to run …. a “wait” …. following body language, etc. Lots of fun.
And as a friend VERY kindly pointed out to me right after I brought Tux home, it’s nice to have all colors represented at my house to assure there is dog hair showing on ALL of my clothes (and you thought it was just a coincidence that my first three labs were all BLACK! :^)