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Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh Aise, Aise. You Little Stinker

Aise begins her bucking and flailing

Illy does a road crossing

Illy and Ziggy setting a good example

Hey! A moment of good behavior!

More bucking and flailing

Exuberance and excitement are good things. Lack of focus and just plain naughtiness are what Aise contributed to our last canicross hike. Oh Aise, Aise. You little stinker. Illy and Ziggy were setting such a good example; keeping their lines tight and staying focused on the trail head. But Aise... not so much.

This has happened before during our last canicross hike a few months ago but when we put Aise in harness next to Oken during our first fall training run, this behavior quickly disappeared when Oken instantly let her know what behavior was to be expected. We've got to be doing something wrong because we couldn't get that across to her the other day when she flailed, whipped around, bit her harness, bit her line, bit Illy's line, bit Ziggy's line, slashed my pants, nipped at Kristen's pants, nipped at Lisa's pants. We know why she's doing it. She wants to go faster and is taking this 'displaced aggression' out on anything that comes close to her. The proper training method for how to put an end to it is what is coming slow and we've tried numerous things.

Since Oken did such a good job with her last week, I think our next step will be to enlist his help in correcting the current problem. We'll take them both out hiking side by side. His abrupt growl and nip should take care of it and then we'll get a chance to reinforce her good behavior after Oken's correction. The problem with our training session the other day is that there were far too few chances to reinforce good behavior with her because she was so out of focus.

Back to the drawing board to work on solving the new sled dog training puzzle. There is never a dull moment and there is always something new to learn when working with a group of sled dogs. Keeping a sense of humor is at the top of the list!


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