Well, ok, that and all the sheep are squirting out babies left and right and mommas and babies don't herd well even for the knowledgable dogs. That, and its too hot.
Let's face it, training dogs during Tucson's long hot summer is an exercise in futility, at least when that training is outdoors.
So, we have decided to try our paw at disc dog. Now, to be honest, I lack a great deal in the frisbee (disc is a fancy dog term for frisbee - frisbee is probably a brand name) throwing skill set. Disc dog (for me at least) isn't so much about dog training as it is about people (me!!!) training!
Ruby came with a frisbee. I threw it about twenty times. Three were not utter garbage that she had zero hope of catching. Then it ended up in a tree. This is what these poor dogs have to deal with!
There's a lot of interest in disc dog stuff here in Tucson right now. There's a new disc dog page, and a monthly(ish) practice led by a dog trainer and disc dog dude. Theres hope that we can cobble together a Toss and Fetch League.
So far we've failed to make any of these practices, but I'm not training alone. Instead, I'm piggy-backing off a friend (Randi) who is not just attending these practices but attending a class by a local dog trainer who has actually done disc dog.
As summer began wrapping her melted-steel-hot tentacles around Tucson, I decided to embrace Ruby's skill set, and I went across the street from The Dog Spot to the park. I got a great video and didn't thoroughly disappoint Ruby, who was pretty proud of herself. Ruby is a snatch it from the air level disc dog.
My intention was to take Ruby back across the street and try Tagg, but then my plans got totally upended when this (insert most creative swearword combination here) dumped some little 7 week old kittens into the desert, and this (be creative with your swearword mashups here) saw him but did nothing other than point out the little terrified kitty running across the desert.
Well. (Stream of colorful language)
I put Ruby in the car, rolled down the windows so that I didn't cook her and spent 10 minutes catching one kitten and fruitlessly chasing the other (they were WILD!). Surrendering, I took Ruby back across the street, chucked the kitten into one of my rat carriers, snatched up Nova (Proof Pawsitive AZ on Facebook - a fun and cool dog trainer and voodoo practitioner (Reiki and acupressure)) and drove back across the street and using Kitten One we were able to nab Kitten Two.
(They landed safely in rescue and are no doubt already lounging deep in the lap of inside kitty luxury)
Tagg did not get a chance to chase any frisbees because of this fiasco.
Then my friend, Randi called because she needs to practice with her amazing Aussie Graham, who is also not herding right now, and is recovering from Valley Fever.
This was great! Randi found us a cool park to practice in, and taught me how to roll the frisbee instead of banging it into the ground for poor Tagg, who was growing desperate and sad at my frisbee rolling skills.
Tagg was pretty happy that I worked to improve my rolling skills (see, humans can be trained!) and because my rollers actually roll, Tagg has improved and can now occasionally catch them from the air!
I have no idea if she caught this, but it looks cool!
Randi's really nice herding line Aussie, Graham, is quite convinced he can catch the frisbee with his feet. It is not going as well as he had imagined, but he and Randi have all summer to get it right!
Ruby actually knows what she's doing, so now I'm starting to teach her all the cool moves like jumping over me. This may be Ruby's calling
So, strangely even though it's too hot to herd sheep, it's not too hot to play frisbee! Anyway, that's what my dogs are doing on their summer vacation, what are your dogs doing?