Turn! Turn! Turn!

To every dog, turn, turn, turn,
There is a cookie, turn, turn, turn,
And a time to every purpose in your harness.
A time to be born, a time to die,
A time to stay, a time to run,
A time to bark, a time to shush,
A time to sniff, a time to eat.
(Got the song in your head now? Here’s my favorite version.)

Rain and I are working on turns this week. Friday morning we found ourselves in our neighborhood park when it was still pitch black outside. There are very few dogs at the park when you can’t see your hand in front of your face! We wouldn’t be very distracted, so we worked on turns.

Which is also our homework this week. : )

Rain really has taken to turning. Will it last? If another dog presents itself, will Rain be willing to turn and leave him in the dust? Only time will tell, but I’m hoping lots of practice without distractions will cement the command in her head enough that she’ll be fine when we spot our first canine.

Remember yesterday when we established that I am the weakest link in this team? If that didn’t cinch it, consider this: our first day of practicing turns in the wild had me tangled up in a leash every single time.

At least I figured out why. In order to keep treats accessible, I usually put them in my left pocket. Rain generally walks on my left. When I say “turn” and turn to walk the other way, she comes up on my right side. But I’m pulling the cookie out of my left pocket. She quickly crosses in front to get the cookie and stops me in my tracks, because my legs now cannot move.

Possible solutions: carry cookies in both pockets (wouldn’t she like that?), wear the family treat bag, turn differently.

Keep practicing.

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