Back on the Wagon

A couple of weeks ago, our discovery of an abandoned shopping cart on our morning walk led to a little experiment—I put Rain in and started rolling her around slowly. At the time, I reasoned, it was to continue giving Rain new experiences in aid of socialization. It went well and I dreamed of a future where I might be able to take Rain for a ride in the box of a cargo bike.

Yesterday Molly (our agility teacher) sent an email reviewing our last agility class and outlining things we can be working on during our break in August:

Now that your dogs have mastered the wobble board, shape your dog to ride in a moving object; swivel/rocking chair, wheelbarrow, garden cart, wagon, box on crate dolly, flatbed carts at HomeDepot / Wilco etc.

Some dogs are more sensitive to movement than others. Start by getting your dog comfortable sitting in the object without any motion/movement.  Add tons of value to being in the object (treats!), then GRADUALLY add motion or movement with rapid rate of reinforcement – either toss a bunch of treats at their feet or have a helper to move the object as you rapidly give treats to your dog.

***When / if you get to point where your dog is riding along with a happy grin…..share a picture.***

“Oh, awesome!” I thought when I read this section. “We’re already working on this!” I love it when what I’m doing anyway feeds so nicely into what we’re asked to do for class. Especially since I’ve found other homework to be so challenging for various reasons.

Imagine my delight then, when we saw another abandoned shopping cart on our morning walk. Instead of scooping her up and putting her into the cart this time, I lifted the back panel and had her get in by herself. Success! She jumped out the edge, but then I got her back in again the same way.

When she was secure I slowly started wheeling her around the basketball court.

(While feeding her treats, of course!)

This is all in preparation for learning the teeter. Since Rain took so quickly to the wobble board, I don’t imagine it’ll take long for her to be comfortable moving around like this. As long as I keep those treats flowing!


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