Swim lessons!

Besides torturing Lance today, we decided to head down to the Minnehaha dog park. We've never been there before, but we will definitely be going again!

The dogs had a great time playing in the Mississippi!
It was Vito's first time going swimming and he loved it! He wasn't exactly the greatest of swimmers, but there was no fear. Vito kept telling* us that he could chase balls all day!
*by "telling" I mean shrieking. Yup, Vito had the toller scream going in full force today! My goal was to wait for him to give us one full second of quiet before throwing the ball. So that basically meant waiting for Vito to actually BREATHE!

I don't know how his mouth is closed in this picture. My little point and shoot camera must have a faster shutter speed than I thought!
Shake it!
Of course he wouldn't drop his precious ball to shake off!Even Lance swam for the first time today! Previously he has gone into the water, but never far enough to actually swim! Although I must say that each time he swam today it never looked like it was his plan :) Usually it would be in the excitment of chasing after a ball, and the next time a ball was thrown Lance would be extra cautious to not go out so far!
Lance also surprised us and started whining for balls to be thrown! Usually he is a typical annoying corgi and just barks at balls that should be moving, but today Lance was almost as bad as Vito! Ok, that's a lie. No dog can ever be as loud and high pitched as Vito is. But still, the only other time Lance has whined like that was when he saw lure coursing for the first time!
I have to say one good thing about Vito; at least when we say "all done" and give a couple "leave its," Vito is very good about wandering away. He may not forget that there is a ball there, but he won't bug you about throwing it. So there were a couple of calmer moments where the dogs just ran and forgot about yelling at balls.
Let's just say that both dogs got a much needed bath once we got home. It sure was shocking though to see how fast Vito's retriever coat dries and sheds dirt! Vito barely needed a bath and was perfectly dry while Lance's coat was disgusting and still soaking wet when we arrived at home. Of course Lance always finds a way to get muddy in conditions that I think would be impossible!

Update:  We've been back and a video was taken of Vito's toller scream.  So if you want to hear what a toller scream sounds like, click here!

Owner of Storm and Jackal  – ( July 6, 2009 at 8:29 AM )  

It looks like they had a lot of fun. You should get a video sometime of the shrieking. I'm curious what it sounds like. I've never met a Toller in person, so I've never heard one do that.

ClassyChassy  – ( July 6, 2009 at 3:51 PM )  

What a good time!!! A video would be wonderful to see!

Mango  – ( July 6, 2009 at 7:21 PM )  

Vito! Swimming is the best thing ever. You keep practicing and you will improve. I have been visiting the cement pond next door to work on my stroke. I get super wet and then all of a sudden I am dry! Go figure.


Honey the Great Dane  – ( July 8, 2009 at 8:14 PM )  

Hey, the dogs look like they had a great time! I too would love to see what Vito's "screaming" sounds like! :-)

I love the way you're so consistent about rewarding the right behaviours (like waiting for Vito to be quiet before throwing the ball) - if more people thought like that, they would have a lot less problem dogs! People always tell me they wish their dogs were as well-behaved as Honey but then say that they haven't got the time to do the training...and they just don't understand that I don't set aside specific time for "training" (well, other than working on our dance routines) - it's just incorporated into our daily life and routines and making sure that I'm always only rewarding behaviours I want...(sigh), it isn't that hard, just getting into a way of thinking - but I wish more people would realise that.

We also have a similar thing with Honey where we say "no more" and that means the game is over for now...and she is pretty good about not hassling us to throw her ball again. But thankfully, she is a very quiet dog and almost never barks or whines for anything...although she'll bounce like a demented kangaroo around you if she wants the ball - which can be just as annoying! :-)


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