Yesterday I took the dog out for a run, since her energy levels had rebounded exponentially since our 19 mile hike on Saturday. It was hot, which meant I did the ‘jogging shuffle’ instead of my slightly faster paced ‘fast jog’. I don’t force Soleil to heel when I’m this slow – it would drive both of us insane. Instead she meanders about, sniffing and marking, coming back to me to make sure I’m still moving, but rarely does she stand still.
So it was with a bit of puzzlement that I saw her standing off the trail looking back at me during one particularly steep and painful hill climb. I wasn’t sure why, but the answer became clear when I saw a mountain biker whizzing towards me at a good clip. Soleil, usually known more for her stupidity than her intellect, must have internalized some of my ‘heel’ commands at actually figured something out. Who knew?
It’s amazing what a huge payoff dog training has in the long run. (Isn’t that right bro?)