Jasper is good at problem solving. Jasper loves to play ball. He plays fetch and even catch with a Peoples, but he is perfectly capable of playing by himself too. When it’s cool he runs the yard, tossing the ball or batting it with his front feet and chasing after it. When it’s warm, he drops the ball over the edge of the walkway (where it’s shady) and chases it down the hill. When it’s hot he prefers to lie on a Coolaroo and just fiddle with the ball.
The problem with this form of play is that sometimes he pushes the ball over the edge of the Coolaroo and it rolls underneath. When that happens, he has to fuss until a Peoples come to get it back for him, or …
I’m sure you noticed the analytical thinking that was going into solving this problem. It was not just “I need to tear through this thing to get my ball” but, “how can I get to my ball?”
This is typical for Jasper. He is quite bright. And, being bright, he sometimes tries to outsmart the Peoples. Like this fella. Other times he just says, “I know what you’re doing and I want no part of it.” So training him means finding incentives that are so high value he cannot refuse. That is sometimes a problem of its own!
All in all, he has come a tremendous way from being the ruffian wild-child to being a dog we welcome in our home. He does need to be supervised, but not as closely as was once required. He now gets long play periods where he will amuse himself by chasing a ball or chewing a hoofie.
He likes to get rowdy in play, so neither Blondie nor I will play with him. But when he’s not intent on chewing our ears off, we will share a room with him while he plays.
He’s a pretty good boy.
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