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Every year, Washington, D.C., hosts the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  The festival includes a parade, some road races, and a lot of photography at all times of day.  Areas around the Tidal Basin, the Washington Monument, and other parks are full of the Cherry Blossom trees blooming at right around the same time.  Thursday of this week was supposedly the peak day of the blooming, so yesterday morning two of us played tourist and walked down to the Washington Monument.  Even on a weekday morning, there were a lot of people down that way.  However, I also got the added benefit of a good bit of exercise for King.

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Training continues as well- on Thursday, we worked on heeling finishes (the dog coming into heel position) for obedience and targeting of the bicep for bitework.  Except for “leg dogs” (dogs trained to target the legs of an assailant/decoy), dogs in PSA competition are required to target the bicep area of the decoy.  It’s not too tricky, but does require a transition as much of the initial bitework is forearm targeted since it is done in the dog’s prey drive, and therefore the dog is chasing the decoy. The level at which we are first going to compete does also offer a sleeve division, but in order to move on to higher levels the bicep targeting on the bite jacket is required, and so we are going to keep working at bicep targeting (among other things) and look to compete later in the year.

We’ve also started working on “outs” off of the decoy- the dog outing on command- and he’s getting better but it is a very different and new action for him, so it will be a couple more weeks before those really improve. As of now, we’re set to go back to training tomorrow, and will hopefully see further improvement.

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