Dog Blog: Friday training talk

Here's Jillie playing in the snow real close to the place where we had a confrontation with another dog last week. She was initially scared going to that same location but has bounced back.
Mike Lewis
Now that much of the ice is gone, Lucy's enjoying walks again.
Mike Lewis
Jillie has the nose of a bloodhound. On our walk today, she left the smooth roadway and jumped into some deep snow and started sniffing. She poked her head about 6" down and came up with some kind of bone.
Mike Lewis

Use this space to discuss training issues -- brag about successes, lament setbacks, or bounce a question off the group.

Here's mine:

Jillie bounced back quicker than I thought after our scare on the trail last week. On our first trip over the same trail where we had a confrontation with an unleashed dog, she balked at going to the same area. On our next trip, I approached the area from the other direction. She didn't seem to notice. I love resilient dogs.

Eddie has two speeds when he's doing his tricks. When he's motivated, everything is fast. When he's not, he works in slow motion and gets distracted. We do tricks on all of his therapy dog visits at the hospital, and I used to address the slowness by changing the motivation -- I'd move from treats to a toy. But the hospital recently disallowed toys for a reason that makes sense: Toys get dirty, and they can pick up back stuff both at home and at the hospital. So now I'm stuck trying to find a way to motivate him when treats stop working. Any ideas? Maybe better treats?

Lucy has come such a long way on loose-leash walks. She used to pull like crazy and bark any time we'd see a strange dog. But over the course of a year, I've seen incremental improvements just by requiring a heel in situations I know tend to incite her. She's still letting out a woof or two and pulling for a second, but she pops back in place and passes casually.

What's up with your pack?