Sunday, March 23, 2008

ahh, spring is in the air...

Worked Rah outside today for the first time since last year, really - the grass is still really soft, but my front yard can handle a few light jumps!

I had very low criterion - Rah is still pretty distracted outside, and to be honest my house/yard is probably MORE distracting for him than a show, because of conditioning. At shows he has been conditioned that he pays attention, cookies are coming, and this is a time that we train and do things together. At my house, this is a place where he has been conditioned and constantly self-rewarded and reinforced for barking at the neighbors dogs - most of which live outside and/or wander around loose.

So for this training session we had:

  • neighbor to the left had her two large dogs - one a newfie mix, one an ancient pyr, both outside and off leash hanging out in the front yard.
  • neighbor to diagonal left had their golden living outside in his pen, where he is 24/7 as far as i can tell. he barks all the time
  • neighbor across the street kinda to the left has his pen of outdoor dogs that live there 24/7 - mostly labs and one dal for variety, barking their heads off. props to this guy, though - he does hunt these dogs. i am jealous, because he had freshly killed birds he fed them. i want freshly killed birds for my dogs... but that's for another blog...
  • neighbor across the street and to the right, with his brittanys - they were in the driveway and then went into the house. they were the only dogs that ignored rah.
  • neighbor to the right with her poor lab that is somewhere in the house and barking his head off. which is better than her last lab, which lived outside all the time and barked until she lost her voice, permanently.
Anyway, I set up a broad jump, a high jump, and brought the db.
Rah was in high gear when we got out there, scanning the yard and looking for someone to bark at. He was very willing to set up for me and gave me probably 60-70% attention, but nowhere near his normal amount. He maintained position and actually performed everything asked of him, but he just lacked attention :) So he can listen without watching, but I don't want that!

We heeled 2 short patterns and did some set ups, as well as some changes of position. As predicted, the more I threw at him the better his attention got as he was forced to watch me, but as soon as one of the dogs started barking at him, he got so worked up he missed a sit at the last halt.

broad jump was nice, he didn't care that these were different than the ones we normally used and he did 4 nice ones, so i just did some maintenance on the bits and pieces. he did try to cut the corner, but bad mom also forgot to bring the bar jump board out to put there to encourage him to jump out and straight.

retrieve was nice as always, he did perfect ones. mental note though, i will have to practice throwing on grass because the db does NOT bounce on grass and i didnt count on that, so my throws are sometimes short. quick out, nice quick grab and straight back to front.

high jumps were good, only asked for 2 of those because he was doing them straight at the neighbors 2 dogs sitting in their yard and i figured two of them was enough.

ill be working attention out in the front yard i think, with my clicker, and maybe a modified LAT a la control unleashed - its not so much the vision of the other dogs, but the barking of my neighbors dogs that set him off - but only because he is SO WORKED UP at the thought of THOSE particular dogs, and any dogs walking past the front of my house. all my dogs get pretty territorial about their house, so...

i think i will order the carrying case for the jumps i just bought, and i need to order another db or two. just to have spares. one can never have too many db's right?

No comments: