Thursday, April 24, 2008

happy almost end of april

What a weird month this has been - the high of first place, the low of horrible outdoor showing - tonight Rah had definite flashes of brilliance combined with complete insanity.

We didn't make it to ANY classes last night - I had a parvo puppy at work and would not have been sufficiently able to decontaminate myself before heading up to T.D., so I opted out of class since I know many others have young young puppies. So we stayed home and sadly, didn't do much work.

Started tonight with stays, which were atrocious - think last year atrocious. Rah couldn't hold a sit to save his life - but that was because I was talking to Terry and telling her about Ed's judging mishaps... mental note, Rah cannot handle me NOT paying attention to him, or more importantly I think it's focusing on someone else. It's been hard enough getting him to accept that there is downtime where we both just kinda hang out - it's another thing where I expect him to hold a position for 5 minutes while I gab away - he's not ready. Correct handler with prong collar here.

Heeling was nice! He did pretty well, and his halts were for the most part very nice - he had one crooked one, but the rest were straight and right where they needed to be! We went to fig8 afterwards, and everyone was amused at how Rah uses my breast as a bouncing spot for his head - he repeatedly bumps his face into my left breast on the inner post. Which is better than his entire body blocking - I need to keep his attention more and his head up and that will help this. I'm going to get the clicker out and start marking him when it's exactly what I want to clarify.

Played some db restrained games and he did well, except that twice he tried to take his db and go play on his own at the very last minute rather than give it up to me - ahh, an old problem resurfacing. the db is such his fave toy, it's taken me a long time to get him to reliably bring it back to me. he didn't take any laps around the room, but he did require a second command twice. However, his pickups were nice and clean, he was fast and very accurate. Correct handler a second time for not rewarding dog for bringing back db - after I let him tug it and carry it around, he was much happier.

Then we brought out the broad jump and high jump (and i also added in fig8's again) - Rah's broad was beautiful at 56" (just a few inches short of his regulation distance) and we did some maint. on his set ups. His high jump was nice too, he made a few good choices and hard pickups!

Then we worked recalls and DOR's - proofed him for the dismal "call your dog" fiasco that he fell for last week by having Terry hold his leash and he only fell for it once. He has to learn that while YES they are telling me to call him, I have to be the one doing the calling :) he did some beautiful DOR's though, yay!

took a break and moved to utility. Worked gloves first, but rah is a glove shaker and that needs to be broken - so this week we backtracked him - while he is perfectly capable of working the gloves and essentially full ring, he shakes the entire way back. So right now the glove is on a leash and I am just telling him to hold it and tugging on it and rewarding a solid grip on the glove.

Moved to scent articles and he did well, though we were playing around with his pivots and demotivation, v. restrained find its and such - with a big dog, i want him going out fast and happy, and right now im doing a mix of pivots and restrained.

worked signals, and rah did some beautiful sits!!!!! with no forward motion. for some reason his downs suffered a bit - im going to get the clicker out and click for fast downs from a stand in front of me and see how that works.

go outs were good - he's at almost 30 feet in class, and pretty good with the turn and sit.

his directed jumping was horrible, terrible. we started with the infamous jump that attacked him a month ago, and he acted like a baby - and then he just decided he didn't want to play the game at all and with every over command, he just bolted wherever he felt like it - j but we cannot end on that, so on the flexi he went and he had to go over both jumps once before we called it a night.
time to take a step back - while he's doing lovely DJ at home and doing them at MUCH more of a distance and angle than in class, something about in class is freaking him out. we created a chute for him with a gate and worked him that way, and next week we are just going to set that up first thing and not even LET him be wrong or give him the option of avoiding the jump, because he took the jump earlier in the day without any issue - at this point he just didn't want to do it.

so that's the night. berlin is showing this weekend at the ADA show, and im going to try to get all the schutzhund folk to do SFE's on rah while we are there to get him more comfortable with guys :)

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