Saturday, September 13, 2008

im so bad...

i know its been forever since ive updated... i dont know if its that im tired, busy, both, or just... i dont know!!!

classes this week. we shall start with classes this week - i think remembering classes last week may be beyond me!

berlin's class first. we started with stationary attention while kathy came by to distract. turns out, as with all the dogs in the class - berlin has great attention when i am moving, but when im standing still she is more than willing to stop staring at me and look away.

(i will say while i appreciate her size and how cute she is, having a dog like rah is a LOT easier for me to make eye contact with - berlin gives me back cramps!)

so, we brought food back into the picture and every dog was much bigger - so im working on that. i think tomorrow ill take her to the petstore and work attentionwork.

did heeling - we discussed when we will be removing food from the picture - i took it away for a bit and she still maintained good head position - she automatically moved her eyes up to my face, yay - but her body position moves around a bit, and she moves her body OUT and wraps forward (a la rah). we shall see what kathy thinks. she understands the concept of halts, but she isn't always perfectly straight - she's very cute though.

worked SFE - she's a stand-tard right now, i worked it last night too and for some reason she cannot do a stand! im going to work it again tonight and use my trusty clicker and see if we can get a lovely kick back stand... she gets the concept barely but it never translates right now. we're missing that last piece.

worked fronts, finishes, and recalls and she did well. stays she did nicely on.

then i heeled rah - he was pretty good, but he started to get very pushy and he was literally pushing me over across the floor. our solution right now is that i bring my left knee up really high (not to knee HIM but to put it up and push him off) and it seems to be working - but the negative was it also pushed him out for his halts. his left turns were AMAZING though.

thursday night - thursday DAY sucked and it was berlins birthday (HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL!) - and i missed novice, so rah got to do open and utility instead. did some heeling and he did well again - working on control and good head position (nice attention as always) - snappy set ups, working come up sits, repositioning in the set up position, etc (also did those wednesday). did a lot of slows.

db retrieves were nice and fast - now im working his straight fronts with the db - i put out two high jump bars and he used those as guides and they were pretty nice! they are less intimidating for him than the broad jump boards. did some ROH too (at 24 inches) and he did 2 really hard ones, with nice fronts. so i called it on that - terry keeps warning me not to work him anywhere near full height right now, we cannot afford bad experiences! i want him to be very confident in jumping, which he is starting to be again. DOR - we played some games - good fronts, he screwed his first DOR because he didnt think it was coming (havent done one in over 2 months!) but the second was PERFECT so terry said throw a party!

broad jumps were nice - had to put a bar out on the right to prevent him from swinging his butt out on the front (its all that inertia!)...

onto utility - we started with signals, and terry wanted us to try small signals - giving very tiny ones so that the dogs are very hypersensitized to the visual cues - rah was very confused, so i backed up the distance to very close, added back in verbals, and he still wasnt sure. broke it down, stopped putting them all together, and ive been working on it now and he seems to get it. the thing, i think, is that he doens't seem to associate the "little" cues with the big ones i give - a small raised hand is NOT the same as a big sweeping arm to him - different signals will not necessarily mean the same thing, not to him.

articles - unlike last week, where he sucked, this week he worked the pile like a madman and pulled 4 articles straight out of the pile correctly, woohoo.

gloves - homework this week is to start randomly moving back from him- right now he is marking the correct glove, but when he goes out i move in with him and end up very close behind him - both to 1) minimize wide arcs when he comes back 2) remind him of his job, which is to bring it to front and 3) STOP HIM FROM SHAKING IT. so now once in awhile i am going to let him have more space.

go outs - were AWESOME. so was his directed jumping. terry did 2 with cheese, 2 without, and he did awesome turn and sits - but i need to remember to NOT let him release FORWARD out of the "box".

all in all, good training sessions.

tomorrow we have a private with terry.

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