Sunday, May 10, 2009

a little private time

yesterday we had a private lesson - i opted to share the lesson between rah and berlin since they both had things i wanted to work on. i got there a little early but it was hot as hell outside and humid, so i waited inside as connie finished up with pippen. of the four privates she gave yesterday, terry worked 5 dobes and only one other breed (a flattie) - i think thats funny :) i like watching other people train, it gives me lots of ideas for things i can do with myself, and the entire process just intrigues me - seeing how other people do things, how they go about looking into their problems, fixing them, interact with their dogs, etc.

i got berlin out and she had digusting blow out diarrhea, we started warming up. terry said that because berlin is so controlled and serious - she is going to have to be out of control for her warm ups - she wants to see her jumping and being crazy because she can handle it. we did some cooperation -and incorporated her speaking into the warm up and had her popping all over the place, barking and shotting up at me - then shot her straight into a set up and heeled out. no leash at all, if she wasn't there i reached down for a pop, if she was i broke off immediately. terry was able to let me know the minute she hit PERFECT and we stopped and rewarded - kept it very fast paced - moved a lot, kept her running all over, barking, hopping up on me, having fun. asking her to set up, if she starts to windowshop, a quick pop and she will be right there again - but im not going to babysit her anymore. she's starting to rely on my help from the leash, and she doesn't need it - she can be responsible for her own position.

worked her right turns - i make a right then laterally half pass to the right some more while popping her over "with me" and just keep doing it and reward her each time she does it - she loves it. she has to learn that she, i, and we can be wrong and work through it and be fine.

we went to fig 8's- i need to set her up further back, but her left and right posts were spectacular - she pushed around the outer post and ended up in perfect position each time and was marvelous. i was very pleased with that - we ended there. i didnt want to push her further, and she'd done 30 minutes of pretty intensive heeling, and she'd been successful. \

then we took out psycho blue. set him up for heeling - she called us a pattern and we worked on left turns and getting him out of my way - he needs to respect my space and MOVE - she said my warm ups for him need to be repeated left turns to get him moving and yeilding to me so that he will be reminded. then when she called the patterns she had the dreaded slow in there.

when rah does a slow, its like this - and you can see him with his inner battle "why are we doing slow .. .slow... slow... are we done with slow? slow... slow... slow... done yet??? WHY SLOW?? WHY THE SLOW? WHY ARE WE IN SLOW??!?!?!?!!?" - he is popping straight up, he's hopping on his back legs, he's shaking - it torments him to have to slow down!!! and then the minute we get a normal called, he literally explodes - he JUMPS straight up in the air and surges forward, so happy to be moving again. terry was laughing saying she could see how hard it was for him to slow down, it literally kills him to do a slow.

so we worked controlling him - of course this in his actual trial pace - which is not a heeling pace i can keep up for long because it hurts so much. but i have to heel him, she calls the slow, and he has to hold that slow while i straighten up and remind him where he needs to be, and the minutue he gives in and holds that slow, she will call him a normal - but i heel in slow for 2 more steps and THEN reward him with a normal. he can't do the pattern on his own, i have to be the one that determines when we change paces. but it worked nicely.

then we moved to the dreaded pivots... clearly most of the issues have been me, not him. started with the fact that im not positioning my body first, and im looking too far back at him - first because he wasnt sitting, and then he stopped turning because i was looking too hard and overpowering him. so we started back with the basics - me just breaking the plane with my hips and shouluders and him popping up and back and into a sit. rewarded that in heel position, did it a few times. (NEED TO STOP BACKING UP IF HES NOT IN HEEL _ GET HIM TO COME FORWARD). our plan is that even in these baby steps, where he's just doing pieces of the pivot and not a full pivot, he needs to sit at each part - because he can never think the pivot doesnt involve a sit. then the next step was bringing my right foot forward into the T, and he did really well.

we ended there and just talked for a bit. berlin doesn't have the innate deep drive to do this obedience that rah does - rah just finds the obedience rewarding for the sake of it - he's unusual. she's like most dogs. she does it, and enjoys it, but her life doesn't revolve around it. rah lives for this. he wants to do it all the time. terry lamented that if i had rah from a very little puppy and had started his training sometime before 1.5 years old, he could have been unstoppable. i hope he can still be amazing despite all that!!!!!!!!!

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