Thursday, March 1, 2012

new classes last night

last night was the start of a new session with the doggies. and i guess the start of the new era at the somjen household - we the ooh-roo dogs are retired and staying home, and the chillicherr duo are the up and comings.

chill started class last night for the first time ever. in some ways i always feel bad for my dogs when we start - i feel like i dont do much foundation or teach my dogs aything - a puppy in class like 2-3 weeks older than him was able to sit and control himself and stare at his owner, and chill can't be on the ground and focus more than 2-3 seconds. though iam hopeful that i may FINALLY have a dog that can settle outside the crate ha ha.

but chill is a little natural at this. i get why people have border collies - its not because they are obedience superstars - its because they STARE ha ha. he's got natural attention and focus. it isn't long right now. but its there! he also is SUPER smart and caught on very quickly that when things like the dog next to him squeaking the toy if he looked at me i gave him a cookie. if he sat calmly in front of me i gave him a cookie. so every distraction there he immediately turned back to me - and i was stunned, because this is the basis of obedience essentially and he caught on at least a little bit at day one?!?!?!?!?!?!

so mostly for my own knowledge (not that i think i ever look back here to remember what we do, which is also a problem) - things we worked on for chill:
1) tuck sits
2) fold back downs
3) the name game
4) moving towards you on the name game
5) moving towards you as you back up with the name game
6) controlling a settle/cuddle
7) the start of come here - collar grab and feeding/coming up to face.
8) self control - having to sit still for a few seconds and stare at us before the cookie was produced

i think thats about it - he was very good and super for all of this and it made me excited to train him!!!! and he also played like a monster when he needed a break - he tugged like mad! he was also a bad boy and got hung in the air once because he bit me badly on the hand (BAD DOG) because he was getting tired bitey in the last 10 minutes - but we did cuddle last and he was able to last the entire class.

so then we went to cherry - cherry missed 2 sessions of attention i think when i stopped classes in october when rah was hurt... so she was a little bit behind the class when we started back last session - but i think she's caught up pretty well and is probably towards the top of the class - some of that may be beacuse ive trained a dog for competition before seriously (some of the others have put CDs but never went higher). but by virtue of starting chill's class at the bottom in the super star puppy class, cherry had to move up to the big dog novice class - some of these dogs have CDs or CD legs (with 197s!) and some are certainly ready to show, there are OTCH handlers in there (!!) and then... baby cherry face. she worked so hard but it was a lot for her and at one point we sat out for 5 minutes because she needed a brain break!

we started with cherrys weakest exercise - the moving watch. she's getting better and when she is ON she's friggin adorable with this - she prances her ears are up and her eyes are HUGE (theres this thing with the light colored eyes on the blues - when they stare at you they dilate over and over again a little bit - rah did it and so does cherry!) and she's so into me - and then kathy was mean. kathy started throwing DUMBBELLS!!!! cherry's mind was BLOWN. some dogs were afraid. some dogs were curious. cherry was MUST. RETRIEVE. DUMBBELL. she loves it. she loves retrieving. she, like rah, is a stupidhead for them and she saw this and her mind was done. she was frozen and could not be reached at first. so we had to stop class for a few of us and work on "come here" again and incorporate that into the db distraction work. she got a little nervous then because she wanted to look at the db, but she knew she shouldn't - ears would go back at the throw and then she would sneak a peek, but as long as she looked back quickly we were good. eventually she figured out what to do and we rewarded heavily - but after over 20 minutes of this cherry was FRIED! we did heeling next and she was cute - probably only 20 seconds or so at a time, and i would stop her if she had enough - remember last week was the first time we even incorporated halts and now we are group heeling ha ha. but she's honest and tries hard - and she has the cutest left turns where she flings her butt behind me! she worked hard but by the change of paces i could see her brain start to check out - so she got to lay down and rest and cuddle with me for 5 minutes until she was starting to play and chew on her leash...

then we worked on easy things - backing up in the stand or the down... she knows this already but need to clean up cues. and then we went to stand - and i want to clean up her stand cue and get her going on just a verbal and get her kick back cleaned up (i trained the stand differently than everyone else in class) - so i went off to the side and did that, and then worked on attenetion in the front of the dog for a few seconds. but cherry is funny and part of the switch from stand in front of me to stand next to me involved a hop and i thought it was cute and rewarded it - so now she flies up in the air and kicks her back legs up and out - its hilarious. its SO MUCH MORE EFFORT than is required and kathy saw it and started cracking up - its like when she spins - she literally gets 4 feet of air when she spins instead of just going quick. but she does it because people laugh (reminiscent of rah, who puts on a show?!?!?!). we ended class with group stays - again, her first! and she rocked - i rewarded and stayed 2 feet away, feeding every 20 seconds and she was awesome. i know its early to say, but maybe i will actually have a doberman that does a curled down?!?!?!?!?

side note- cherry is getting really good with "tell me" too - she loves to speak!

so this week i want to work the dogs. for the first time in months i am actually excited because both dogs were amazing last night and while it wont be rah and berlin, i can and will have fun showing these guys. amy was right - its still my OTCH quest, its just not rah, but he was the start. and he will always be the start, but these guys are the next step, my next options.


Yaroslavna said...

Good luck, Kim with your new beginnings!!
i saaw your comment on dobermantalk about D. Fenzi. I'm going to her seminar in 2 weeks, very excited!!
Natasha and Lava the Doberman

Cynthia said...

I don't know if I'll ever get an OtCH, I just want to get into Utility and Q someday. :)