Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trio of matches

starting next Sunday there are three matches to get out to.  One of which is my building but the other two are in new or fairly new environments for my dogs.  I plan to go to all three matches.  It will be a great chance to see how Gali does doing "Trials" three weekends in a row.  Well four really since the following weekend he is entered in a trial.  I haven't been practicing any run throughs with Gali, just doing some proofing drills and mixing up the exercises to keep it interesting. 
It is funny how time progresses on.  I can remember having a conversation with my friend Susie and saying that I couldn't fathom ever running Gali in utility.  He still felt like "the new dog".  Not that I ever had any doubt about if he could do it or not, but I just couldn't get the picture in my head.  Now I have the same feeling about Ribbon, and Gali feels like an old pair of comfortable slippers.  I wonder how long it will be before I write about Ribbon getting ready for her utility trails??

On unrelated matters...Static electricity is driving me insane!!! my dogs are starting whince as I reach to pet them, knowing there is going to be a shock.
Also, watched Julia/Julie last night - really good movie - watch it if you get a chance.  Now I want her cookbook!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Social Club

One of the new things we will be doing this year is inviting our students and friends to join us for some extra training time. I am really looking forward to it. It is a way to put to the hall to use instead of letting it sit empty. But truthfully it is a way for me to get an opportunity to train with some distractions around. I can do whatever I want, I am not teaching or setting up any drills so it presents are great chance to put some time in on Ribbon and Gali.

The question is, what will I do?

Gali needs

  • Work on cold turkey go-outs in different directions.
  • Signal work from various distances
  • Scent work with focus on fronts and finishes
  • Heeling (my favourite!!)
  • Play games with him
  • Moving stand (because there will be people to examine him!!)

Ribbon needs

  • Rear end work particularly on right turns and outside post of figure 8. The batting cage drill would be good for this
  • Halts with and without footwork
  • Add variety by including signals, jumping and some retrieving
  • Fine tuning heel position with some proofing drills like slow pace turns
  • Fronts with a chute
  • Duration heeling to build up how long she can work for
  • Stand for exam, not that this ever bothers her, but she still has to do it
  • Sit and down stays during distractions and with other dogs (because there will be people to do them with!!)

Very excited!! First on the agenda today though is Ribbon's herding lesson, busy, busy day!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Always and Never

Two words you shouldn't hear when talking about dog training. "I would never do that when teaching a dog to do..." or "I would always do it this way". Certainly my life would be easier if I could say "ALWAYS teach your dog to do a drop signal from a stand" "NEVER let your dog do that." But there is so much opportunity to let the dog show us what makes sense to him please don't cut yourself off to finding different ways of getting to your goal because someone tells you this is the ONLY way to get the job done.

However you should still have a plan of attack on how to teach a dog a skill and you should have in your mind a perfect mental picture for how the exercise should be completed. But the path you take getting there can take many different avenues and keeping an open mind in your training session will keep your training time less stressful for both you and the dog.