Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunny Sunday Practice

With work being crazy swamped with requests for training consults I didn't think I was every going to get home today.  3 hours of work then 2 new client assessments and my first in home session with a new client.  It was awesome, but I left home at 7am and didn't get home until 4:30pm.

Despite daylight savings meaning I had an hour less sleep last night, It did mean that I had plenty of daylight to get some training and videos done.  Which is good cause I needed to film some demonstrations for my CTDI (Certified Trick Dog Instructor) certification.  When I got that done (which took forever and 4 different dogs to complete) I pulled out the weaves and the practice board for some weave practice with Trophy and box turn learning with Demo.

I've been putting off really delving into weave training because (other than my lack of time) it's recommended that you use toys to train 2x2 weaves and Trophy is just not toy motivated.  However, yesterday at flyball practice I had an epiphany.  I already taught Trophy to retrieve a ball for a cookie... why wouldn't that work for teaching the weaves?  So I throw the ball to get him moving away from me quickly, and he brings it back for his ultimate reward: FOOD.

My other big concern is over working him.  Trophy loses focus VERY quickly. especially when working outside and when toys are involved... so I did 5 minutes and quit on a good note.  It was very hard for me not to keep working on it, but I just have to remind myself that, in the long run, more SHORT sessions will be better. :)

Then I moved on to Demo's box turn.  He catches on so darn fast!!  Several things I noticed to yell at myself for: 1. pick a word and go with it!  I'm telling him hup, box, and ball.  I catch myself doing this with my trained dogs too.  Some times it's ready box, sometimes ready go, and mostly (i think?) Ready ball.  Bad dog trainer, bad.  2. Make sure to keep an eye on how much the board is sliding down.

Last is something that I couldn't see at the time because my back was turned, but I need to bring home the jump board as as soon as I took the front box prob makeshift thing away he cheated his way off the board without doing a nice tight turn.

Over all, very very happy with his performance.

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