Last night the girls came to class- Wicca to a rally class, and Pixel's "Performance Puppy" class started up again.
Wicca did great and was excited to be out doing obedience- I used her for demos, and she got to play lots in between. At the end I ran her through the little course I had set up and she did great. We do need to work on staying tighter in heel position after an about turn- she tends to end up crooked and wide for a few paces before settling back in. I think it is because she is forging so much that she gets too far out of position to fix herself.
Pixel did great in the puppy group. We started off by working on some heeling- she is going to be a very nice heeler. She is very food motivated and has her head up hoping for something the whole time. We also worked on teaching a good set up. So we set them up on our left side, had them look at us, and released ahead to a thrown toy. She thought this was rather fun!
I always make a point in class to make sure that people are using their food and toys to their best advantage- we want the toy/food to be a reward, and not a lure. So we talked about building value for the reward by asking the dog to do something, and then presenting them with the super awesome toy they want. So for example you get them all excited about the toy- let the tug even, ask them to give, and then ask them to do something. The second they do what you want they get the toy. Simple eh? It is pretty amazing how it will turn the lightbulb on for the dog! We worked on teaching the dog fast about turns- using the toy again as a reward. With my own dogs I want them really driving ahead on an about turn. I have found with short dogs it doesn't take much to look like they are lagging if they are not right there.
After a short break we did some circle work (shadowhandling). I hadn't done this with Pixel yet and she did great! You want the dog to run with you around in a circle (in this case two chairs) and the dog needs to stay on the same side- no cutting in front or behind. Pixel only cut behind once, and when I stopped she stopped and came right back to the correct side. And- get this- she didn't nip at me once!!! Woohoo! Wicca was a demon at this age and would nip me any chance she got. She figured if I was running it was her chance I guess! Next week we'll start adding accel/deccel to the circle and teach the dog to understand the difference...
We ended with some nose touch practice. Pixel is getting better I am glad to say. I really struggled at first because she was such a sissy about it- barely touching, or showing no interest in the game. I had to go back and start from scratch and build up to NOT rewarding for sissy touches. Now she is pretty forceful and will try again and again until she gets it right. Next week we'll introduce the actual target.
After the class was over Jolene (who has her puppy entered in his first show the same weekend as Pixel) wanted to practice some foo foo show dog stuff. Pixel surprised me by being perfect. Really. She let me stack her, let the "judge" go over her, and gaited around the pretend ring like a pro. I've been really working on sit,down,stand verbal cues with her and she is really getting it. She also knows to stay in position until I tell her otherwise so those two things really make a difference. She's so cute this dog!!!