Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Obedience Training

We've been confined to home, the park, and the yard so we've had no agility to train for two weeks already- with two more to go. I still am workingon ground work stuff, but I have also been training the dogs in Obedience every day. Even Vito can't escape.

Boone has been working on Stand/Stay. He knows now what "stand" means, but is very uncomfortable in a stay in that position- so I am working on changing his default behaviour from a sit to a stand to make it more "normal" for him. He doesn't like change, so it has been a bit of a struggle but he is starting to get it. I also have been working on making sure he knows where heel position is- he just generally follows me around I think, so I have been using lots of clicker, and lots of fun heeling games to teach him. He is doing very well, and I don't think he'll have any problems in Medicine Hat. There is still a whole month to train.

Wicca has been working on the broad jump- no cutting corners, and making sure to clear the jump with no movement on my part. Wicca is not a natural jumper so even with something like the broad jump her form has not been great. I went back a few steps to a target, and then added a bit of height using a regular jump, and now she is understanding to clear the jump. And we've been working on fronts. Her fronts have never been great- passable, but not perfect. There are lots of fronts in an open routine- so I expect better- so I've had to train better. With a little bit of work they are improving. We also have been doing a bit of retrieving. She LOVES to fetch, and loves her dumbbell, but I was finding that after I take the dummy away she would jump up and bark- so we have been working on a calm release. :o)

Pixel is learning to heel and is doing great- she is a little wide, on about turns so we've been using a toy to correct that. Also I've been teaching her left turns and it has been a bit of a challenge. I need to go back and teach her to back up better I think. It will help her to understand more about moving backwards. Pixel is also at the stage where I am starting to add distractions to her stays. She is very, very good. And we've been working on fetch- as in fetch a non-moving toy and bring it back to me. I broke it down with a clicker (she previously would only fetch a toy I had thrown) and she is now retrieving almost anything. I introduced her to the dumbbell and she was quite happy to trot around with it.

Vito is learning to heel fast. He is a good heeler but peters out and starts going slower, and slower and slower.... :o) It is a very typical Vito thing. So we've been doing three steps fast/reward. Three Steps Fast/Reward...over, and over, and over again. He is now pretty excited about heeling and is moving at a good pace. For Vito. We've also been working on Stand. He kind of melts to the ground if he is touched so I have gone back and clickered it. He will now Stand on a verbal cue only and doesn't melt to the ground into a pile of mushy vito.

I am excited about the progress they've made in just under two weeks, and am looking forward to being able to return to classes soon!


Papillon Penny said...

we missed you at the CAA trial - but looks like you're getting lots of training in anyways - good for you! I've been thinking Bizzie could benefit from some obedience work - I should find a class for her - don't think I can do it on my own.

onecollie said...

see, staying home has some perks!! Love the pic of Vito's dirty feet!!!!

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Love your new header! It's perfect for your blog!

manymuddypaws said...

thanks! I thought the muddy feet were pretty perfect...it is definitely that time of the year!!!