When I train my dogs (and others) I try to make sure that I am splitting things up into little bits during the learning process. Making sure that the dog understands what I am asking of them before I start putting things together. I have been careful about this especially with Pixel- who can get overwhelmed if she is not sure of what to do.
Why then does my dog not really understand Front? I should clarify- why doesn't she know front coming from the left, or from across the room, or with a dumbbell in her mouth. I went back and looked at my training logs and really am not seeing where I have missed a step.
But it is obvious that it is me as Wicca has similar problems with her front. Crooked, too far away, sometimes not even bothering. It is frustrating for me, and I am sure it is frustrating for the dog to not understand what I am asking of her. Sure if I ask her again, or again, or maybe even once more she will eventually get it. But I want it right the first time...
Last night we did fronts around the clock- the handler stands in the center and the dog is put in a stay in various "clock" positions and is called to front. Pixel did very well coming from the center, or from the right. The left was a whole different thing as she did not make an effort to swing her butt over to be straight.
At home we've been using the perch to work on fronts. Theoretically this should be teaching her to stay in the center wherever I move to. We just started this however, but I can see that it has helped already just from the exercise we did last night. A few weeks ago she wouldn't have done that. So I am excited about the bit of progress but still wonder if there is something else I could be doing.
I see all these fantastic obedience dogs with these killer fronts- I want that. Sometimes it is frustrating living in this city where there is such a small group of Obedience enthusiasts. We have no one really to help us except each other, so we are pretty limited sometimes.