Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Brit Update

It feels like I am going non stop with work, life, dogs, training and such. Adding in just those extra training/fitness sessions with Brit has filled every spare moment I had. But it's worth it. Already I am seeing a difference.

Here's what we've been doing as far as strength and fitness training

Trotting. For this I take her on the bike. We go every other day (with some exceptions..). We usually go for for about half an hour or 45 minutes. I've found some great paths that allow her to run on the grass

Free Running. This was a bit of a challenge as she doesn't run for nothing. So I've started allowing her to go for off leash runs with Pixel. Pixel runs for everything, and Brit follows her. This was hard to do because I've worked really hard to stop the obsession...but nothing gets her moving quite as fast as a Pixel. I've got a great area to run the dogs with lots of coulees, and up/down hills. We all get a work out.

Cavalletti. We do this every day. 6 poles with crushed pop cans to raise them up. Back and forth, back and forth.

Balance Discs. We do this three times a week. This has proven to be challenging for her, and takes a lot of work physically. I can actually see the muscles in her rear working. She enjoys it though and has already started offering her two back legs when she sees the disc. I am still having to help her put her front feet on the other disc.  (I am saving up to buy a peanut ball! I can't wait!)

Sit Ups, Back Ups, Pivoting, Side Stepping, and Stretching. We alternate all these things. Combined with her sit/stand/down from any position, and other training games there is lots to choose from every day.

We are also doing obedience and agility training.

Fronts. None of my dogs have ever had solid fronts. I'm determined to get complete understanding from Brit. We've been shaping it and so far I am happy with the results. Time will tell if I am capable of teaching a dog to front properly. lol

Finishes. We have the behaviour, but not on cue so we've been working on that.

Stationary attention. Not surprisingly this has been easy to get.

Heeling. We can do three steps. I am not happy with her head position though so won't be doing much more until I fix that. She likes to hold her head crooked and low. I want it high and straight.

Stays. She is pretty solid on this. We vary the exercise though- sometimes I will call her to heel, sometimes I will run away, sometimes I return to her, sometimes I stand behind her.

Circle Work. Self Explanatory really. Lots of running inside and outside circles. She likes this, and is very good. We've added more change of pace, and direction changes into it to spice things up a bit.

Acceleration/Deceleration. Now that I have toy drive we can actually train it! I've discovered she is very responsive to my body.

Jump Work. We've been going through some one jump drills, and some grids. Mostly extension/collection, I haven't done any bend grids with her yet.

Handling with no bars. Front and Rear crosses.  She is just in the beginning stages of learning a rear cross. I set up a box in my yard and we do all sorts of things. She thinks it is fun.

Jump Patterns (often with no bars). She is learning 180's and 270's right now.

Tugging! Oh man, do we do a lot of this. Gone are the tentative- pull for a cookie type tugs. She really gets into it now and will growl, pull back and shake. I am very happy. It still takes a few minutes to get her going but I can get it anywhere now (even the agility field where she would like to watch the dogs...)

Targeting. We are at the beginning stage right now. She has learned to stand on the board and stare at the target. And can target on the flat. I am adding multiple touches at this point on the flat, and "rule outs" (distractions) to the board work.  We don't do this a lot as it will be a while before she is doing contacts.

And that's pretty well it at this point. Lots and lots of work. No wonder I am tired. lol I should mention that we don't do all these things every day! Often I will take a day or two and do nothing training wise.  Sometimes all I can spare is 5 or 10 minutes. We do just little bits as often as we can. So far I am happy with the results. Brit loves to train, and is eager to work!


Jules said...

Wow!! You have been super busy. It's awesome you are already seeing the benefits!

Ci Da said...

Jeez. Just reading everything you're doing makes me feel lazy. Nice work!