Training Update 11/30/08

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So after 5 days of vacation/Thanksgiving holiday, I have some good training news to report!  Both dogs have had some breakthroughs and I feel like I know Rue much better.

For Miles, the major goal for this past week was to work on our new teeter training method.  Since my private with Melanie last Sunday, Miles has decided that he REALLY likes this game.  In fact, he’s loving it so much that he even played it on the scaaaary aluminum teeter today at PBH in the freezing cold pouring rain!  Right now I’m working on lowering the end faster, but still controlled.  The teeter is at full-height at home, but half height at PBH and maybe even a bit lower for the scary teeter.

Here he is at home on the 28th.  Note his speed and general demeanor.

Compare that to today at PBH with the aluminum noisy rickety teeter.  He’s a little slower at first, but picks it up at the end.  He’s never ever gone past the pivot on this teeter and he’s been quite nervous about any noise it made previously.

We also did the bang game on the same noisy teeter today.  He’s never played this game on it either….

For Rue, the main goal was to have fun with her.  I need to figure out what gets her going and how to tap into the drive I know she has.  Melanie suggested that I take this week as an easy week and just work on things that I knew she’d succeed at–easy money as she put it.  I also was to try to get some more speed out of her with our chase games and cone work.  It became apparent early in the week that she was a little off her game…come to find out her tummy was bothering her and she had some icky poops Tuesday and Wednesday.  She’s also teething so I know tugging probably hurts her.  In fact, we started the week with her having 3 adult canines coming in without the baby teeth falling out.  They were occupying the same socket, poorest girl.  As of last night she lost the last baby canine–yeah!!

These were her cones last week.  Lacking speed and drive….

Here they were on the 27th.  I got rid of the target and just tried to get her to run with me.  I was met with moderate success, but she was distracted by Miles standing in the agility ring.  I also think she still was feeling the effects of her tummy issue.

I decided to try working on a recall to side and then running off with her since I wasn’t having much luck with other methods.  I had been working our chase games and shadow handling by starting this way if I didn’t have anyone to restrain her.  I tried the Push Back and Jam with her, but that seemed to demotivate her–like it insulted her.  I think she likes this method better…i lost her at one point because Miles was barking at the neighbor dogs and it scared her a little bit, but she got it back.

Goals for Miles this week will be to continue to work on all teeters at home and at PBH.  I will start to let it free fall an inch or so as long as he maintains his speed and drive.  Also, continue to proof our weaves and work on handling skills (“grab the collar”, big stride front-cross, post turns, 270s).  Other things to work on are weaving through my legs backwards, perchwork clockwise, 4 feet into a small box and jump chutes.

As for Rue, we need to continue working on speed and drive with our flatwork and cones.  I plan to continue working on the buja board and general shaping.  We’re working on 4 feet in a small box as well as perch work.  I also need to work through all of Linda Mecklenberg’s recall-to-side behaviours.

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