Puppy Workshop with Melanie 12/7/08


This was our second and final puppy workshop with Melanie.  Both sessions were two hours in length and were set up with different stations.  We were partnered up and took turns with our puppies with the different stations.  Today we did cone work, restrained recalls, socialization on leash with a recall away from another puppy, buja board work, teaching “beg” or “sit up”, fetch, and fast sits and downs.

Here’s how we did:

1)  Cones – Rue was motivated to play for food, we did several really nice sends with good speed around the cone and drive to chase me.  I lost her to another puppy twice and ended up just facing her away from the group and she was able to find her brain again.  We did another few reps and she even BARKED at me coming around the cone once….AWESOME!!  Now we need to build up to doing more than one cone while keeping that same speed and drive.  I also would like to be able to use a toy as a reward rather than just food as it’s more interactive.

2)  Recalls – 1st rep, she took off to the same side of the field that I lost her to during Thursday night’s class.  Melanie was able to step on her leash to stop her and she fairly quickly redirected to me and did some great tugging when she reached me.  2nd rep was better as I didn’t go very far and she was very drivey to catch me and we did some  great tugging.  Our goals for this is for me to continue to be unpredictable (ie. sometimes run away and call her while running, sometimes stop before releasing her and then run, sometimes stop and release and wait for her to get all the way to me before running, etc.).  I will also continue doing sit stays with recalls using the above variations.  I will continue to work her with distractions, but I need to remember not to lead out so far for a while.

3)  Buja Board – Rue did great as usual.  The ball was turned upside down so the tip was a little different than she’s used to.  She got over that very quickly and was happy to play “chase the cookie”.  The goal for this was to foster driving to the board, so were were supposed to push or pull them off and they should react like they’re attached with a bungee cord and fly back onto the board.  No problem with this as we’ve been playing like this for a while now.

4)  “Sit up”/”Beg” – She did great with this as she already is pretty solid with the command.  I tried to work on my distance from her and also reducing the need for the hand signal.  I will continue to work on this at home.

5)  Fetch – Horrible, just bloody aweful.  I got her to play with me at first, but she kept sniffing anytime I’d try to get her to chase the toy at all.  It eventually got to the point that she entered into a massive sniff-fest and couldn’t get her back .  I kept moving to a new spot and trying to get her to engage.  Finally, she engaged and tugged with me so I promptly ended it and sent her to “go sniff”.  She immediately did and then peed–hmmm…maybe that was part of the issue?!

6)  Fast sits and downs – Great!  Lots of tug/toy drive and very into playing and working with me 🙂

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