Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Training Buddies

It's so helpful to train with someone else!

For the most part, I have to do all of my training alone. Most of my dog friends are far away and so much of my training has been modified for working alone. The good part about this is that I'm able to help students who train alone.

On Saturday we did a training afternoon with a dog friend. Between the two of us we had seven dogs! She worked her two, I worked my three and my board and train puppies were along for the ride. We did a lot in two and a half hours, I only wish she was closer so we could do this way more often.

Blaze: I've been doing more agility with him at home. We were given the okay a few months ago to use toys in play and that brought back the option of playing agility. His meds are doing something...he was able to focus. He's a lot of fun even though I need the toy-lure out to get him to follow. I really wish I've spent as much time training my other dogs as I did with him early on!

Luna: If I'm trialing with Griffin, I might as well take her. She has the skill training for agility, but just needs everything else. We did a lot of "Race to Reward" (from our very favorite agility book), without obstacles, with jumps, and to do some "weave pole re-training". She left me 0 times. We were careful to not give her that opportunity. I set up a small fully-contained box using the ring gating and we did one jump in there with her off leash. She was attentive and responsive and offering behaviors. She hasn't been in a real class since last spring, and hasn't trialed since Thanksgiving before that. Poor Luna! I really wanted to run sequences with her, but I wasn't confident she'd stick with me...so I was a good trainer and we didn't do any sequences.

Griffin: Is the best dog. He was watching me, asking to go do agility (to then get the food... but still!). Before we went towards the equipment he would spin and crouch down and really was trying to solicit attention from me. It's great to have such an enthusiastic dog! He had a pretty good day...I'm wondering if some of his jump training is deteriorating...we'll have to do more of that on a regular basis. We did some 'Race to Reward' with weaving and his weaving in general wasn't too bad...he was right about half the time in the first session, usually missing the third pole. Next session he did better, and then we added in more handler motion. I think he'll be all set soon. We had only done two short lessons since August, and then, we only did a week of weaving. I'm impressed with his retention. The hardest thing with him was front crosses... I tended to either just flail and do nothing, resort to rear crosses, or do blind crosses in a panic. For whatever reason I don't usually feel like I'm in the right place at the right time to safely cross and I'm much more concerned about impeding his forward motion than I am with Blaze or Luna. The two in that clip are both really late resulting in wide turns...but I am out of his way!

A short clip with Blaze and Griff on the same sequence and then one that has Griff weaving in a sequence.

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