Saturday, July 31, 2010

4-H Fairs

I do too much volunteer stuff. But it's so much fun to see what the kids are doing and all the differences in how programs are run.

Today I got to go and judge the Athens County 4-H Dog Show. Completely different than some things I see elsewhere.

Obedience:
Obviously lots of compulsion is used. Almost all the kids had tight leashes throughout heeling (getting huge huge deductions!). So either the kids were super nervous or taught that it's better for the dogs to be in position with a tight lead than to be elsewhere.
Many second cues.
But several very nice performances.
And pretty great stays, in exams, for the recall, and long stays. They had success teaching the dogs what not to do more than what to do.

Showmanship: No freestacking, interesting hand stacking. But on top of the patterns. 4-H in Ohio has a section where questions are asked. I try to ask some easy and medium questions and a hard one for each group. Apparently up here we think easy/medium/hard differently than in that area. It's interesting what i emphasize with my kids and what these kids had apparently studied more.

Rally: The kids had a great time! Again super tight leashes. But AMAZING performances for only having one rally lesson before! Incorrect performances only really occursed on a call-front-finish sign, on the 1-2-3 step (because of all the handler not getting dogs to sit and skipping the sits...) and not enough pause on the sit walk around. VERY impressive for the time they'd spend learning!

I loved working with that group and being involved in this capacity.

I'm also looking forward to seeing our camp kids at state fair next week. I sure wish Griffin was in camp mode and super tired and able to go with me to help wtih demos. But I don't have a dog handler and he wouldn't like crating all day.

This is how tired he was at camp:

Day 4. Bedtime. He wouldn't move. So, being the clickerly positive trainer...I used some negative reinforcement. Or tried to. He didn't move. He barely opened his eyes. I wish I could provide enough enrichment and experiences for him to always be in that mode. He's not been as tired since camp...but he's been a lot more steady and reliable and into working with me. Training on Friday was brilliant!

5 comments:

Crystal said...

Can you give me an example of the types of questions you ask? And what you emphasize with your kids vs. what these kids knew? I'm very curious.

Kristen said...

Every state is different. In Ohio we have a "4-H Dog Resource Book". Questions for showmanship and 'dog care' come from the book, 4 study chapters are chosen each year ("Care and Selection, Basic Training, Nutrition and....? are for this year)

What I asked yesterday: (variations are for different age groups).
1) Your best friend just got a new puppy. Can you give me 2/4/6 house training tips?
2) Name one (two) food that's dangerous for dogs. Explain how/why it is dangerous.
3) If you get a purebred dog, you usually get a pedigree. Can you tell me some things (2-4-6) we would learn from looking at the pedigree?
4) Dog food bags have a lot of information and labeling. Can you tell me 2-4-6 things that you would find on the label?
5) How would we teach a dog to be attentive?
6) What is targeting? What are the differences between targeting and luring? for beginners I explained what targeting is and then "What could we teach to a dog that knows targeting?"

Addl during the "super showmanship" (winner of each class competes together, overall winner will do a contest at fair where a rep. from each species is competing, they show a variety of animals).
1) What does AAFCO stand for?
2) List nutrients.

Kristen said...

Part 2:
Our kids, we go through the parts of the book and emphasize bold faced words and lists of information. They can list diseases preventable by vaccination (with SUCH enthusiasm, it's adorable!!), the 7 breed groups, the nutrients, things on a dog food bag... and we've talked about lots of the terminology in the book. I'm not sure how this county did their study. They knew dangerous foods but not really why ("because it's poisonous?". Less specifics on the other answers. Training attention response was usually "Spend time with him". They might have been studying the whole book instead of the chapters used at state fair (and thus at counties, like where I am)?

I asked the questions today to a Senior. B dog enthusiast from a different area and she didn't know some of these.

Our kids had most of these at a fun show last week and did pretty well. As I was the judge, I tried to ask questions that weren't necessarily stuff we directly studied.

Crystal said...

Wow, cool. Thanks for the (detailed!) response. I think it's really neat that you do 4-H. I loved it when I was a kid.

Rachel and Bandit said...

I knew all the answers by our showmanship the next morning! :)