Friday, August 6, 2010

Training Group: Retrieve and Duration Heeling

Long stays and duration to heeling are the things I'm most concerned about for obedience. The training plans for all the other behaviors, including the stand for exam, seem so much easier for my wiggly dog.

Today at training group we worked on retrieve and duration heeling:

Set 1: Training buddies held Griffin, with the dumbbell held in front. I called. He grabbed the dumbbell and ran to me. I clicked for the "running to me". We repeated this, extending how far away the dumbbell was and started keeping it closer to the ground.

Set 2: We started with me asking for fronts with the dumbbell (dog close) to get Griffin thinking and responding. We then did reps of "dumbbell between us, grab and come". And then set the dumbbell behind him. Griffin had to get the dumbbell and then come. Initially he gave wide loops, and considered bringing the dumbbell to whoever was closest to him. After the first few he was still either very wide or very tight. We did a few reps with me riling him up and then sending, with me running off. Definitely more speed and super tight turns.

We discussed what I had worked on, what we needed and the limitations at home (no place to go 100 steps in a pristine environment). Heeling was beautiful. We did a full pattern. He was lost for half a step after a right turn and generally after eating. But he matched pace, was attentive and didn't falter from his position. Modifications were made and I started stopping to feed (still clicking in motion). Not only did this solve the "getting lost after feeding" but his heel position was a little more behind me. I don't have a real explanation for that at this time.

What I'll be working on after these sessions:
- More dumbbell to front.
- Tight turn after grabbing. Maybe with objects other than the dumbbell for now.
- Increase duration at home as well as in new places. But don't push it.

My camera is missing... It was passed around at the fun show last week and hasn't turned up. Today Griffin and I went to check there (...yeah..10 days later...) and found nothing. If it doesn't turn up in the next few days, I'll be on the search for another camera....

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