Saturday, November 6, 2010

Distraction Training (More agility for Griffin)

Today we met with friends to do some training.

Griffin was better than expected in some ways but he really wanted to sniff EVERYTHING.

We know that people are going to be a huge distraction for him (more so than dogs!). So...we trained for it. Initially our helper (one of his FAVORITE people in the world) stood near a jump standard for a few reps, then started slowly walking and moving. This is the second training session.

Once in the previous session he made an error and went towards her but came away on his own. And then one other time, she ran towards the tunnel as he went over the first he went into the jump as cued!

I wish we could do this training every day!

Distractions are a HUGE challenge for so many dog owners, whether with competition training or basic pet training. We try to emphasize in our pet classes how to gradually add distractions. It's not just something we talk about! And it's surprising to me how quickly owners can be walking their dogs while biscuits and toys are thrown or recall the dogs through a group of noisy kids.

Luna got to do a few minutes... I warmed her up over the jump (boring). And then we did a few A-Frames. I was VERY happy with how she did. But. I have a few questions.
- She hasn't done agility class and barely anything else in 1.5 years. How was she able to retain it so well? During that time we've maybe done 25 contacts on the teeter at home. Look at how she holds position! While I run past! She's not done that before!
- Why didn't she run off? She came when I called. She followed me.
- She ignored the other dogs. After a few reps over it, I realized the other dogs were right behind the camera, about 10' further. She didn't look at them! She IGNORED them! One of them she's played with well and at other times played VERY inappropriately with...and fought through a door. I've not felt safe taking her to group class (or had the time...). But maybe she's not the trouble maker I thought she was?
- She's so cute. And she weaved four poles. It's been forever...and while she had a few years of classes, I didn't expect her behaviors to be this strong.

Later on we did a race-to-reward session with weave poles for Griffin, and A-Frame work that caused problems and needs its own post, and more of the distraction work.

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