Thursday, May 26, 2011

Griffin at CD Prep Class II and more

I had to do some human things and so we stayed home from the seminar today. But we did make it to class!

Some things I learned:
1) I appreciate the air conditioning we normally work in. My dog is not used to working in the heat. I am not used to working in the heat. We will have to address that. Separate from the training.
2) Being around "very good training" for periods of time can have a drastic impact on behavior. We did a lot of sidepass type exercises and I couldn't do mirrors and no helper. There was NO way to tell if my dog was parallel other than looking myself. And I knew that if I looked, it would distort things for my dog.
3) I need to work on tag jingling noises. we talk about this a lot for our reactive dog classes. It was VERY surprising when I saw Griffin going into alert when he heard car keys. We'll use that as a distraction. But also work on it being an attention cue.
4) Be better prepared for the class format. I brought Griffin in a bit early to warm up (we did heeling for a tug, tossed back. It was ---beautiful----!) And then the class was talking for 10+ minutes. I should have crated him during that time.
5) My dog doesn't lure. I taught him a food magnet/food transport for food moving parallel to the ground. But when we were to do a lured tuck sit exercise...I just couldn't do it. He thought I was proofing his stand.
6) I need to practice following instructions. we were doing pace changes...and I didn't always do what the instructor asked. I kinda...forgot. I always did SOMETHING when she said SOMETHING. But those things did not match.
7) I don't make a good student. I need more practice. I had a hard time following someone else's training plan, especially not knowing where it would be going and not understanding all the parts. I don't like that!

We got home and just settled into work.....and got a call that we would be doing extra scent work. It's a good opportunity to practice with professionals watching, so we jumped back in the car and drove out past where we had just been. We had fun, worked a lot of different dogs, and my dog did well. He worked despite a lot of people present. He have no false alerts and always found the correct odor. He DID try to wander off more than once and gave some happy tail wags to the people watching. I was told this is not good and indicates a lack of attention. We also talked about Griffin's tendency to retrieve the odor container if it's possible to do so. The advice we received was to use the scent wall to do more practice in a set up where retrieving is not possible. We want to make our alert have a higher history of reinforcement than retrieving the item.

I'm exhausted. Giant scary storms tonight. A day of working Griffin tomorrow and then teaching a few classes. As tiring as this can be.....I wish it would never end!! We still have four days, which is longer than most seminars.....yet as it's more than half over, I'm starting to feel sad!

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