Monday, May 30, 2011

Seminar Day 9: The end!

The morning talk was spent on good retrieves and position exercises and platform use. Some bitework.

And then after lunch, we did heeling (backwards walking). Which deserves it's own write up sometime soon. Essentially, the handler moves backwards, the dog moves to maintain a front. It teaches the dog about position (straight, eyes on handler, move with handler) so that when you rotate to heel position you get SO many fewer errors and a much stronger behavior. This is something I'm obsessive about. I have pictures of me doing this with Griffin on our way home when I first got him. He's very good.

I worked him in the afternoon and was told to not just do lines, but also serpentines. Initially he wavered a bit when I'd change direction, but soon he was following well. I also was instructed on how to break him out to play more often to keep his arousal level higher and enthusiasm higher. I had to learn more about playing well.

We did sessions with the Cannonball ball launcher, when I introduced it a few days ago and started using it for his go outs, his line started wavering and his speed slowed in anticipation. I was instructed on how to do more play with the ball before loading it to get him moving. But he's still moving more vertically than other dogs (who do flat out fast runs). I know he can do it...but I don't know that I've seen it for toys, only for animals. But, the more we work with toys, the better he will get.

And in the afternoon, we did one last bitework session. Griffin and I just did toy play, working on alternating between two toys. He's pretty good at that, he thinks it's a proofing exercise and that if he tugs well on the one he has (whether it's more or less preferred) he will be cued for the other one. I was instructed to do more running, changes of direction and talking. As well as letting him mis when he reaches for it. The first time I mis-timed and he got it. I was a bit worried about his poor landing when that happened....supposedly he will get better with practice, but I don't know that I want to take that we'll do our mis-grabs in another way.

Then the seminar was over. I taught a reactive dog class. Let my dog run a bit after class. And went home. I'm ready to jump in my car right now and head back.... but its over.... Now I just need to finish typing up my notes.... reorganize them a bit better....and send those notes to the presenters. There was a bit of a joke all week when attendees would ask if a book or DVD was available.... "Kristen's writing a book!"

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