Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Griffin at CD Prep Class VII

We skipped two weeks for camp..... I probably would not have signed up for the class if I had known ahead of time that we would be such poor students.... but I'm very glad that we've been going.

Tonight we talked a bit about the next options for class and on the topic of maintaining criteria.
Golden retrievers who love chewing.

We did some group heelwork, I stopped frequently to play with Griffin. It was really hard because his tugging would upset the other dogs if he was too close to them so I had to be sure to maintain enough distance that they would be okay and not get in trouble due to my dog being rambunctious.      Griffin's actual heeling wasn't that great, I ended up reinforcing as soon as he was in position.

The next things we did were individual heeling patterns and figure 8.  Griffin's heeling was pretty great. I talked to him at a few places but did not feed during the pattern.   Afterwards, I did a bit more heeling with frequent reinforcement. I don't want to be going too long between reinforcement yet.    Our 180* about turns and our 90* turns both need work.    The figure 8 was  a bit of a disaster. He wasn't working hard to maintain position. I was sloppy and reinforcing with my left hand, resulting in a forging dog.

Stays:   Our stand for exam was half decent. Feet moved on one rep out of six. We were able to have the "judge" pat him on the shoulder.    Other stays, he started out barking.  The instructor wanted me to return to him right away. I wanted to wait for a pause.   We moved further away and he did well....still need more work.

Recalls:  We did an exercise where all the dogs were staying and being called to front at the same time, but at different angles.  Griffin broke his stay once and twice he left when the judge called, not when I called.   He DID always leave his stay to me....the best type of mistake he could make.   "Leaving on the judges signal, not the handler signal" is a common theme this week.

On our to-do list after this class:
-Increase stay distractions and auditory proofing
- Stays with 'pressure' of interesting things to either side.   Ideally this would include other dogs, but we probably won't have any to practice with.
- About turns, with and without my dog.
- Figure 8/serpentines/loops, maintaining heel position
- Back to reviewing his physical therapy notes and-or another consult....his fronts were straight other than that back left foot sticking out a bit.  
- Get rid of the head tilt on his fronts.   It's not an always thing, maybe 20% of the time....he will turn his head while his body stays in position.
- Recalls with various types of distractions.

We're on the fence about doing the class again. It's good to get me out and keep us working, but it's a bit of a drive and takes away from work/other activity time.    Plus with the heat...he just doesn't work as well as he does when it's cooler.   We have a few days to make a decision....I'm on the fence!

Bonus news: He did his first public scent demo, along with two others we train with.  As usual, he was adorable (something the people noted at the demo as well as his obed instructor!). He worked so well, very focused, even when we had the kids standing nearby (meowing) as distractions.   Best dog.

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