Saturday, November 1, 2008

Where we are at ....

Well I thought I would make this post a review post of where Kenzie with her training so I can start formulating training plans and making forward progress rather than continually stagnate. I will divide it up into General Household Manners, Formal Obedience Behaviors and finally Agility related behaviors.

First up general household manners
  • Her recall is a work in progress, she likes to stick around so losing her is hardwork. I haven't really pushed her recall to any great distraction level but have made hanging with me and interacting the best thing since slice bread. She is quite happy off-lead and I don't have any concerns about her running away. I will continue to call her when she is playing ball and already coming to me.
  • Crating - well I have fallen into the bad habit of having her sleep on the bed with me. She is pretty content to spend the night on the bed without going anywhere or getting into trouble. I should go back to crating her a few nights a week as she is starting to become noisy in her crate at trials/training unless she has been worked first and is tired.
  • Grooming manners - was something I was meaning to work on and just has slipped by the way. She is ok but not flash at being groomed and having things like nails clipped so I need to continue working at that.
  • Her response to ordinary commands like sit, drop in an informal sense is really quite reliable however she does still need to develop some self control with respect to mouthing and launching herself at me.
  • Socialisation is a continued work in progress. She is lacking confidence in certain situations, especially having to interact with strangers/people patting her. She is fine if they ignore her and she is allowed to approach on her terms but if they make an approach to her then she isn't happy and will try and shy away.
Formal Obedience
  • Her heelwork is starting to come along nicely. She has a lovely setting up at heel behavior and a reasonably strong hand touch. I need to work at increasing her duration heelwork and introducing different paces into the equation. Slow and normal seem fine but she gets a bit to excited at fast pace. She will happily work whether there are rewards (toys/food) visible or just because I ask her to. She will work comfortably under situations of fairly heavy distraction - like the meadows country fair and respond to known behaviors reliably.
  • Her drops and sits at heel are nice although I need to work some more on automatic sits as I have broken them by introducing drop. Stand is the only command that is causing as hassles at the moment and the one she doesn't quite understand yet.
  • Her distance positions are really good and pretty reliable at a distance. She will drop and sit although sit isn't as reliable as drop. I have been using both verbal and hand signal and she will drop on hand signal alone.
  • Formal recall - I have really only introduced this in terms of skip sits in front and finding front rather than from a wait/stay.
  • Retrieve/Articles - she will happily pick up her dumbbell and place in my hand but again there is no formality yet. I have no stay and she won't sit in front on the return. I also am working at having her sit in front and hold it without mouthing. In relation to articles she still isn't super happy about picking up the metal but she did pick it up a few times today off the ground. She will hold it if I hand it to her so the problem area is getting it up off the ground.
  • Stays - Not really started on those yet. Need to start I guess but she will hold position for a while if alongside Ness or when she isn't full of beans.
  • Sendaways - she has been learning to go to her hoop and I can put it out on the front lawn and send her from varying distances pretty reliably. I also introduced her to a box a few weeks ago and within 1 session she was happily offering a dog in box behavior when she had never done a box before.
Agility Behaviors
  • Foundation flatwork/circle work - I need to do more of this. I have done limited amounts and the same problem I experience with fast pace for obedience she starts jumping up when she gets excited.
  • Targetting - she happily targets my hand and I have also introduced her to targeting a disc. The problem I encountered with my last disc session is that she thought picking up the target was more exciting then the treat I had to offer. I haven't tried another session yet so will put that on the list of things to do.
  • Puppy equipment - she has been through the flexi tunnels at training and is a happy camper. She will follow Ness through a dark curved flexi and was then happily running through a different tunnel for her tuggy reward whether she was following Ness through or not. Hoping to borrow my friends puppy see-saw so I can get her use to that as well as finishing off my contact trainer so I can introduce her to a 2o/2o behavior.
  • She has a lovely tug drive and is also an avid retriever.
Well thats enough for my list of where we are at tonight. I am sure I will add to it in the coming days as I think of things that I have left out.

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