Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Training Disaster 7 January 2008

This post is especially for Tammy of the Dogsportstalk list in response to feedback on Kenzie's Jump Grid work.

Her thoughts were I needed to work on three main areas separate from the jump grids. These areas were:
1) Her Startline Release Cue
2) Her Drive to a "dead" object
3) Her cue to give up the toy

Any way with that being said my task for the day was to focus on those 3 areas. Well I also thought I would work on her metal article holding as a fourth thing to attempt today.

1. Startline Release Cue
I chose to use the release cue of "break". Stolen no doubt from watching way to many Susan Garrett training dvds. She had no problems when the jump was out of the equation of releasing when I told her to her toy.

2. Drive for Dead Object
Again no problems with this away from the jump grid picture. Actually it was this exercise that made me consider doing some more metal article work. As she was happily driving for toys placed around the yard.

3. "Give" Cue
That is still a bit of a difficult one for me to get. At the moment I am getting the behavior I want by letting go of the tug and placing my foot on top of the tug and then waiting for her to back off. Not sure its the best way to obtain what I am after though. She doesn't seem to really want to give up the object but at least when I let go of it she is more likely to release it when she doesn't feel resistance to tug.

Now to the disaster. We had run through all of the above over a few short sessions. This afternoon I thought I would try some metal article fetching with her so I can hopefully get started on scent work. She was doing really well but I happened to mention in a post to Sandi that she was dropping the article on the return however her pick up had improved. She suggested handing Kenzie the article and running backwards and then taking it. Well I did that but also remembered the suggestion of using the 2 toy game to get her driving back to me. Thats when we had a bit of a disaster. She was happily charging out after her toy and then out for the metal but on one repetition she charged out and next thing she is on three legs and not putting any weight on her back passenger leg. Bloody hell what had she done. I carried her inside, felt the leg over and she was really resistant to any stretching. I massaged it a bit and then left her sleeping on the bed for about an hour. Fed the girls tea. Went to make my tea and I look out and the two girls are playing chasey in the yard and everything seems fine again. God knows what she has done to herself.

Second time in a fortnight she has been lame. Hoping she just stepped on something as she certainly seems fine again now. Keeping her quiet tonight though and will reassess what the situation is in the morning.

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