Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Contrary to Popular Belief BCs do not come trained!!!!!

Well after last weeks CBS class I was certainly motivated to go out and do some training with the little Panda. We spent the week focusing on stays and also sendaways. I also tried an informal seekback with her over the weekend.

Mon arvo started with the usual trip to the dog pool. Kenzie spent the time trying to drown Ness by swimming on top of her LOL. She is doing lots more swimming now and seems to be enthusiastic about it :).

Any way off to class last night we went. Tash had decided that three nights of training in a week was too much for her and Riv so we were there by ourselves.

Few more dogs had joined our gold class this week. So we had a few strange dogs and people in close vicinity. Kenzie was very well behaved. Happy to chill on her mat off-lead when not working and remain focused on me when asked to do something. Very pleased with her concentration for only a 10 month old BC. Contrary to popular belief BCs do not come pre-trained and you do actually have to put the hard yards in otherwise they are just as likely to run a muck and interfere with other dogs when working. What I have decided to do with her is I'll work her a bit rewarding with food, then we play tug and I'll put her back on her mat to chill if they are still talking.

Started off with some target stick work. Following the target stick and then leading to having the target stick in the ground and sending the dog to it. Kenzie wasn't having any issues with going and touching it but her response to touching it involves circling behind it. Deb said I need to remove this behavior so she just goes straight out and touches rather than approaches from behind. I have come up with three alternative options and not sure which I'll try yet.

1) Involves switching from a stick to a flat disc;
2) Involves reducing distance and then starting a fresh; or
3) Involves keeping some distance but marking her for the approach to the target stick rather than for the nose touch on the stick

Then moved onto setting up on the left and right and in front. She did all that well. Need to work on her right a bit though and find it heels if I do a bit of side heeling before asking her to set up on that side.

We did some work on left and right turns. I had to demo walking around the cones to show foot work (Kenzie had better ideas about trying to nudge and avoid the cones so easier without her). Kenzie's turns certainly need work but I got a few tight bits which I could C/T. She was concerned by the people walking close behind her though.

Tricks this week - a refresh on the spin/twist/bow and we introduced backing. Kenzie has already started backing up so I was only rewarding the straighter back ups. She really has learned to love this behavior and is pretty vocal about it.

Distance signals next. I need to work on her stand stay to progress. Having said that she managed a stand and then a drop on signal only. Yee Har. I was also able to get a nice sit from the drop :). All from the distance of 2-3 paces so that's a nice solid start to her trial COP exercise.

Finally we did some down stay work. Not at any huge distance but she was 100% rock solid. I did a bit of distraction training using her tuggy and she passed with flying colours.

Still tossing up a few ideas for her unique behavior - thinking possibly retrieving objects by name or a seekback style find the car keys type exercise. Trying to come up with something challenging to give us something to work on.

The only other news to report in is that I thought Kenzie was looking a bit sore again last night so might need to go back to the chiro again - darn dog wants to keep him in business that's for sure. Means I'll have to restict her ball a bit longer and see what happens. Initially I thought it was the other leg but now its looking like its the same injury that she did the first time she went - Bugger!!!!!

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