Sunday, 17 January 2010

Slowly starting to Kiss the dog

Still planing for this to be the year when I take my first steps to be a dog trainer then a behaviourist.

I have the hall all lined up, just short of funds for a few weeks.
So my friends kindly let me practise on them and their dogs.

A pair of lovely crazy collies.

I was wanting to practise some of the 'control unleashed' stuff I have been doing with Mia, so I kind of used her as a demo dog while at the same time working on her with bigger distractions.

First I did a little focus work, showing them how to build focus in the dog and what to be looking for.

Mia gave a great demo, when I started she was sniffing about paying no heed to me at all and then as I clicked her for any interaction with me she quickly turned from no focus to lots and lots of focus.

The first dog Bu**** (white face in the fotos) is a typical collie with a high work drive so had no problem with focus so we were able to get onto moving a little and the beginnings of circle work

The 2nd dog Bl** is a lot more sensitive. He gets stressed by being asked for commands.

You can see in the first foto (sorry about quality) he is looking very dejected by the clicker being out and him being asked to work.

But within about 5 clicks he realised that he wasnt being asked to do anything he just was getting rewarded for paying attention to mom - then he really started to get it

We ended this bit here but you can see a total change in his body language - focus on mom, tail up, happy looking dog.

We did a little 'go to your place' Bu has been clicker trained and is used to free shaping so got this vv quickly Bl did v well too.

Not sure if I explained the point of this exercise well but hopefully they work on it a little because this would really help with Bu's reactivity when he is watching Bl work.

Finally as a little trick and to teach back end awareness I showed them 'brick work' Both dogs figured out getting their paws on the object so thats a good starts

Next step is getting the back legs moving :D

I talked a little about 'LAT' exercises, default behaviours (Bu showed a lovely default sit) and how to keep a training sesh really short espech for Bl to build motivation.

I had fun although it was a little weird, I hope I didnt do too bad.

Then we let the dogs play a bit and practised some weaves - Mia actually did pretty good and Bu was doing them better with his owner moving a little beside him.

Pretty fun day - and now Mia is crashed out
At agility lots of people are saying they just dont have the imagination to teach tricks so I was wondering if that may be somewhere to make a start with some classes. I love training tricks, I think its the best way to make the dog think and sitting, doing agility, obedience, not chasing the postman, really they are all tricks for the dog


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