We’ve had two great days with our favourite obedience instructor, Maria Hagström. We were lucky enough to be able to train in a heated indoor facility, made for dog training. We’re not spoiled with great indoors training in Sweden, we’re mostly outdoors or maybe in a riding hall. But change is coming; There are indoor halls for dog training popping out in many places around Sweden now. Very few of them are big enough to host trials, but we’re very glad that we got the opportunity to use one of them for this workshop. It’s been very cold for many weeks and we’ve still got a lot of snow.
Squid has really made progress in obedience. She is much more driven and focused. She is ready for longer sequences and fewer rewards (when training for endurance). One of the things that we have started working on this winter, is the send to square. In class II, you send the dog to the square ten meters straight ahead of you. In class III, you send the dog straight for 25 meters and in the elite class, you send your dog 10 meters to a cone, then to the square, 25 meters away from you, to the right or left of the cone. We didn’t start any training on this until i felt that Squid did really well in some other exercises, like send to a foot target and running full speed away from me without a lure or target.
When I started working on the square, Squid already knew how to run straight ahead in full speed. All i did was to add the four cones in her way. I rewarded with a toy thrown over her head. At first, she didn’t really notice the cones, but it didn’t take long before she started seeking them out. I’m guessing that we’ve had about eight sessions in total before this video was made. I’m really surprised by how fast she got it. Now that Squid has a lot of value for running between the cones, I have started with some work close to the square, where I shape her to move around inside the square. I don’t want to reward her for stopping there, but I want her to have a feeling of “inside the square”. I will combine this training with further training on longer sends like I have done before.
Here is a video from training yesterday: