I should write in this blog more often. There are so many things that I have worked on since last time I wrote here.
I havn’t done a lot of obedience training with Pi since our trial in May, but now I have decided to get ready for the next obedience level with her and I hope that we’ll be ready for a trial in four weeks, but that is really optimistic… I need to teach her send to square (10 meters straight ahead and then stop in the square), recall with stand, sit/down/sit/down at a distance, jump away from me and some other things. But she is a fast learner and maybe we’ll be ready to do a trial in November.
Both Missy and Shejpa has been working on a lot of shadow handling in the past week. For Shejpa, I have cut out all treats and I only use tug as a reward. That creates new challenges in our shadow handling, but that’s where I need to start if I want her to turn tight and respond quickly on equipment. Rewardning her with only tugging is a challenge, but I’ve been at this point using treats too and I know we’ll get better. She is already making good progress. With Missy, I realised the importance of shadow handling when I incorporated it into our training on turning tight over one jump. We’ve been working on it a lot, but progress has been really slow with both dogs. But when I put the circle work into that with Missy, she finally found a reason to dig in and turn tight over the jump. It was so cool. For her, using more high value treats (chicken necks!) and not just tugging, also has a good effect.
Shejpas dogwalk was really bad on Thursday (under new and challenging circumstances) and I realised that much of the value that she found in the dogwalk has gone away. She used to get really happy getting on the dowalk, but now it was just like any other obstacle. I think running it a lot in sequences, training turns but not going straight and mostly, just not training a lot, made that happend. I don’t think I should obsess so much about the turning. Both dogs turn pretty good if i decel smoothly. It annoys me that they don’t really get the concept of turning, but maybe it’s a thing they will grow into. It only took a few repetitions of running straight and throwing the toy to get Shejpa to love her dogwalk and hit the contact reliably.
Puppies are four weeks old this weekend. Here are some pictures from last weekend