February 2013

More Send to Square

Some more obedience training with Squid today, along with Thomas and Louise (with Squid’s little sister Kite). We worked some more on send to square, and I’m pleased with our progress. I’ve almost exclusively rewarded stop in the square for the past weeks, and that has led her to stop early (especially when the distance is long). This was something that I expected, and I decided to ler her work through it instead of going back to reward for running through the square. I’ve just waited her out when she stops early, and only rewarded when she’s gone all the way to the middle of the square. I was happy to see that she found her way to the middle nicely todat, even when I moved the square past the earlier point of reward and close to the wall. For the first repetitions, I hid Thomas behind the wall and had him throw the toy over the wall to reward her when I clicked. It’s fun to be able to reward with good precision and timing without the dog knowing that the reward is there before the click. When I look at the video, I think that Squid has better speed in the last meters than she had last week. The down is still not good, but at least she did it on the first try.

We also worked on the recall from the square – finding the left side even when she has to run around my body and I’m moving away. We didn’t use the square, or even a down, to train this. Instead I sent her around a pole to get a new repetition. Fast, fun training!

Obedience Class III – Send to Square

Tried some send to Square with Squid. She runs out well, and I have worked on the stop so that she doesn’t end up beyond the square any more. What we need to work on is the finish – recall to heel where she needs to run around my body and end up on my left side. I worked on that today using a send around a pole, which was a fun way of training it without having to ask her to stay. Here’s a video of send to square:

Obedience Class III – Recall with stand

I’m working my way through the obedience exercises in Swedish class III. We tried recall with stand, and I’m very happy with Squid’s speed in both recall and stop. Unfortunately, I haven’t put enough work on the last part of the exercise – running to me after the stop. Squid expects her reward after the stop, since that’s what we’ve been doing mostly. Time to work on the whole exercise, without losing the perfect stop. It’s all about stimulus control really, Squid needs to get better at distinguishing between the recall cue and the reward marker. Fun training!

Obedience Class III – Heeling and Sit from heel

I found some obedience time and inspiration today and made some video of Squid’s heeling and sit/down/stand from heel. Her biggest problem with obedience is a too high level of arousal (no doubt because of a lot of agility training in general, and circle work in particular). It doesn’t really affect anything else but the heelwork, but that’s bad enough. I’ve found that just walking with her in heel for many minutes, until I have something to reward (rhythmic movements and not touching my leg) works well. At least she doesn’t have a problem with endurance… Stand, sit and down from heel look nice. Only problem is that the heeling get’s even more bouncy when we’re doing positions, and that makes her positions more bouncy in turn. Must work more on her heeling…