Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Boo is now well and truly over her phantom and is more or less back to normal.
Her work has improved and I am really pleased.
Everything I do with her is short and sweet. If I go into the field to practise anything, I am very very strict with my time. I always stop on a good note, when she is up beat and only repeat things a few times.
Classes are different because there are 4-5 other dogs, so all in all in an hour I guess she only ever does about 8-10 minutes of actual work.
The weather has been horrendous, really cold, wet, snowy and windy so my weave training has been put on the back burner. I want to start and finish within a month, not stop and start like I did with Fozzie.
At the end of Febuary we had a nice spell of weather and I got all enthusiastic and thought I'd get cracking, but within 2 days the horrid weather appeared again and I stopped.
In the last week I have put Boo over the full height dog walk. I wasn't happy with her drive over the equipment and I didn't want her to learn to go slowly over it, so I was in a quandary as to what to do.
I really really wanted to do a running dog walk, I love to see the dogs do them, they are so fast and exciting and must save 2-3 seconds of time by doing them, but I just am not fast enough:-( Also to do them successfully you have to put A LOT of time into them , at least 4-5 times a week of repetition (if not more) I just don't have this time with my work. I have the availability of equipment, but I am either working or teaching or training elsewhere. So it will have to remain a 2 on and 2 off dog walk, but I really want her to be as fast as she can . I was using the manners minder and that was great because it taught her her position independently with no lure, however it made her "think" too much and so she lost speed. She isn't very happy to play tuggy on the end of the equipment( although I do keep trying) which is what Natasha wanted me to do, so I have started to do what I did with Chip, but unfortunately couldn't do with Fozzie, and that is put a small titbit actually on the grass for her to drive to. Its barely visible so its not a huge lure. She is happy to eat this quickly, I can then reward with another piece if I think it was a brilliant contact and then release her to her toy, as Chip did. Fozzie was terrible. He was high drive to the food but then wouldn't leave the end and would just keep hunting for crumbs that may have been left, so lost all momentum.
Anyway its early days but so far so good :-)
I am however going to persevere with a running A Frame. I have to agree with everyone, they are so much fun to teach. I started using the stride regulators, but I just couldn't get them in the right place for Boo, so after watching several videos of other people teaching running contacts I decided to try using nothing.
Boo gets a verbal 'good girl' and a mediocre reward for a so so contact. She gets an Uh Uh ( no ) if she misses and NO reward, but if she gets the contact perfectly by running down through it, she gets a HUGE reward. She isn't demoralised or upset by having a no reward and just goes round and tries again. So far every time she has missed and gets no reward she tries harder next time and does a great one.
So fingers crossed it works.
If it fails I will teach a stop at the end but I am going to give it my best shot :-)
So here are the obligatory videos to add to this update
First is her contacts from yesterday
Here are her weaves I started at the end of Febuary