Sunday, April 6, 2014

Metronome Heeling

This our first attempt and for a first try I thought it went well. I have a metronome tapping out 132 on my iPhone while heeling. This is supposed to help me keep a steady rhythm for Reyna to follow and mimic the way my face/body language would look if I was listening for a judges cues.

The good,
Reyna still has up ears and tail, she isn't forging like she normally does. She put in extra effort to keep up on the outside post, you can see her head drop a bit as she puts more effort into moving forward and less into staying up, ideally I'd want her to be able to do both, but we have a ways to go.

The bad,
Since concentrating on the time I stop moving my left arm, I need to remember that. I lean forward a good bit and have a more "marching" step. I lose track of where we are on the figureight and I wish I had rewarded while moving instead of dealing with that sloppy sit. We still have a lot of precision work to do for her wide swinging butt and the sit at halt, but I like her attitude!

In other news her Retrieve on Flat with the dumbbell made MAJOR leaps forward this weekend! I'll try and get a video tomorrow if the weather is nice!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ack I'm a Slacker!!

It's been almost two months since I last posted! So what have we been up to since?

No Nosework that's for sure! I haven't pulled out my tins since the trial in February. I did the same thing last year, work for nine months, compete, take three months off...oh well it's worked for us thus far.

I was toying around with tracking for a bit and I still plan to get into that, I think Reyna would love it and take to it well, she enjoyed the couple of sessions we did a lot, but I just don't have the mental bandwidth for a whole new sport right now.....since I'm PREGNANT!!!! Yep that's right Baby smith #3 is due for debut late September! So things have been a bit crazy around here!

Given that news we are back into Obedience and really enjoying it. Reyna is 4 already and not yet ready for Novice A so I don't know how far we'll get, but we are having a blast training! Her heeling needs more duration and distraction proofing, but she has turns, speed changes etc. She tends to forge but I've that's much easier to fix than lagging. I just really need to take it on the road. Her stand for exam is great...when I examine her that is...again we need to get other people involved. Recall no problems, except she comes in too close on her fronts, and her finishes need some cleaning up for consistency, we just haven't really worked on it.

Her business retrieve is coming along, we were having trouble with playing with the dumbbell, so we took the dumbbell out of the picture and bought a field dummy like they use to train retrievers, I started using toys to reward for quiet pick up and carry of the dummy and it worked great. Now I have brought the dumbbell back into the picture and I'm not having the pawing and chewing issues I was before.

Retrieve over High foundation is going well she jumps 1/2 height to a piece of food and comes back over for a piece of chicken. Just yesterday I started tossing a toy and sending her over, if she came back over the jump we played tug, if she went around I just told her good try and reset...she got it VERY quickly...still lots of "around the clock" proofing to do.

Broad jump was a piece of cake to get her to jump it, and we seperately have Hannah Branigan's pole wrap foundation down, so now we just have to put the two together!

Go outs we just started yesterday, but she has a lot of experience working at a distance, so we are up to a ten foot go out to a paw target where she turns and faces....need distance and distraction.

Group stays will need TONS of work.

That's what we're up to right now, I'm hoping to be ready for a mock trial this summer, it just all comes down to can we get the behaviors on the road for distraction training! I'm not in a hurry, I just like to have goals :)