Saturday, February 20, 2010

3rd Class

I was going to be so happy to record that Scorch made it through an entire class without snarking at another dog, but alas, he managed to get one in at the very last moment.

Class was great though! Only 4 dogs in class that night. Angie was out sick, but the assistant Mary Lou was there as well as puppy instructor Terry. I REALLY like Terry, and Jonathan agrees. He had some great insight, and really seemed to enjoy the dogs. I'd love to take another class with him, but I don't think he generally teaches advanced classes.

- Heeling around the ring was much improved. He forges a lot but generally keeps his attention and I'm having an easier time using my wrist on the leash to steer him into proper position. He's pretty good at the fast pace change, but kept trying to sit during the slow. Calling to front was excellent. About turn was pretty good, although Scorch can be a little frantic.
- Figure 8 was nice. My handling skills were pretty good I think. I maintained a consistent pace and Scorch did a good job of keeping his heel. Great halts.
- Stays were done next to Blitz, the intact ridgeback. I kept them about 10 feet apart. Blitz was up and down a few times, but Scorch kept his focus beautifully. During the down-stay, he got up to sniff some crumbs, but other than that his stay was flawless. He stayed when I returned around him.
- Recall was spectacular 3 out of 4 times. Perfect straight line, generally a straight front. On the 4th recall, he (for some reason) ran around the back of the assistant, forcing her to toss the leash over her head so she didn't get wrapped up. He still ended up with a perfect front, and gave everyone a good laugh. Hope that doesn't become habit though!
- The instructors talked about leave it/take it. I pulled Mary Lou aside and asked her about using the words "take it", because I'm teaching them in conjunction with the dumbbell. She and Terry agreed I shouldn't use it, and we came up with "here" when he's allowed to take the treats.
- I've been having a bit of trouble with stand. I have to put my foot out in front of him to make sure he doesn't step forward and it hasn't been sticking. Mary Lou told me I'd have to ask Angie about it, but said that Angie tries it during sit at heel and lightly taps their back feet to get them up. Even though I'd read that before, the way she said it finally clicked, and we got it to work. I was just patient and eventually got a kick-back stand, which I CR'd immediately. Then I continued to CR for a stand stay, and he held it long enough that I actually released him out of it. Success!
- Scorch's loose leash walking in the building was much better. I had paper towels as drool rags, which I used but his overall anxiety/drooling seemed to be reduced. At the beginning of the night, a few intact male dogs (including a young flat coat, 2 bull terriers, and a viszla) passed by and even sniffed him, but he maintained his focus on me. Blitz was near us several times during class, and he didn't react. But at the end of the night, Blitz passed very close while we were in a corner and Scorch reacted. I can't really blame him though. I should have been paying better attention.

This class has really made the obedience bug bite down. I think he might be ready to try for an RN soon. It's funny, because in showing Jack in UKC, I had to plan shows months in advance because there were so few anywhere in the state (and none were closeby). With AKC, there are a ton of shows coming up closeby in a very short time.

My list:
4/17-4/18, close 3/31

Zolfo Springs, Heartland Dog Club
4/24-4/25, close 4/7

5/1-5/2, close 4/14

St Pete (right before I go into my class at work)
5/8-5/9, close 4/21

6/19-6/20, close 6/2

Deland (only on here because it'd be cool to get Scorch's breeder out)
7/17-7/18, close 6/25

SOTC (my birthday!! how cool it would be to get titled that day)
8/21-8/22, close 8/4

And plenty more after that. My new goal is a CD and an RN by my birthday. I need to do his PAL registration asap. I need Bryan to help me set up pictures though. Fingers crossed. Lots of hard work ahead, but I think we can do it.

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