Saturday, February 6, 2010

First 2 classes

It's been a long, long time since I've even looked at this. Time to resurrect it as my training diary.

After a long hiatus, Scorch and I are back in the training game. We've advanced to Beginner II class at SOTC (after trying Beginner I and discovering that we were skilled well past it).

Summary of our first class:
- Instructor Angie liked Scorch's name. She went around meeting the dogs and incorrectly called Scorch a "chunker". Once she put her hands on him, she realized he was all fur and is in stellar shape.
- Scorch showed a lot of frustration and anxiety with all the other dogs around. We worked on very tight heels/pivots to keep him engaged. Heel around the ring was mediocre. Auto sit at heel was good when focused or in a tight circle heel.
- Recall on a long line was stellar. He held his stay while I walked away, continually turning to tell him "good stay". He flew across the room when I called and landed in a perfect front. Repeat was the same.
- 1 min 30 sec group sit stay. He tried to lay down a few times but responded to a light pull up on the leash + 1 step towards him. He did not get up at all.
- 3 min group down stay. Perfect, with occasional verbal reinforcement.
- Heel up. Working on final positioning. He flips well but lands far back. Using luring to prevent him from getting incorrect positioning.
- Mild to moderate reactivity to intact male Ridgeback in class. Ridgeback is friendly but not well controlled.

Summary of our second class:
- Much more anxiety, drooling. Mild to moderate reactivity to Ridgeback, as well as small female Rottweiler. We worked on attention, CR (conditioned reinforcer) any time he looked at one of the dogs and then looked back at me without reacting. Also brought tennis tug rope.
- Heeling around ring was mediocre. Heeling in wide circles was better. Angie pointed out that I'm giving the CR when he's forging. She showed me how to lightly correct back with the leash to keep him in position. This forging seems to stemming partly from his anxiety. Auto sit was better.
- Group stays were good. I asked Angie if we could treat during the stay and she encouraged us to do so. He maintained his stay this time. Worked on holding the treat in front of his nose and returning to heel around him.
- Recalls on long line. He broke his first stay and Angie told me to enforce it. Perfect 1st front, 2nd needed adjustment. Still very enthusiastic.
- Worked on around the back finish. Not sure if "around" will be our word, although it's getting late to change it. Used to "finish". He quickly remembered how to do it, although still needs a treat lure to ensure proper final position. Worked on heel up as well, and discriminating between the two.
- Dog fight broke out between 2 intact males in the conformation class next to us. Heavy treat/CR with Scorch and then tugging with the rope. He handled it well, although all the class dogs were a bit shaken.

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