This goes along with my previous blog. Knowing what is the right correction for each individual dog. Today I worked sheep and then less than a half mile away I have an agility Susan Salo jump class for the puppers. Yoko has a little agility background. This is all new for the Champers. But, teaching him to FOCUS in agility around people and dogs has been fabulous for him. Mr. Studly loves all dogs and wants to breed anything near him. He has been a PITA for me to keep his attention and focus. This is my first male dog like this and it has kept me on my toes! I refuse to neuter him just over his testosterone levels, but let me tell you, it has crossed my mind more than once!
I have been having difficulty with Yoko on the start line keeping her stays. I'm sorry if this is repeating myself, but I find it very fascinating how we finally corrected the problem. See...even Yoko knows i am a wimp :0) No amount of me going back and correcting her helped. I went back and dragged her back a couple of feet where I originally put her. I scruffed her fur on her neck. I would try high fives to get her out of her "falcon" start line position. Nada. Nothing worked for me.
That is UNTIL my instructor decided enough is enough. When Yo started creeping, she went out to her and very gently put her back into position. I saw Yoko ponder that move. Next time she sat like a falcon, my teacher walked to the start line and manipulated her to sit up tall. I could tell that Yoko was quite peeved at someone other than her mother correcting her. The 3rd time was the charm. I almost thought Yoko was going to bite my instructor she was so bent out of shape.
Today, Yoko only broke her start line once. Every sit was perfect and NOT in the falcon position. Basically, she doesn't want my instructor to come to her and correct her when I lead out. LOL
Champ broke his start line and I immediately walked into him like I would do on sheep with intent. Even my instructor said, "Great correction." When the only time I had to correct Yoko I was leading out and she left the start line. Before i saw her she was on the last jump. I walked into her face like I did with Champ. I set her back up. I released her and she did all of the jumps EXCEPT the last jump where I corrected her. She stopped and looked at me. Ha! You big softie. Obviously what i can use for Champ, I can't use for her!
I reved her up at the start line with a few tricks and she did the jump line the next time perfectly including the last jump. Just goes to show you, not all corrections mean the same thing for each individual dog. My instructor is quite intuitive. She has already spotted Yoko as the "Thinker." Champ isn't at the "thinking" stage yet, but he is getting more "thoughtful."
I haven't decided if I will trial the dogs in agility. I am just doing the classes for socialization, training, fun, and focus. Today I asked the owner of the property we were on (who has a sweet agility course with all of the obstacles set up) if he would rent me some agility time. He said, "No." He said, "Call me when you want to practice and come on out for free." What a pleasant surprise.
I have weaves and a few jumps, but my property is so NOT level and with holes, so it is a bit dangerous to work the dogs on it. His agility arena is like ours in Green Valley, level plus it has a nice dry bark surface. They also do seminars there :0)
After my lesson with Dave on sheep the other day I was depressed. Happy that the longer outruns were fine for Champ, but he just wasn't in tune and listening to my stops. I went over to Fidos and worked him in ankle deep mud and put the screws to him. Today, he worked like a top at Patricias. I think we are getting there. Gosh, this sheepdog training thing takes forever! I was impressed with Yoko at Dave's (just trading outruns/no lesson) so I put her with a lesson with Faansie. I already figure he won't like her, but he might be able to give me some suggestions for her wideness and off contact work. Doesn't really matter. I love her :0)