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Archive for the ‘competition obedience’ Category

Video Taping Dog Training

Teaching dog training, and doing dog training are two very different skills. Some people have an amazing ability to watch a team and point out areas for improvement. When I am working with my dog I have a different perception of what is going on. Over the last month I have been entered in a really fun tricks challenge, but it required me to video tape my dog working. When I look back at it, I can see areas for improvement. Its truly amazing.

I’m also on an email list for competitive dog obedience and I heard some similar responses there too, videoing your dog gives you a different perspective. I’m going to work on a few behaviors over the next few weeks and try to video them. I may not post all, but I will post some. I would encourage you to do the same! You may just learn something from your dog!

Slow Dogs

Nitro doesn’t live up to his name. He isn’t speedy or hyper. Quite frankly he would love to lay on the couch the rest of his life and have someone bring his food to him. Now that isn’t to say he doesn’t love a good romp in the yard with his brother, or playing with a toy here and there. But it has to be FUN for him. It can’t be tedious, take too much effort or anything like that.

I am part of an online group clickcompobedience through yahoogroups. Its lovely – lots of good trainers working hard to get good scores in obedience. Someone suggested Deb Jones “The Need for Speed”. Now this is typically an agility dvd but a lot of things really hit home. My dog isn’t nervous that I can tell but he does stress down, in other words he gets more lazy the more “stuff” that is going on.

After watching it, I decided I need to do some things different to help keep nitro up. I need to provide reinforcers that actually help ramp him up. Here are some things I have found that seem to help

Catching the treat. Why just put it in his mouth, he loves to catch food!

Chasing the treat. You can always toss it. My favorite quote from the video – the squirrel didn’t jump into the dogs mouth did it?

Spin – this doesn’t require jumping which he hates and you can add it into heeling and heavily reinforce it. It also redirects a dog right back to you.

Touch – for him, touching and jumping (nose to hand) is not something he loves. I keep my touches lower to the ground and only ask for a few.

Run through my legs – I have heavily trained cheeseball – throwing a treat between my legs. So if I ask him on a recall or any other time to “go through” he thinks its super fun!

Save your best treats for last. I keep a few favorite treats in my pocket and at the end of our training session I do some heeling. I do random patterns, throw in some auto sits, maybe some spins and end it with a jackpot of his favorite food.

If you have a flat dog, my advice is to watch them and with every exercise figure out – is this amping them up? or flattening them out? Keep track and use it!

Now, we have a trial in a few weeks so we’ll see how this all pays off. He knows the behavior, its just a matter of keeping him in the game!

Rally Obedience IPhone App

Apparently there is a missing market in the iphone app development world. There are two iphone apps one of which is $9 – I dont pay $9 for a shirt so I’m not going to do it for an app. One is for APDT the other is for AKC. They are fine, they show the behaviors you need to learn rally. I’m working on an update to this app that will include sign descriptions.

Buy your rally iphone app today.

I decided to build one that encompassed all styles of rally, APDT, ASCA, UKC, and AKC. You can choose which style and level you want to see and it will show you all the signs. Pretty simple in theory. The development wasn’t that hard but getting all those graphics, that took forever! I may have gotten a few messed up too but we’ll see how many people report problems.

I also put in a practice area, this is for me. You can choose your style and level and it will give you some signs to practice. You can rearrange them, refresh them or change the size and number of images. It’ll definitely help me practice rally more since I wont have to get out my signs.

Its going to cost $1. I’ll try to keep it up to date as new signs and updates occur. Currently its in review at the app store. I’ll post a link when I have one!

Straight Fronts

If you are a treat trainer, you know, most people teach dogs to sit in front. Then, when people move to obedience training, we work so hard on those sits at heel that our nice pretty fronts get lost. This was a big problem with my current 5 month old puppy Blaze.

Here are some ways that I am fixing our crooked fronts and getting some nice straight fronts.

Hallways and Cabinets!

These are your friend! If your dog tends to lean to the left, then have the cabinet on your left. Ask for that sit, and guess what – their rear end is going to hit the wall. This is good for backing up and asking for sits.

Box Work

I’m a huge fan of boxes for dog training. I haven’t ever really used them before but had seen other trainers using them. The first step with this is getting your dog used to the box – or standing on the box. Then you can work on that great sit, feeding the reward with BOTH hands right in front of your body. This not only helps their straightness, but also their closeness. Make sure you are leaning back a bit and that your shoulders are square.

Finding front

This is a great game, once your dog has a good front position. You can toss a treat away at different angles and reward when they come back to you. Finally, you can begin to turn your body to make your dog really work to get into front position. Beware of the dog that tries to stand on your feet! That just isn’t allowed in AKC.