Obedience Run Through #3

Cookies for me!  I went to another obedience run through last Friday with Zumi!  That's 3 total this year, a 300% improvement over last year.  Maybe. I'm not sure how math works anymore.  Either way, a win for me!

This time I did a runthrough in the utility ring and in the open ring and did more of a true runthrough in that I did all of the exercises and not just happy ring play and setups.  I happened to be up in the utility ring first.

I remembered to use the correct, left, hand for this time as it's opposite from my other 2 dogs. She did a great pop stand. But took steps as I left her so I went back and we tried it again.  The 2nd time she stood nicely and had no problem with the down, sit, and recall signals.

I tried a total of  canning rings this time, compared to January when I did the electrical plates and a nose touch alert. I skipped the turn and send and started facing the pile with her.  She sniffed nice and calm, but then started to get a little frantic and just grabbed.  After a full reset she went out and found it right away.  Since I wasn't fully sure if it was a random grab or just a confident alert, I did a 3rd send and she did a very nice job in scenting and finding the correct one even though she ended up knocking it into another article and had to work that out.

I had the #2 glove and while Zumi turned nicely with me and waited to look until I gave the mark, she zeroed in on the #3.  I took a step cloer and re-marked her, same thing. Finally with another step closer and another mark she saw the #2 glove and sent nicely.  I tried the gloves again, with #1 this time and she did well.

Moving Stand:
Meh.  She did a nice pop but didn't exactly freeze on landing.  Still, she locked eyes with me during the time entire exam which I was grateful for.  That judge piece is harder to work for by yourself!

Go outs/ Directed Jumping:
I started 3/4ths of the way but saw Zumi was locking onto the corner where the #3 glove was again.  So I moved up to half way.  She did a great job of looking ahead on her mark, but I wasn't fully sure where she was looking.  Definitely not confident in where.  When I sent her she zeroed right in on the middle stanchion and did a nice nose touch.  Yay!  no problem with the directed jumping this time either.  At least we fixed something!

Send #2 I stood at the half way and she again started to look to that right corner before fixing herself.  This time her send wasn't as great. Ended up at the middle nice and close, but did a weird wobby, zig zaggy run.

Overall, improved from January's run through but still a long ways to go!

Then we were up in the open ring!


I borrowed a clip board and had her place her front feet on it at the start.  I was happy to see no front feet movement with about a 12ft toss!

Drop on recall:
A little slow to drop.  I had her backup immediately once her elbows hit.

Retrieve over high:
I grabbed the clip board again.  This time Zumi did do some pattering of her feet and did a squeal when sent.  Did a nice job finding the jump on her way back though from a crooked angle!

The high jump was located fairly close to the broad jump and Zumi was positive she should take the broad jump and then take the high jump on her way back to front.  She did this twice, even with me calling her.  So the judge stood in front of the high jump the 3rd time!  Zumi thought about it still, but came to me directly instead.

She lost some focus briefly on the about and left turns and her sit was broken on the halts.  The halts I'll take blame for as I really suck at footwork when someone is calling a pattern.  I know I didn't give her any warning at all.  But the about turn and left turns surprsied me.  She

Cue Discrimination:
I used the clipboard again at the start and chose to do sit-stand-down.
Zumi did do a stand on cue for me from 15ft, but did her old rear feet still style even with the clipboard under her.  I praised her and walked back to put her feet on the clipboard before going back out to do the down at 30ft.  For the down she looked away at the utility ring and a dog doing articles as I gave my signal only cue.  When followed up with a down she did well.

In January we did primarily play in the ring and more training mode instead of a real run through so I can't really compare the 2 runs.  Certainly more stuff to work on before AKC ready!


Agility Trialing

February and March have about 1/3 of the total trials I do throughout the year.  Busy weekends!

Zumi has done 2 more UKI trials and 1 more day of USDAA so far with various results.  For the most part she's getting higher.  Capable of doing pretty heelwork and great duration hand touches as we walk in, remove the leash and setup. But as soon as I start moving away from her she starts ramping up.  At the UKI trial last weekend she wasn't even just doing her vulturing but actually started scooting her butt as soon as I left.  I really don't think she's even aware of what she's doing.  

Then she's been vocalizing her way through most of the course.

Thankfully she's still listening fairly well for me about 90% through the course.  Of course my handling is perfect and that results in some off courses, but sometimes she's just been blasting off and completely ignoring my turning cues.  Thinking is hard!

This was her masters heat agility run in UKI 2 weekends ago.  Missed weave entrance and off course at the end, but otherwise listening pretty well.  Awful startline!

This last weekend we did one day of USDAA at the location we train at and the location where she's done so well at the 2 other trials she has this year.  And magically Zumi was back to being thoughtful, holding her startline with wya less vulturing, and just being a good Duck.

I didn't think location really affected her much last year, but maybe it is?

This was her steeplechase run on Saturday's USDAA trial where she won the 20in class!  Many, many dogs went off course after the first aframe instead of turning to the weaves.  

It looks like she still did a tiny butt scoot on this run but no squealing.  And her stays looked better on her other runs of the day.  Zumi even earned her first Super Q in snooker!

Next weekend we're back for more UKI at the location she's been struggling with.  It'll be interesting to see how she changes from one week to another!


Obedience Progress

Happy dance with Zumi's obedience training!

I've done some occasional retrieve over a jump without squealing, and without a ton of front feet movement!  Using a front foot target is definitely helping her control her pitter pattering, even if there's isn't any height to it.

Articles seem to be going well again too.  I feel like it's taken forever to rebuild the skill once she suddenly developed grabbing issues if it took any length of time at all to search!  We graduated from her metal plates a few months ago and have been using canning rings for a retrieve alert again.  I'm still using cones and objects in the pile to force a longer search time and to get calmer moving about the pile.  The first rep is always the hardest for her, but I haven't seen her just give up and grab in several weeks!

And I've finally gone back to working on gloves again with her.  I'm pretty sure we haven't done any glove work in a year, maybe longer.  At least not consistently.  So we're going slow.  Zumi's tendency was always to go to the correct glove and then retrieve it to a nearby glove.  I'm using some targets to try to discourage that.  I'm also holding my mark signal extra long in order to try to make sure she really has the correct line and to discourage anticipation.


Training Silence= Good

A new blog post is up at my training site! 
Looking at how to get your dog to see silence as a good thing, and not get stressed or frantically offer behaviors!

FYI, if you subscribed to the feed from the last post you will need to change it as I officially moved hosts for the new site:


Dumbbell Distance!

I think we're really making progress now with Zumi's retrieve arousal levels! 

I just started using a front foot target to have her wait on and that really seems to be gettign that weight shift back to prevent the foot dancing.  I've used a platform before without success, but I don't know why I didn't think of the perch!

Look at how far I can throw it now!

Her stand is coming along too.  Mainly we're working on anticipation issues now. 
I'm still using a bar in front of her and know I will need to for quite awhile.  Stupid retraining of styles! 


Busiest Weekend- all the dogs! all the trials!

This past Friday I took the tollers to a USDAA trial. Then I packed up so Saturday I could take all 3 dogs to another location for an obedience/rally trial (CDSP/WCRL).  Packed up again, and then Sunday I took just Zumi back to the agility trial.  And to make things extra complicated I had bonus babysitting Cow that I dragged along to the trials, showed in rally, and returned to his mother on Sunday at the trial where we did team relay together. 

Lance played 2 rounds of WCRL rally at the trial on Saturday.  Sassy as always.  Trial 2 had much less sass and less forging although both started to come out at the end.  He earned his level 3X2 title (20 legs after the title) and another bonus leg.  Nice job mostly retired corgi! 

Vito was very happy running his 3 agility runs on Friday!  It was fun to see him run and of course he broke at least 1 startline. Another sassy dog!

And then on Saturday, he had one of my favorite runs of all time in utility!  He was focused and very motivated!  The dork ran to a chalk mark on the very first exercise so we NQed in like 30sec of being in the ring. Thanks buddy.  And then he went to the wrong glove on the #2 send.  I think he's cursed with gloves in the ring.  Of course I could actually try practicing with him....

Zumi continues to mature in her agility handling.  Friday she didn't get any  Q's but she was a very good duck!  On Sunday she ran her very first team relay event and she placed first in her 20in height category and her team got 2nd overall!  Almost all of her mistakes the agility runs both days were refusals after a rear cross.  She turns well, but loses that obstacle focus after them.  And of course I don't do many rear crosses in practice so I can't blame her.

On Saturday I did 2 rally runs with her in level 3 and then an open obedience run.  She was a little bit off I thought.  She was focused about 95% of the time in her rally runs but had some occasional visits to signs in her first run and just some glances around in both.  Her down from a sit was also broken. 
Overall I'm happy with her effort in the runs and see that she needs more practice with focus in different environments.

In open I knew that I really shouldn't have entered her.  Thus my minimal restraint to only do one run instead of 2.  I just really, really wanted to do obedience with Zumi and figured it wouldn't hurt anything in the long run.

Her focus was a little spotty again on the heeling.  Based on her 2 rally runs she did earlier that day it was no longer a surprise to me.  Her second half of the heeling was much better.  Broad jump had a bad front.  Drop on recall was a little slow to drop but she did it.

Then the retrieves, our main thing we've been working on.  Honestly it went better than I expected. She pattered her feet on the toss, but the vulturing was WAY less.  And she offered me eye contact before both sends!  Of course she squealed on the release of both retrieves. 

Go out she didn't squeal!!  and she did that weird arc to the left stanchion again instead of the right. Maybe that's her new thing?

So technically a Q and her CDX-C title.  But a long, long way to go in Open still before she's proficent and has more of a brain. Next CDSP trial is April.  Just 2 more months, but at least I feel I'm on the right track.


Obedience Run Throughs

I have been trying to motivate myself lately to attend some obedience run throughs/open ring time with Zumi.  She needs the practice in not only training with a slightly more formal atmosphere, but feeling some of the stress in the air that usually accompanies such events.

One of the club holds the run throughs every Friday, I just haven't been motivated to drive the 40 minutes in rush hour so sadly Zumi has never been.  Until last week that is!  Yay for me!
I did 2 runs, one in the open ring and one in the utility ring.  And then yesterday I had the opportunity to do another run through at a closer location!  It was much quieter though, so while it was still great practice it didn't have that stressful atmosphere.

Run Through Set #1
Last week's run through started out with more ring confidence and play work before diving into some little bit of training.  Since Zumi was focused and happy I decided to move on to see how her dumbbell work would be in the environment.  I tried to be good and just do 5 foot throws.  And I'm very happy to report no vocalizing!!!  And giving me great eye contact too!  On the downside, she was really vulturing again and moving her front feet forward.

In the utility ring I decided to do more of a modified run through.  This turned out to be a mistake for her.  It wasn't bad by any means, but even with the modifications, she made more mistakes than I would like in that environment.

Signals were good! But I reset a turn.  Not sure if it was the pressure of a judge following or if it was due to my footwork as I told the judge I wanted just a short down and back heeling pattern and she added in a turn. 
Articles were great!  I used 5 of her lids and she nailed the nose touch alert even with the judge standing there!

Gloves she didn't quite see it and ended up veering off of #3 to go to the side gate.  On the redo she nailed it.  I already know I haven't really practiced gloves with Zumi in pretty much forever.

Go out I started half way and she veered off to the stanchion to the right.  On the redos she did well. But needed extra help to get the jumps on the return.  An issue that was surprisingly common for her in training when I was actually training it...  I thought I had fixed it but it's also been a long time since I've done any directed jumping work.

Run through Set #2
Yesterday's event was pure open ring, no judge.  And it was pretty quiet.  I started my time in the Open ring with more of what I did at the other location.   But this time I had her toy left behind on the table.

I did 2 drop on recalls with her and on the first attempt I used just a hand signal.  Zumi slowed but didn't start to drop so I happily interrupted it.  As we raced playfully back to the other side Zumi got a little too wound up with barking and I had her do some sticky targets to calm her down.  I was pretty proud of her for how well she was able to the duration nose touch and relax herself.

The retrieve work was about the same as last week's run through.  No squealing, but moving her front feet.  I chose to walk out and set the dumbbell on the ground for her 3 short attempts.

In the utility ring I did more training again.  I noticed issues with Zumi heeling into a gate and quickly reset two times.  Something I haven't noticed at all with her in practice but will be trying to work on again with her.

Signals Zumi had issues with taking steps after I left her.  Another issue I  haven't noticed at all in practice!

Articles I decided to test her with her rings instead of the flat plates.  She scented and then just grabbed on the first rep, but then did 2 nice ones for me.  Didn't look too frantic at least but she did fumble the return on the last one!

Go outs were interesting.  No squealing, yay!!!  But she was doing a wide arch to her left.  If anything Zumi's issue has always been wanting to do a slight diagonal to the right, not an arc and certainly not the the left!
And then she was wanting to do a fake touch and immediately come back for the reward vs waiting out there for me to deliver the reward.  At one point she even offered a handstand to the gate.  What are you thinking Zumi?!!  Of course I'm not really surprised with the lack of confidence on this exercise considering it's one of the 3 big areas we've been working on (articles, go outs, retrieves!) with her arousal issues.

Funniest go out at 4:35!

My goal this year is to get myself out and about more with Zumi's obedience.  I just haven't been that committed to get her obedience skills really trained and certainly not in different locations.  I would like to make it to the Friday night run throughs once a month with her.


New Blog Site- New Post!

I decided to start a new blog, attached to my dog sport business!  My goal is to do 1-2 posts a month with training advice from foundations to competitive obedience.

This blog will still remain intact and it will still have posts on my personal dogs' training and trialing experiences whenever I remember to post.

I recognize that not everyone cares about my journal style posts of my dogs and thus my decision to not completely move this blog over to my professional site.
Feedback is welcome though!

To start off my new blog, I have my first post up on using zen to get duration behaviors!  It's been 5 years since my blog post on reverse luring and then I discovered this week that I butchered the original technique.  Oops!  So my new post is clarifying how I use the technique I am renaming Zen Keeper for  (Zen Keep Going Signal).  Hop on over to the other blog for more!

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.- Roger Caras

Email: lkwaudby (at) gmail.com

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