August Goals

July's Progress:
1. Rally ring-  I wanted to prepare Vito for his first rally trial that occurred this past weekend.  I am very satisfied with the results of the trial and think I did an ok job with the exercises.  He still need some work on his left 270s in trying to find a balance between a tight turn and not doing a backward circle!  But I think we can successfully do all of level 1 and 2 exercises, and I think all of level 3 besides directed jumping.

2. Go outs- I wanted to work on Lance holding his mark even when I remove my hand and  work on the initial starting distance.  Mixed results.  Lance is getting much better at continuing to look at a target on a ground even after I stand up after giving him the mark.  But when I try and transfer it to him marking a wall or baby gate Lance is much more iffy.  Many times he will keep his head pointed in the right direction but roll his eyes up to look at me!  As for distance, we can mark a new wall about half the ring.  Really didn't make a ton of progress.  I also found out that Lance is much more iffy on his paw touch to new ring gating.  He does his go out ok to them, but is reluctant to paw it if the gap in the pvc piping is large.  Since I can foresee this being a major issue down the line, I am going back in real close and insisting that he actually touch the gate.

3. Disc work- I wanted to practice everyday, work more with 2 discs, and teach him to better understand leg vaults.  I started out great in July, but have really faded the last two weeks in practicing.  I think he does understand how to switch back and forth between discs now and how to drop one disc while running.  But our leg vaults are still the same.  Some times he will vault off me, other times he just tries to jump over me.  Interestingly, Adam found that Vito is actually more likely to vault if he holds the disc real low.  Opposite from what one would expect!

4. Bonus tricks!- I didn't make it a goal of mine to work on tricks, but I ended up shaping quite a lot of new tricks this past month!  Both dogs worked on tugging open a cabinet, mainly because Chuck is learning to do it.  I also taught Vito how to "hug" me as he puts one paw over my shoulder and bows his head to comfort me.  It's super cute!  Vito is also learning ostrich, or putting his head behind his front paw while standing.  He still needs a lure to get it, but will offer a head bob without it.  Both dogs have also briefly been working on a face out trick where they stand directly in front of me, butt to my legs.  I am working on them side stepping in this position!  It's pretty hard for both as they really want to reverse to stand between my legs.

August Goals:
1.  Straight sits-  Try and fix Lance's wrapping his butt in on his halts and finishes.  I am also seeing this a little bit with Vito and want to stop it before it becomes a habit.  I plan on doing lots of right pivots, side stepping to the left, and lots of 1-3 steps halts.

2. Go Outs- same goal as before, prolonging Lance's mark and working on initial distance.

3.  Scent articles- again.  I keep getting off schedule with this and I know I need to do it.   I specifically need to work on expanding my distance from the pile and maybe adding distractions in.

4.  Tricks- The face out work was one I put the least amount of work into during July but is one that I really want.  I think it's super impressive so I want to make it a higher priority.

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