Ring Entries

The past few months I have been focusing heavily on one small but important aspect to Vito's obedience training.  At trials Vito would usually warm up pretty well but the second we walked into the ring he would disconnect and look for something to stress about.  Even during our practice time it wasn't always easy to get him to wake up at the start without a lot of effort from me.  Although once I got him going things were crazy and fun.

Ever since our lesson with Nancy we have been working on ring entries and set ups.  Race into the ring and sit in heel position waiting.  Wait-wait-wait and then one step of heeling before partying.  Now we're to the point where I'm taking 2 steps in, remove the leash (a former big trigger!), and then race to the set up point.  A different set up point each time and sometimes a few more steps of heeling.  If I'm not getting a connection with Vito as we walk into the ring, I exit and ask him if wants to try again.  The past few sessions I've started to add the additional pressure of having another person stand in the ring giving orders and crowding us.

This video is from one of our sessions 2 weeks ago.  Vito wasn't quite as enthused as I'd like when I ran to the set up spot, but I could sense his anticipation in waiting to take that first step and am happy with his first, forged, steps!  We'll work on not forging later :)  I know if I can keep his focus and excitement for those first few steps of heeling then I got him for the rest.

 

Separately we're also starting to work on down time.  Vito needs a lot more work on transitioning between exercises and also not disconnecting when having to wait.  I'm hoping waiting in heel position is going to help with that, but I'm also having him do a 1+min down stay while I ignore him and then have him do a heel set up on the release.  Of course we have a huge party after!

My next plan is to re-work on fading the food and toys and focus again on just playing with me.  This is something we were pros at during one point but when his anxieties increased this went out the window.  Hopefully he will feel comfortable enough to start this in a few more weeks?

Cynthia  – ( January 2, 2013 at 2:47 PM )  

That is awesome... I learned about ring entries at the Denise Fenzi seminar last year... excellent thing to work on. I need to remember to do it more.

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