Obedience Work Continues

So now that Lance has completed our quest in obedience, where does that leave our training?  Lance loves obedience and I love training for it so we're going to keep at it and see how far we can go.  We currently sit at 45 OTCH points and our 3 firsts, all earned in the last 15 months and most of it towards the end of last year.  At least we will continue to learn about maintaining precision and attitude in the ring vs the backyard champion.  Certainly tons of learning left on both our ends!

- Long Sit:  Continued work on having Lance do at least one long sit on a daily basis.  He also gets the opportunity to do one formal group sit in the weekly class I teach and can do another informal sit next to a dog while I walk the course during his agility practice.

Ever since I started having people feed Lance on his sit stay while I'm out sight I am happy to report that Lance hasn't broken a single sit in practice since.  Seriously, one cookie erased the progressively worsening issue we had going on when Lance was in a lineup with other dogs.  Unfortunately it's not spilling over to trials, at least not consistently.  Out of new ideas.  It's definitely not an understanding issue with Lance but rather a stress issue.

- Go Outs:  Continued work on stanchion training for straightness and lots of proofing with stuff on the floor and gates.  He loves proofing go outs!  Vito is currently working on not taking jumps on the way out so I've moved the jumps way in so the gap is pretty narrow.  Corgi barks with glee.

- Signals:  Lots of games to build confidence, especially as I'm walking away.  The only way I can replicate an error in practice if I go more than 3 times the normal distance.  Or sometimes if he's next to a dancing toy creeping towards him.  Then his little eyes get huge as he tries so hard not to look at it that his brain doesn't have enough left over to comprehend the signal.

All the other exercises my goal is confidence, confidence, confidence.  Now that I'm not as terrified to break them, I'm going to have fun with proofing games.  Keeping it very relaxed but challenging.  Retrieve over high with barriers to go around.  Super exploding article pile.  Fast repeated work to try and fool him into anticipation.

I'm also going to start working on an entrance routine with Lance.  Vito obviously knows one really well and I'm very clear on what criteria I expect from him.  But since Lance doesn't have the same issues as Vito I've never really done any specific training of it with him.  Typically he stands between my legs and on my feet while we wait to go in the ring.  This works pretty well for us as he can look around a bit but I can also choose to make the wait time pretty exciting by bouncing him on my feet and talking to him.  What I realize I need to train still is the explosion of that position and into heel.  I've also decided that I will start training and then requiring eye contact while the leash is removed and working on exploding to the first exercise together.  Lance is hit or miss on that piece and I know it would help our connection on that first exercise.

And finally, once the weather actually feels like spring up here, I'm going to work obedience in my own yard!!!  This will be the first time this is actually a real possibility for us since a little rental we had 5 years ago!  My plan for our home turf work is to re-introduce all the work I did on fading food rewards and replacing it with personal play.  I still do a lot of that with Lance but I feel like it's morphed into jackpot style training for him since the 2 days of work I get to do with him at the obedience club is followed by feeding him dinner there before I teach.  I could feed him right before I train him, but that would seem backwards.  It's not that I think the jackpot method is hurting our training in any way, I just feel like going back to making him less dependent on the food will only help our training.

achieve1dream  – ( June 9, 2014 at 7:04 PM )  

OMG! This word verification is seriously frustrating me!!! I bet if you turned it of you would get a lot more comments. It took me three tries to get the last one right. I just can't read the stupid things.

Anyway just wanted to say I'm super excited you have your own yard to work in again! :D

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