Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Freestyle with Jun

Since getting back from CO, I've been insanely busy with work, so haven't had much time to work the dogs in disc. However, for the time I have had, Jun's freestyle is coming along nicely, now that I've once again realized I need to slow down and break things down into baby steps. Though she is now a disc-switching pro, when I try to work on freestyle moves with her she reverts back to sticking on discs. I'm asking her to think hard and so, of course, as can be expected, she reverts back to her natural tendencies. So I've gone back to using a single disc with her while we learn some moves and some more foundational skills and then I will add the multiple discs back in later.

Due to all the tugging I've done with Jun to get her to switch discs in the first place, she has a tendency to crowd me and try to grab discs out of my hands. We've made great progress on this in the past couple of days. We've been doing a lot of sit/down and wait, especially while working on vaults, and we've also been working on just asking her to back up, and rewarding with a tug or throw when she is no longer crowding me. She's really catching on quickly to this and starting to stay back a bit of her own accord. I also realized that I need a more consistent signal for when I want her to grab a disc from my hand to tug, so we've been working on that as well. Last night she stayed a couple feet back from me as I was waving discs around and doing fidgets right in front of her without grabbing for the discs! We are also working on some foundational positioning and still trying to build her flip catches. I'm very happy with what we have accomplished so far!


  1. Way to go Jun!! She's such a rock star.
    Lately, the more new stuff we work on, the more the new stuff seems to cancel out old stuff. Or like we will have something down pat, then we add something new and once she gets that, she either forgets or passes over the old trick. I'm almost looking forward to winter again, soley for the fact that I will have 4-5 months where we can steadily work on new stuff without having comps in between! Lol! Sounds like you are making great progress!
    Can't wait for camping!!

  2. Exactly, I've found that whatever I have down with the dogs in April/May is what I have for the season. Summer is way too busy to train new stuff. I am looing forward to some basement work this winter.

    If she's forgetting old stuff, it's probably not quite as solid as you think. That's happened to us before with tricks, when I move on too quickly and fail to continue to reinforce the old stuff. Then I have to go back and re-train.

    I just have to keep reminding myself (in Mickey's voice) . . . patience grashopper.

    I don't know that I'm looking forward to camping, but the next three weeks will be a blast regardless!

  3. LOL! Patience Grasshopper!
    Yes, thats a good way to put it (whatever you have down by april/may is what you have for the season) It really is too hard to work on new stuff. Especially for a newbie like me, because working on new stuff just messes up the old stuff.
    She used to have a pretty awesome 'over', but now she is being lazy and jumping around my butt rather than over my back. I have seriously been debating whether or not to do freestyle when we go camping. I just feel too messed up and all over the place.
    And now this winter, I will have to try and move forward with Frankie, as well as try and keep Kirby moving in the right direction.
    Honestly, and I feel stupid saying this, but in the beginning with Frankie, I didnt pay a whole lot of attention to the drive stuff because she just sort of had it. But now that I have Kirby, I am panicking because I cant remember how to do drive building exercises! We are doing tugging and I always let him win, and I egg him on while we tug. And I have him chase rollars and we play the 2 disc 'rabbit' game where he goes after the 'live' disc while I try to grab the 'dead' disc, then let him win the live disc, turning it to the dead disc. Lol! Thats all I can think of.
    Oh thats right, you're going to Naperville! I'm so jealous!

  4. That should about do it for drive building. Get some feedback at a playdate if you can. And remember even if Frankie is drivey, you can and should still incorporate drive building. We do tons of tugging and rollers still and I almost never play more than 3 minutes or so, especially in the summer if they are running non-stop. Keeping it short is the main ingredient, so don't forget that one. Also, I know all about laziness with Jun. Just make sure Frankie doesn't get rewarded with the disc unless she gets it right.