Saturday, November 6, 2010

Highlights of the Weekend--Edit

Re: the lack of capitals and punctuation in the first draft--wrote this on my phone and for some reason it won't let me do capitals. Also, it cut me off, so finishing this now . . .

On Saturday, Jun remembered how to do a back vault. she forgot in July, so that's a pretty momentous occasion. She also remembered how to flip, which she forgot in the past month or so. No guarantees she will remember either next week. Jun has been a pretty challenging dog to run freestyle with, and I've finally gotten to the place of accepting that we may never accomplish much in disc dogging. You never know, taking that pressure off may be the key to her greatness, but I think Jun will always be Jun. My focus now is trying to play within her Jun-ness. We are working on patterns and also on NOT being so focused on patterns. Jun is a "rules dog" and and she gets her sequences down pretty well, but if I ever need to change plans in the middle of a routine, due to her positioning, wind or anything else, it all goes to hell because Jun does NOT change plans. "WTF is that disc going in that direction for, mom? This is wrong." And then the whole thing is screwed up. So we're doing sequence work, but also just THROWING so she learns that her job is to chase the disc in the sky and not worry about WHY it is there!!

Elo retrieved about ten rollers at the park!! he has come so far since last year when he had zero interest in the disc. He's catching, retrieving, and tugging! Not getting my hopes up, but I would love to get him on the field next year. First we have to conquer his dog issues, and distractibility, but being able to play at the park was such a huge step for him!

Also worked some loose leash walking with Elo and he did well! I am determined to have at least one dog that can do this skill. After that, we went to a slightly busier park to work some LAT. Elo is pretty much fine around cars and people now! Even if they "surprise" him. His level of focus on me isn't great around distractions, but he no longer flips out! Dogs are still another story. At this park, people walk dogs pretty frequently so i thought we might be able to work that a bit.

It was pretty dead, and Elo saw the first one before I did and started flipping out. I calmly walked backwards until I was able to catch his attention for half a second. Clicked for that, then I did some rapid fire LAT with tons of treats. He was teetering on the edge of threshold, but he was calm enough to eat, which was at least something. I've discovered the putting the treats on the ground, even behind him, is better than having him take them from my hands. When he gets all fired up, his "gentle" goes bye-bye, so putting the treats on the ground not only saves my fingers, but breaks his focus on the target for an extra second while he finds and eats them. It was kinda funny, the lady walking the first dog we saw must know dog training because she yelled out to me "excellent work" when she saw what we were doing. We worked one more dog. Then Sunday we got to work another dog in the parking lot of the pet store. I am hoping that once he recognizes dogs as LAT objects, just like people and cars and moving things and things that make noise, that it will be pretty quick work.

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