Sunday, January 14, 2007

Seminar debrief...

Lots and lots of good information and exercises to work on...I'll save the review and what we did well (and not so well) for later - here are the exercises:

Pickup - this will come in handy for obedience as well...present a finger - dog touches it - then add movement. Dog moves towards finger every time it's presented - work both sides. This went really quickly.

1) Figure one: Orange dot is a cone. Yellow is dog's path, green is handler. Send/shape/lure dog around cone clockwise - starting with dog on your left. Click when dog reaches the red dot, deliver treat with right hand.

2) Figure 2: Reverse the exercise. Dog moving counter-clockwise - send/shape/lure. Treat is delivered (or thrown) from the left hand this time. I personally used the bowling cue to get things moving a bit faster...

3)Replace cone with a jump - low is fine - Murph who usually jumps 24" was jumping 8" for this exercise - the thing here is for the dog to pick the most efficient path - dogs can't turn in the air, they turn when they land. Turning when they hit the ground causes a lot of undue stress on the shoulders...Dog on your left, send/lure/shape the dog over the jump, click when the front legs hit the ground. Reward with the right hand..

4)The same as exercise 2 - only with the jump...All four of these exercises were done within the span of 20 minutes...

5) This exercise is similar to the ones above - only now you've got three jumps involved...Temptation for the dog is to get into the series and continue straight through. Send/lure your dog through. This figure shows the dog starting on handler's right. The handler moves clockwise, facing the dog and the shoulders pull the dog off the last jump and use the pickup, then click treat.

6) The jumps are still really low at this point - 8"-12" - small. They are about 4' apart. Now the handler sends the dog from their left and turns counter clockwise to pull the dog off the last jump. Once you figure out the kinesthetics it's really not so bad - plus the dogs were all very forgiving. OK, so the key here is to start using body motion not words. I got busted a couple of times for using Murphy's name in the series as the callout - I think that's my obedience nature coming out - preface the command with the dog's name.

7) Now put the dog in a wait (or not), dog on your right. Run down the first two, turning your body towards them to pull off the third. Click for the dog leaving the path to come to you...remember to use a pickup..

8) Same as 7 - going the opposite direction. Dog on left, handler moves counter clockwise for the pickup.

9) This exercise is the same as 7 - but you've got to be faster as you're sending and turning in one motion. Turn too quickly and you'll pull the dog off the first jump - turn slowly and he's already cleared the 2nd (or 3rd) jump.

10) Same as 8 - but sorta the same as 9. If you're smart enough to have found your way this deep into my blog you'll have no problem with 10.

11)Spread out the jumps a bit now. Roughly 8' apart. At this point I put the bars up to 16" - height isn't important though - but as speed increases I wanted the jumps to be a presence...Put dog in a wait (or run with) on your right, use body pressure to send the dog over the second jump and then shoulders to pull the dog back over Jump three. Yellow is dog's path - green is handlers. Remember to make sure the dog is committed to jump two before breaking off to jump three...

12) Now run the same thing the other way - dog on left, push and pull.

13) Now let's complicate things a little. Dog's path in yellow (of course because we're talking about yellow dogs), handler in green (for no particular reason). The click is a bit different here - click when the dog diverges from the path after the second jump - after dog is committed to jump two, turn towards the dog with the right hand pickup - click/treat and then send back over the first jump.

14) Again the same thing here - dog is now on your right, turn into the dog click the turn and send.

15) OUT! Two excercises in figure 15. The grey line marks the centerline. The green square is the stationary handler. Yellow line is the dog's path: Dog on right, handler pushes hand out and to the right - sending dog over right hand jump - saying "out" when making the gesture. If dog is unsuccessful, make it really really easy for the dog to succeed, move to the jump and do an "over" as a send and then go back to the centerline. Julie pointed out that when things go wrong we tend to make things progressively easier - setting the dog up to need progressively easier cues. Skip the progression, make it totally easy for the dog and then go back to the harder. Orange line is the dog on the left, same cues - handler's left hand pushes out and over.

16) Here you need a wait. Put dog on startline, move out to the centerline, call dog over the first jump and send out to the second jump - again clicking when the dog commits to taking the jump.

17) Opposite side now. Dog on a wait, handler moves to centerline - body facing forward, calls dog over first jump - sends out to left hand jump.

18) An extension of the OUTs. Dog on left (yellow); dog on right (orange). Gradually move the middle jump out further and further as the dog better understands OUT and working away from handler....Handler's path in yellow/green and orange/green dots.

19) Take two, skip one. Uses two front crosses - and two pickups... This one is tough to explain...The dog's line starts in yellow, changes to orange after the first set of crosses and changes to blue after the second set of crosses. The darkest green dots (with arms) are the first set of crosses, the lime green the second. Dog takes first two jumps in the pinwheel, handler is initially facing dog - left finger out for pickup. Handler pivots counter clockwise switching the dog from the left finger to the right finger, then sends over the next two jumps. Another set of front crosses (skipping that jump)...

20) The same exercise as above - except the pickup is with the right hand; handler moves clockwise. Dog starts in yellow, then orange, then blue. I've numbered the handler crosses - 1's being the first set of crosses and 2's the second set...

21) Weave poles. Once dogs know the weaves use an ex-pen on one side of the expen (left). If dog makes a failed entry the pen will correct them - don't make a big deal out of it. Use short pens (can treat over the top, etc), handler works both sides. Ex-pens over guide wires because they are more substantial - don't need to teach the pen (have to teach acceptance of wires - easy to setup - need to work a hard entry, put up a pen. Pick word that means to dog "you've got the right entry, now go", then click/reward at end of poles...

Enough for now...

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