Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday at the Barn - December 26th, 2011

Ever have one of those sequences that you're SURE your dog will nail, you'd put money on it - setup one of those with Teller today, I was so sure he'd just get it - and instead we struggled with it. Here's ours - the killer was 1-2-3.
In related news, we clearly need to get some reinforcement in on the tunnel/dogwalk discrimination. As I flipped back and forth dogwalk/tunnel/ he clearly favors the dogwalk - even when he was correctly taking the tunnel he was looking really hard at that dogwalk before fully committing to the tunnel. Lots and lots of reinforcement on the dogwalk lately!! Now the tough part, I thought for sure he'd come out of the tunnel - read the 'out' cue and take that wing jump. It was like he didn't even see the jump. Then (in classing Woo form) when I tried to send him under the DW to just the jump he actually looking for the DW support and jumped THAT instead!  Once we got it, it was a beautiful sequence to run!

Kipling's sessions are still really short and obstacle focused. Today he saw his very first tire - which was kind of a non-event - "oh, I go through the round part?" Got it! When I have a baby dog or a pre-novice dog there's a ton of reinforcement and sequences are super short. Sometimes one obstacle, sometimes three - but super short. I don't want to start a pattern when the dog has opportunity or desire to disconnect from his (or her job). I stress to my students to break things down, to make success, to reinforce while things are going well - even if it means they have to stop running a fun sequence to reward. It's hard to do, when they generally get to see the grown-up advanced dogs running at practice - or the older dogs who are products of a lot of very deliberate training over years - and try to run their dog like an excellent or masters dog. 

Here's what Kipling worked on today - all of 10 minutes of work, super short sequences - lots of reinforcement. Party, party, party, play!

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