Wow, it's your 5th lesson already! Here is your new list:
1. heeling: make the "glued to the leg" exercise more like heeling: still do different kind of turns, but also some normal forward walking in different speeds (slow, normal, fast) to teach them to adjust and keep the right position in every situation
2. figure 8 backward: tell the dog to go into heel position and start spinning as we were doing on the target, then very suddenly stop and step back with the other leg (if the dog is at left side - with right leg), you can also make a gesture with left hand to try to get them to keep circling below the heeling position, eventually all the way around your leg, so that they come backwards between your legs back into front position. If the dog insists on staying in heel position, you can help with the hand a little bit, lure his head out (left for 90 degrees if the dog is on left side) and say back to have them back up in your direction. Step back with the other leg enough to have them back up between your legs. Reward and tell them to heel on the other side (right) and repeat the process. As soon as you get some smoothness with that, stop rewarding for coming in between, always first tell them to come to the other leg and reward at your side in order to avoid having them back up too far - they need to stay very close to your legs all the time.
You can see the steps at 2:51 of this video:
3. skateboarding: try to find a skateboard (kids department) and reward for making it move with front feet. Don't reward 4on, but 2 or 3, the criteria is they make a skateboard move.
4. cik&cap: find a table leg, dog-food container, traffic cone or similar and shape the dog to go around it - first just a step, then two or three circles, both directions (you can reward both right from the start if you are getting it - if not, start with just one, but then on one session, don't reward that direction anymore but wait for the other)
5. fade the object for side legs: if the dog is already heaving both legs up at the same time, click&reward that before he even touches the object, so that he understands the idea is picking them up, not touching something. At the same time, try changing objects as much as possible. Going to vertical objects shouldn't be too difficult, then go to "empty" objects like a chair that looks like an object, but doesn't really offer much support, so at this point, the dog is already free-standing, the object is just there for mental support. Next step in table leg and then you don't need an object anymore. For free handstand, you go through the same process, only that it takes longer as it's physically more demanding - you can start working on it, but do not rush it, especially not with young puppies!
6. don't forget on recalls and playing, stays with distractions (you can combine it all in a really fun game), try the hug on a plastic bottle or something similar that is light enough for the dog to hold it and have them hold it independently, add more steps to backing up from you, tape the 4in the bowl trick again so that I can see to what size you managed to get: the smaller the better!
And most importantly: have fun!
Silvia, I’d love to have a discussion a bit more regarding distractions (aka real life) 🙂 I had Grit at an indoor trial with the rest of my dogs this weekend, and I found the environment to be really challenging for her to do her tricks in. I did find that if we went off in a corner, she could do a bit of them there, but she had a very short attention span, and her appetite seemed much lower.
I’m curious, on days like that, do you add in easier environments, say in the evening back at the hotel, or do you just let the puppy eat a bit less that day, and see if they are maybe hungrier the next day?
Of course, another option is to bring out yummier treats, but I’m resisting the temptation as much as possible. I did bring them out if she found something a bit overwhelming or scary, but this was more for a socialization/classical conditioning purpose, rather than shaping or training.
Interesting discusion! I think the most important thing ist the focus and the fun our dogs have doing the tricks. (As we already learned in Silvias course!). Without focus on you also better treats are not so interesting when having lots of distraction. For a performance I only use the tricks which are easy to do and which she really loves to show!
I take her in very different places without doing many tricks. Most think to get her calm is on agility-tournaments. Her she gets a click and treat for looking at the running dog while staying calm.
Sometimes I can’t belive how much input a dog must get to do this all…
Sandra, that’s very impressive! Grit certainly has a ways to go before she would be ready for that! Your puppy is just beautiful. 🙂
Lovely Sandra!! She’s so cute and wow our little puppies are suddenly becoming big lanky teenagers 🙂
Thanks Emely and Melanie, yes, I am very lucky with my puppy, but we also have our problems …and your right they are growing so fast, my small box looks evan smaller than at the beginning!
Echo, sleeping on the floor, came over to watch (actually watch!) your video. I hope she learned as much as I did! Very nice job with your young puppy. So impressive.
What about playing, would she play? If so, I would focus on playing for now and sneak in some easy tricks while playing. I think she again just needs to learn how to focus in such a busy environment and she could play, she will soon be able to do tricks too. Of course, start with easy tricks that she loves the most and if necessary, go to a corner or outside and if she still can’t eat her meal, I would give her later, back in the hotel. In next lesson, we’ll work on some easier tricks, like spinning and figure 8 forward etc. -- those are great for breaking the ice, most dogs love it and those are easy to reward by toy so you can do them even when she doesn’t feel like eating. -- And then it should be easy to continue.
Yes we did a little playing, and she could do a bit of that (but still not too much!). It was very tight inside, so not a ton of room for moving much. Also, there was a bit of a kennel cough scare, so I didn’t want to get her too much in the middle of things. Outside, when we went to potty, I did experiment with running around with her (previously I scared her when I did this!) 🙂 I’m happy to report that she thought this was WAAAAY fun, and even tugged on her leash while doing it! So you are probably right, she again was a little shell shocked (this was her 1st trial after all!). I just noticed as soon as I got home how much more outgoing she was in the house….so a pretty dramatic difference, and I want to make sure I’m helping her! 🙂 I do think if she knows some easy ones, that will help. Her favorite trick to do at the trial was her bowls! I think they are sort of BIG easy targets to her. Heel/side sent her into a fog….
If she could do bowls on her 1st trial, then she will for sure be able to do spinning anywhere! 🙂
Grit ROCKS those bowls! She’s so smart.
Hi Melanie and everybody.
We’ve had a major break through in our ‘car-training’ (see comments under lesson 4). After a couple of days of feeding really yummy treats and meals in the car and shaping her to put her front feet on the back of the car, she jumped in the car and into her crate all by herself today, without me prompting/luring she just flew right in. That’s the first time that has ever happened 🙂 I’m so so so so happy and just had to share 😀
We might have a long way to go before being able to drive here and there, but this little step in the right direction makes me think it is possible.
Thank you so much Melanie for sharing your tricks and advise for car training. Hugs to you and Grit!
Oh Emily, that is GREAT! Way to go!!! Sounds like you will be ready to turn the car on while she’s eating soon. 🙂
And I will tell you about an experience I had over the weekend, that will hopefully give you more confidence. It certainly reminded me how “fluid” behavior really is…
She did great traveling to the trial site on Friday…no big deal. Saturday was fine until I met a friend for dinner. For some reason, she got carsick on the way to dinner. Maybe because I trained her within 30 min of leaving for dinner? (Broke one of my rules!!) Not sure exactly. But she was a bit drooly on the ride home. Then the next morning, I made a big mistake. I took the crate pad out that she got sick on, and didn’t have a good one to put in, so I put a small one, that happened to be very slippery. Well, she slid around all the way to the trial, and it looked like a lake of drool by the time we got there. (Dammit!)
She was again drooly on the way home, and then I took her with me to dinner again the next night (TONS more drool). I really thought I had a problem on my hands at this point. It sure felt like all my hard work had been wasted. But we were at a trial, had one more day to go, and were 3 hours from home, so there wasn’t a lot I could do about it.
Well, she had a lovely time hanging out with us at dinner, and actually fell asleep in my arms. Interestingly enough, she hopped in the van on her own, and laid down and went to sleep. Next morning was a bit drooly on the way to the showsite. But the drive home was a piece of cake, no drool, and handled 2 different pitstops on the way.
So I guess I’m just saying if you see a setback, don’t panic, and it’s perhaps easier and easier to work through each time. But also remember that it may take awhile before she’s “cured”. 🙂
Hope that was helpful, and not scary.
Helpful indeed as I tend to panic at setbacks 🙂
And very helpful by all means to have this supportive community, I know this is a trick class (and I can’t wait to use more time/meals on tricks and less on the car), but I’m so grateful that I can get help with my biggest training problem here as well 🙂
Great!!! I’m sure she will be a happy rider in no time! 🙂
Which direction is Cik and which is Cap? I don’t want to screw up my first attempt at Slovenian!
Well, I’m not Silvia, but since she’s asleep right now….
Cik is to the left (counterclockwise), and Cap is to the right (clockwise). That’s precisely why I chose “Kit” and “Kat”, so that I could visualize the “candybar” across the jump bar, and see which is “Kit” and which is “Kat”. 🙂
Good idea with the Kit Kat! I have to find something as logical for me to use, hmm… Would mess up Cik Cap or Kit Kat in no time.
Another Cik Cap related question: Do you help a lot with body language when introducing jump wings in cik/cap? I can send Penny around any object small (as a pole) or large (a football goal), but when I try with two objects placed as two jump wings she gets confused if I don’t help her a lot and/or stands closer to the one I want her to wrap around. I also have trouble doing multi-wraps, figure 8 is no problem though.
Ok, I don’t know if that makes any sense, will try to bring camera and boyfriend when going for a walk, as I can’t do any of those tricks in my tiny appartment 😉
Sure, you should help with body language when there are more objects around. But for now, we’re not doing sends just yet, for now just sit down next to the object and shape her to circle it several times: meaning that we’re working on multi-wraps for now and as there is not much speed involved, you can actually start it inside.
Ok 🙂 Will start shaping the multiwrap inside then.
Hello silvia, i have some translation problems with the’multiwrap’;
Is this right?: I shape her going around an Object, and if she know it, I click when she has made more than one round. And than we should increase speed…
And what du you mean with ‘starting inside’ ? Is it just the other way round?
It’s multiple wraps: several circles in a row. You shape going around, first clicking for a first step, then two, three, half of a circle, 3/4, full circle, one step over full circle, two steps over one circle, 1 1/4, 1 1/2, 1 3/4, 2 circles, one step over 2 circles etc. With more fluency and less rewarding in between, you will of course get more speed, but you can’t expect a lot of speed with this exercise, you should focus on tightness, in both directions of course. Speed comes with sends, but you need tightness before you can do sends. Sends, you can only practice outside/outdoors, with more room, but you can start with circling inside/indoors -- I was saying that in a reply to Emily who wrote she needs to go outside to make a video.
thanks! now I understand….hope my dog get’s it faster than I 😉
I use it as Melanie wrote, but it actually doesn’t matter, some people use it the other way around -- the words as such don’t really mean anything 🙂
That might be true… but I have a feeling I’ll get confused when watching your DVD, if I don’t do it your way to begin with. When do you add the word? Do you do it the same as other shaping exercises and wait until the dog is doing it really well?
That’s true, course walkings can be confusing for those of my students that use the words the other way around 🙂 I add a word as soon as the dog is fluently circling around the object.
Silvia, Grit finds walking around her bucket for cookies (cik/cap) extremely boring and keeps leaving to get on her skateboard!! I thought this was really funny. 🙂 I’m trying to keep the rate of reinforcement really high, but it is clearly her least favorite of our new assignments. I’m not sure there’s much to do about it except to keep it simple and fun???
OK, so after tonight’s training session, here’s what I learned. Grit likes a lot of verbal affirmation that I like what she’s doing, and I find it exciting, in addition to the clicker. If I just sit silently and click, she sort of goes through her paces in slow motion, and might even get bored and leave. But if I get excited, she does as well, and I get a lot more animated behavior, and a longer duration of interest. Thinking about this more, I’m wondering if this is the similar to the difference between using “boring” kibble versus exciting yummy treats.
I guess my question is, how important is it that she learn to enjoy the “work” without the “crutch” of my squeals of excitement??? Maybe it’s fine that we communicate this way, or maybe it’s a sign that I need to back off and let her figure things out more on her own??? Any thoughts??
I should have mentioned…. I figured out that this was why she was going over to the skateboard and leaving the “cik/cap” bucket behind. She had gotten a touch nervous about the skateboard, so I was making a big deal verbally about her touching the skateboard, and it became a more exciting behavior to offer. At the bucket, I was just quietly sitting there and rewarding behavior (very generously for very small movements, but silently). Later, when I started giving more verbal praise and making excited sounds while she was working around the bucket, I suddenly got much more animated offers of behavior, and she even went back to the bucket by herself while I reloaded with more kibble.
I LOVE that she values my praise so highly. I just don’t want to dilute its value or mask an issue that we should possibly work through instead. I hope that all makes sense.
How cool with the skateboard!
Penny’s the same with my excitement coming to think of it. I never saw it as a potential problem though. And I find it really simple to fade when the puppy knows the trick. I’m just happy to be part of the reward 🙂
But I guess praising as a prompt/to encourage could be problematic. Not sure if that is what you mean? I click then praise and reward.
And a completely different topic: Do you feed raw (I got that impression by what you wrote about your car training) and then use kibble for training? I’d like that but did not know if it was possible (i.e. using lower value food for training than meals).
I’ve gone back and forth about how to train with what foods. I found that if I used high value rewards for difficult behaviors and trained those first (as is suggested by many trainers), my dogs would leave work when we got to easy behaviors and kibble. My puppy eventually stopped working for kibble at all. But I still wanted to feed raw.
Here’s the solution I hit on, with some help from friend and mentor Melanie (Grit’s Melanie): First I didn’t feed anything but kibble until the dogs were EAGER to work for their kibble (took a single missed meal and about 24 hours — surprised me!). Now I work during the day in 1-4 sessions (depending on my schedule, etc). At the end of the day I feed the balance of their kibble + their raw after all training is finished.
I’ll often ask for a pizzazzy behavior before putting the raw down. Sometimes I’ll train with the raw, but I change the behaviors I’m training for the raw (or she expects it for that behavior every time). I also do my “magic recall word” training with raw to add extra value for it, or my recall back and forth in the house with my husband. (The dog gets the raw, not the husband 😉
This week after training with kibble pretty much exclusively for 2 weeks, I added in some freeze-dried liver as a jack pot when my puppy touched cabinet doors with both paws (this has been scary for her). Oh, my, it was amazing the impact it had. I worried that when I went back to kibble at the next session, that she’d refuse but she didn’t. She ate it like she always does. I think in part it’s because I didn’t use the liver for more than maybe 3 or 4 reps, then it went away and we stopped training while she still really wanted to do more.
This is the solution that’s really worked for me.
I think that when you have good food drive, it doesn’t matter at all. La once stole a really big amount of meat and could hardly still move, but her eyes went just as crazy for a piece of kibble as they always do. Neither of them has no problems accepting anything offered, even if they just ate something much better as that. I also didn’t really notice they would work harder for something more delicious as kibble. I do bring some canned dog food for Bu to trials as she finds trials scary and I want to make them more fun, but I’m not too sure yummier breakfast makes a big difference.
Wow, I sure wish this were the case with my pups. But I think part of it is probably how much value they have in you. As I make training more exciting, they’ll work for kibble when they’re less hungry. But if they just ate a big meal, none of them would work for kibble.
I think it will come with time. If they can already switch from raw to kibble, that’s already one step towards it!
Pretty much what Rachel said. 🙂 For now, Grit isn’t getting much raw, as we are training so much that she doesn’t need extra food in a bowl. But if she did, then I would give her raw at the end of the day.
Interestingly, my other raw fed pups are crazy about kibble (grass is always greener on the other side, I guess???), so they all happily work for kibble pretty much anytime. When my vizsla was much younger, I would chop up his raw food to use for very distracting environments, but I’m not sure these days if I would go that route…
Thanks Rachel and Melanie, how cool that you’re ‘real-life-friends’ as well 🙂 Can I come live nearby? And kibble-train and raw feed? Amazing that you have a vizsla Melanie, they’re some of the most beautiful and amiable dogs in my opinion.
Love your La-story Silvia, my late dog was just like that, once she ate almost 1 kilo of kibble by accident (she weighed only 4,5 kilo herself) and I was so worried, but she was happily begging at the table even though she could hardly move. Do I have to mention she was very easy to train? 😉
Absolutely -- come live in NC. It’s beautiful and the winters are wonderful (not too cold, but cold enough to be interesting). Lots of dog-friendly places in our area. Maybe not as dog friendly as European countries, but pretty good by US standards.
Thanks Rachel!! reply further down for you and Melanie, but what is pizzazzy?? this course might improve my english as well 😉
Ok, not further down, right above… Hmm… I’ll never figure out where these replies end up :S
Panache, pizzazz, wow-factor
Pizzazzy isn’t really a word -- I made it up.
For the first while, I assumed you were English speaking as your first language as your English is great.
It used to drive my Dutch grandfather crazy when his American born daughter would make up words (which she did frequently). I guess I get this from her.
Haha… Thank you so much. Nope english is my third language (the beauty of coming from a tiny country, which native tongue is known to less than 6 million people worldwide). So pizzazzy was a little over my english level. But it’s my new favorite ‘word’ indeed 🙂
Yeap, been there with Le. In general, I like to use my voice a lot, but with my BCs, I had a feeling like they’re thinking “can you please shut down, we’re trying to think here”, so I learned to work more silently. But when I tried it with puppy Le, she was not impressed, I think she was reading me sitting there silently as I don’t really like that game -- so she didn’t like it too much -- but LOVED playing as I always talked when playing. So I tried expressing my excitement about shaping sessions too and she was totally for it! It was like she was saying “oh, so you do like that game then -- then I like it too!” -- I though it’s just a PyrShep thing 🙂 -- they always want you emotionally involved 🙂
Later, it was no problem to talk less, but I still always mark the best tries with a voice too. It works great with running contacts training: no click for not a good one, click for a good one, click+extra happy voice for the best ones -- I really think my dogs understand this really well and it really speeds up the learning process. So no, I don’t think there is any bad side-effect to using your voice!
Wow, yes, that all sounds VERY familiar. I don’t think any of my other pups care all that much about verbal praise, and may even find it distracting, as you mentioned. But Grit seems to THRIVE off of it. So we will just continue as you suggest, and do what is fun. 🙂
Yeah, cik&cap can be pretty boring at first. What can do to make it more fun is throwing treats at the base of a cone/bucket -- a little further ahead in the circle from where they are at the moment, so that it becomes “chase those cookies around a cone” game -- they usually like that. But the real fun begins with sends -- but she needs to know the verbal cues to some degree before you can start with those.
Haha, even the thrown treats were no comparison to my verbal praise! 🙂 She would walk away from those, but drive into my hand for a kibble if I squealed when she took a step in the right direction. So cool to figure out what makes our little pups tick, isn’t it???
OK, here’s some pretty raw footage of Grit starting most of the exercises. I’m interested in input on just about all of them… 🙂
When the skate-board went out of her control, the best would be to just reward, finish a session and give her some days off to forget about it. If she is still unsure about it, give her some days off and then start again on carpet -- that would be a suggestion for everybody who see some fear about the skate board as it moves less, softer, more predictable and without the noise there.
Getting there with cik&cap, once she gets more fluent, it would be good to also try it on a thinner object as you can select for tightness better there, reward for bending the back and keeping rear feet close too and little details like that -- but it’s not very important just yet. Side legs look pretty good to me, she was leaning too much on a first video and not having both up in the air much in the second one and now she is standing and having both up, so looks like lots of progress to me! Just keep working on it -- I think you have got the understanding, it’s just the balance that is not there yet and all she needs is more practice. And wow, GREAT figure 8 backwards! Because of her tendencies to wrap behind you on her heel position, that was actually an easy one for her. 🙂 Might make her heel position somewhat worse again, but it goes away once they see those are two different tricks. Maybe just don’t do it in the same session.
Don’t worry about her uncertainty with the skateboard too much. I’ve seen her respond the same way when her “4 feet in” box tipped over….offended and uncertain, but she bounces right back if I just take a few steps back and break down the behavior.
So tonight, I put the skateboard on carpet, and she was totally fine with it….all motions pushing it forward. However, I think I’ll keep her on the carpet a bit until she understands the behavior a bit better before I turn her loose on quite such a slippery surface!
For cik&cap, I focused more on the concept of going to the backside of the bucket tonight to get that a little stronger. I think if she understands that, then I can work on the multiple wraps a bit quicker. Just clicking for a couple of steps at a time over and over just seemed soooo boring to her!
Great point about side legs…her balance must be improving, as tonight I also got her little bowl out for 4 feet in, and she was FAR better at getting that 4th foot in…I think another sign of improved balance!
Haha, yes, I think she was made for the backwards figure 8. 🙂 We are separately working on her heel/side. The good news is, teaching the figure 8 has increased the value of heel/side tremendously, so she’s getting much more confident about beginning that behavior (remember it was hard for her without a “prop”).
Great! Her balance sure is improving, but yes, those tricks don’t require understanding only, but take some practice too. And sure, it’s actually not a bad idea at all to stay on carpet a little longer, they really need to learn to push there.
SKATEBOARDING CHALLENGES… I loved seeing your dogs skateboard and wanted my young Border Collie to learn how to board. Started her at 5 months.. and yes, had to do a lot of luring but I am new to shaping and this seemed OK for her first board ride… She quickly began to get very excited about the board movement and started barking at the board to, I think, get it to move. I stopped trying and have periodically over the last few months introduced it to try to get the behavior without the overstimulation and barking. I am at a loss of where to go with this other than give it up…but you write that you “like challenges”
Does she get barky with other tricks too or is it just the board that excites her that much? How is she with bikes, cars and/or other dogs running around? I’m just asking to see if this is a bigger problem we need to address or it’s just the board that makes her like that? Anyway, what I would do is to start it from zero again, but inside, on carpet and even fixing the wheels completely at first, leave the board there and see if she can ignore it in this situation. If not, I would first turn it up side down to make it look different and then turn it around again once she starts ignoring it. Then start shaping for stepping on it calmly, then allowing it to move some, but very little and tell her to down if she gets too excited again. -- Just to make her see that she needs to control herself if she wants to play or the game stops. I think this would be a good lesson for her to learn anyway, even more important one as skate-boarding as such, so take it slowly, progress very gradually. And let us know how it goes!
Thank you Silvia… great suggestion. I really did not want to totally give up on skateboarding. She does get excited watching other dogs run agility but I have been working on that with the “Look at That” from Control Unleashed and it has worked nicely. She does not get excited by cars, bikes or other moving things .. which is good… but she is very keen on sheep. :-)))
I agree she needs to learn this impulse control so this will be a perfect way to learn.
Great, if she can watch dogs running agility calmly, then I’m sure she can learn to ride a skateboard calmly too! 🙂
Good idea using the skateboard as distraction! That would be a great challenge for my little lady!
By the way, tomorrow I’m going to the first ‘clicker challenge’ in south germany! You have to learn your dog some definitely new tricks in a certain time only using ‘free shaping’ with the clicker and without luring or known commands. Hope to get lots of new ideas and a lot of fun there.
Sounds fun! Let us know what tricks you had to teach!
Here’s our video for Lesson 5. I’m having the most fun with backwards figure 8s and would really like some advice on my next step with Echo. Finn… well, if I can get him to back under one leg once and both of us stay standing afterwards, it’ll be a win!
Skateboarding -- we did our first sessions today and all of the dogs are stepping and standing (with front feet) on the board. What’s the best way to get some movement forward? (Finn likes to pivot on it and, judging from his response to tipping it up, I think the teeter likely won’t scare him too much!)
Side Legs -- I’m focusing on clicking for both legs on the object and jack pots for simultaneous leg raises (which I’m starting to get with Echo -- YAY!). I’m finding that she tends to stand very close to the target, though and I think that might be part of our challenge. Ideas?
Cik Cap -- I’ve taught the dogs to go around a cone with the direction determined by my body language. I went back to free shaping here so that I can shape multiple wraps. Any advice welcome. Finn is at a similar point to Echo. I’d like more speed, enthusiasm. Should I shape the multiple wraps first or get the enthusiasm first?
Thank you as always.
Great! Some of those side legs lifts were perfect! I think we’re almost there now, she just needs some more balance and strength, it’s not an easy trick for big dogs! From now on, I think she just needs practice I wouldn’t worry about where she stands.
And wow, can’t believe you actually got half of the figure 8 backwards with Finn! It’s a hard one with such a tall dog! With him, it would probably be easier if you first teach circling you backwards when you stand still -- it’s the same as figure 8, only that they don’t need to change the direction inbetween -- AND don’t need to go through your legs what will make it easier for both of you. After he knows it in both directions, it should be easy to put it together in a figure 8. Echo would also need to do some more circling around your leg -- for now, you help a lot by stepping over her. Try to step over her less and less so that she needs to do more&more on her own: meaning that your next step would be stepping as you do at 3:52 and not anymore as much as you do at the try just before that one for example.
Nice skating tricks! 🙂 Time to only reward when they make it move. What you’re going for is more of a bow position: they can’t make it move when they stand straight on it. You need lower position in the front, a kind of a bow, that will make it move -- you can help some with low placement of the reward.
Getting there with multi-wraps! Make sure you reward in the direction to promote circling, like on last tries. You will get more speed once there is less rewarding in between and especially when you switch to a toy -- I switch to a toy as soon as they can do to wraps in a row, it makes the game more fun. But of course, you can’t expect that much speed on multi-wraps as you can expect on sends! Both are important, but I teach multi-wraps first to get the tightness first.
Thank you, Silvia. Echo and I are already getting her doing the work to go between my legs -- sure makes my job easier!! Great idea with Finn going backwards around me first. We’ll work on that. I’ll proceed as you suggest on the other things.
Great! Once you master the steps backwards (vs. stepping OVER her), slowly make the steps shorter&shorter, so that she needs to turn more&more to get in between.
Hi Silvia and everyone! Here are some belated clips I never sent in! Stacey, Rocket & Heidi
Haha, my Smitty and Grit had to come check out what that yellow squeaky ball was all about! That was quite the sound!!! 🙂
It actually was inside a stuffed toy but has been Heidi’s favorite since it came out of a destroyed toy! I do have to put it up at times or the neighborhood would chase us all away! Stacey
Heidi is too funny with her balls! She doesn’t seem to mind the noise at all! 🙂 Great stays and really speedy recalls too!
Would you mind describing what “a day in the life of your puppy at an agility trial” looks like?
I’ve been having fun thinking about this a bit. We have sooooo many choices with how we can spend our puppy’s time at a trial. There are lots of things for them to learn.
I’ve been working to balance Grit’s time between “learning the ropes” (hanging out in her crate or expen, learning that everyone gets their turn, going potty “in public”, it’s fun to get in/out of your crate, etc), socializing (meeting friendly people and dogs, keeping an eye out for anything that she finds scary so that we can see if we can change her opinion, learning to “hang out” at a trial), and then interacting with me (playing with toys, chasing me, shaping tricks she thinks are fun, etc).
The whole experience has been amazing to me. It’s startling to see your puppy too overwhelmed to do the simple things that come so easy in other places, but then it’s incredible to see them overcome little issues and grow confident and suddenly remember who you are and the fun games you play together! 🙂
It just got me wondering how you spend your time with your puppies, especially when you have several other dogs to run in agility??? I found that between 16 year old Cole, my 3 active dogs in agility, and puppy Grit, I was very, very busy!!!
As normally, I don’t really have a plan, but as you know, we only have two runs per day, usually only one ring, and I have 3 dogs at the same level, so I actually have plenty of time and sure tire my puppies well on trials 🙂 We always start a day with a long walk at the site (our trial sites are always at places in the middle of nothing, with lots of options for walking in the fields, woods, sometimes by a river etc.), then the puppy gets the breakfast for tricks and then we hang around, waiting for the course seeing, play some, meet new friends and then often leave her with some new people as I go for course seeing. Then I have to focus on warming up/cooling down of other dogs so the puppy gets some time off in a crate and after all the dogs ran, we go for another walk, then play some with just a puppy while waiting for the next course, then sleep some and do another trick+play session at the end, with 50+ dogs running around loose, waiting for the price giving… Of course, if there are more rings, the puppy gets some sleep and some less action…