A mixed training session today. Lu’s attitude was really good, I warmed her up and cooled her down with plenty of walking, she did some great contact hits and showed me some holes in our training. On the other hand I was disappointed in how we wrapped the session up. She did a leap off the DW and people were milling around wanting a turn so I had to move on , which meant we couldn’t end that on a fun note, so I tried to practice that front cross setup but that wasn’t so good either cos she had had enough by then so we just sort of … stopped… Went back to the car and gave her a yummy meal but it was a pretty ‘meh’ way to end the session. I just couldn’t do something else to make it more fun so we got stuck.
So, things I learnt from today:
If I am behind Lu when she’s doing the dogwalk, and don’t beat her/keep up with her to the end, she will jump off. I think in order to work on this I need to either throw a toy forward (which has in the past encouraged jumping as she looks for a toy) or use a static toy after the next obstacle for a few sessions. I think maybe I thought she was driving well for the next obstacle when in fact she was using my motion to help her.
I also need to be MUCH better about verbally marking her good dogwalk hits. I did some ‘speed circles’ today, going over the DW, cik/capping the bar, and back over the dogwalk. I forgot to mark a few of them and then I felt awful because she probably thought she hadn’t done the right thing. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me because I forgot to mark them in training the other day too. I think I’m getting too wrapped up in doing the next obstacle or something, or I’m aware that if I celebrate the hit, she usually doesn’t DO the next obstacle, but I need to remember to mark it.
There was a tunnel under the dogwalk today. For the first goes I had it so the entrance was off to the side – no tempt at all. Later, I moved it a bit closer and got her to do the tunnel, did a little loop and then wanted her to choose the dogwalk over the tunnel. Interestingly, she chose tunnel!! I thought for sure she’d choose dogwalk, it’s her favourite thing, but no! So there’s definitely some work to be done there with discriminations.
I’m also learning how much I need to call her. In the scenario above, after she’d done the tunnel, we did the loop again and this time I called her to hand and nearly pulled her right off the DW – and it wasn’t even that strong of a call. She’s such a funny girl – so much learning going on.
Snow-hunting tomorrow! I sourced Loki a little fleece coat and spent the afternoon sewing extra velcro on because it’s a bit big for him. He doesn’t have his proper coat yet, just the course stuff along his spine and otherwise he’s pretty sleek. Definitely needs a snow coat.
I’d put Lu in a coat too because so much of her fur has dropped out, but.. y’know, then she’d be stuck at the car and miss out on all the fun since wearing a coat is basically like being in prison and all.