challenges #2 & 3


lu jump

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.


3 thoughts on “challenges #2 & 3

  1. Even when you try you can’t finish every training session on a high note… sometimes life just happens. One thing that I learned to do is if we have a session in which the dogs are struggling, when they get a breakthrough we celebrate and finish (or do a super easy can’t-fail-this-one and then finish), even if we just did 5 reps total. It seems to help them remember what they did that made the difference. It doesn’t sound like you were having a struggling-kind of session, but I just thought I would throw it out there.

    • Em says:

      That’s true. I just felt bad at the time that it had ended so flat.
      And with the struggle-sessions, we do that for sure. I learnt that particularly when we were trying to hit weave entries. I’d have to push her and push her to get the one she was trying to get and when she got it, have a big party and finish then, not try and get it again.
      But certainly I think when I set up my DW next I’ll try some runs where I end up behind her a bit as she’s coming down the plank and if she has trouble not leaping, I’ll do one where I’m with her to remind her, then drop back again for the next one I think. 🙂 Depending on how it was all going, of course.

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