Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Night Training

So, every Thursday we go to obedience classes, and last week I thought it would be cool to post on here to keep track of how we're going. But of course, I'd already figured out my schedule, and Thursday nights didn't figure...

Tonight, I say :P to the schedule!

These posts will probably be fairly dry for those of you that aren't madly keenly insanely interested in the training of my puppykins, and for that I apologise. I'll be sure to make the other posts extra fun to make up for it! O:)

Tonight our highlight was the recall. We started the night in a circle and did some position changes at a distance (~2m), which weren't too bad. Last week, Laura was still edging forward with every change. This week she was only edging forward with most changes. There were a few moments where she definitely stayed in place, so this is good.

Then we did recalls, only this time in a circle (facing out!) rather than in a line. We braved it, and went with the group this time (have done it individually every other time), and woohoo! We were perfect! My dear Mini Sis took a video of us doing a recall last week, and as soon as I get the footage I shall post, so you can all see and cheer :o)

Static turns were reasonable, though not as snappy as she has done before. Her heel position overall was sloppy tonight - last week she was getting really good at coming and sitting /right/ next to me. Tonight, she was a bit all over the place :S

Heeling was very good the first time. She managed some beautiful left turns, and did exceptionally well with slow pace. At the end of the night though when we tried again Laura went to worms - too tired, too distracted. The last straw was when one of the kelpies crossed right over our heels, and Laura went WOO! DOG!! and that was that :|

Stand for exam with /me/ touching her is nearly feet-perfect: I can run both hands down from her head to her shoulders, feel all around her shoulders, move down her ribs and examine her haunches most times without her moving a foot. I'm not as slow or thorough or firm as a show judge, but still, I'm quite happy given that two weeks ago she wouldn't even do a stand stay while I walked in a circle around her.

With the instructor touching her she's a bit more finicky - the first two attempts she bent around in a circle and snuggled up to her *goggle eyes* Mind you, at least we are not JUMPING now. Not during class, anyway. We still do plenty of leaping on people outside of class (*ponders* though not nearly so much as she used to; I think she only jumped on other dog owners three or four times tonight during free time?). But the third time she held still while her head was patted, and the second time the instructor managed to run her hand down Laura's neck. So, good. Progress.

After there though, we feel to pieces a bit. I really struggle to get Laura's attention back on me once she's distracted; if she's concentrating, she'll do what I want perfectly, and I have no doubt that she would do excellently in the test. When she gets distracted, however, (new dog comes close, interesting smells on the ground) the only way I can get her attention back is to either run so she /has/ to come, or touch her face.

Well, not quite - 'Look' usually works. I just get frustrated when it doesn't and she ignores me.

Loose leading was okay; the lead was loose for probably 75-80% of the time, and a few times I deliberated walked close past another person to see what she'd do with the distraction.

Stays - I don't think we did a sit stay. I don't remember one, anyway. The down stay was okay; she broke once when a loud sound like a shot or a car backfiring or something rang out from the main road across the paddocks. The sound didn't bother her at all, but the next dog got a fright and jumped up... Laura nearly stayed - I thought she was going to - but then she was sniffing the wind, and stood up to follow the fun scent. Harumph.

But never mind.

All in all, she's doing reasonably well. I see a definite improvement this week on stand for exams and position changes at a distance, and she only started to flake out about 2/3s of the way through class. And really, since she doesn't get walked at the moment, I can't blame her for all the extra energy :S

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