Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ponto speeding up a little when running on for the toy over the three jumps.  Will video again tomorrow to see if speed has really increased.  Nice tight turns round the wings of the one jump to tuggy.  Also tested her today to see if she would recall past some very smelly mackerel and she did.  POA tomorrow:

Video running on over three jumps and her turns.
RZ practise
Lots of PBJ games and drop toy and run games.
Crate games.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Agility Training at Sopley today.  I did my best to follow SG's guidelines on being a good student.  Jo was really helpful with how to get Ponto to run on.  I think following Recallers more assiduously than I did in Recallers 2.0 is really the answer.  Ponto also woke up with a gammy ear.  The vet has given me some stuff to put in her ears, this is the third time this year.  I hope the new antibiotic gets rid of it.  She behaved so well at the vet's, I didn't use her halti as she didn't like it behind her ears.  She walked loose lead from the car to the vets.  We went in and she lay down beside my chair and ignored the other dogs in the waiting room.  I can't believe how much she has improved.   We played nose touches and throw the toy and run in the garden this afternoon.   POA tomorrow . . . practise running on at jumps, think about making it into an even better game.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ponto doing one jump with tighter turns.  Improving, will move on to speeding her up and maybe adding a follow up jump.
Ponto going ahead of me.  At one point on the video she appears to take an extra short step.  Then she is more confident the next time and jumps smoothly.
Hand touches - progressing well, did these in bedroom and kitchen.  Using plexiglass as well now.  Have to be vigilant when it is on the floor as she is tempted sometimes to touch with feet as well as nose.
Forgot to test the sit when I am running with the toy, will carry over in tomorrow's POA.
video

POA for today for Ponto:

One jump practising tight turns with front crosses.
Back chaining running on from me over three jumps in a straight row.
Nose touches.
Testing whether she will go into a sit or a down when I am running with her holding her toy.

H - garden for all today  except nose touches - do these anywhere, anytime and when we are out on our walks.
Time - 30 seconds to a minute each time.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Agility Training at Sopley today.  Wow I am on a buzz, definitely in the zone after taking Ponto to training this morning.   We played crate games, played and she focused on her way to her turns to run.  Then WHAM, BAM, the other people were standing with their dogs on lead chatting and one dog, a big black labradoodle pulled to run to Ponto wanting to play (but of course Ponto's attitude is that a dog wanting to play with her is a threat to her existence), the owner lost grip of her lead and the dog was where Ponto and I were playing tug before going to the start line.   Ponto's hackles raised a little but thinking on my feet, I upped the game of tug as the owner and the trainer got control of the labradoodle, Ponto continued playing despite the slightly raised hackles.  I then played tug, drop and run with her a few time moving to the other side of the agility course and once I was sure she was really 100% focused on me, we went back to the start jump which was only a few feet away from the other people and their dogs standing chatting on lead.  I decided to be daring and put her in a wait, but only stepping away from her, not doing a lead out.  She focused on the jump and we were off and she did a nice run.   Thanks to Recallers and to learning to really play a situation which, for my very reactive dog, could have ended disastrously, she proved to me that working with me is playing with me and never mind the rest of them.

POA for today, tomorrow and everyday - play the tug recallers games.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ponto has started doing her perch work, but still as a tendency to bark when she is confused and thinking things out.  We played loads of hand touches, RZ, and tuggy recallers yesterday.  The only time she doesn't find lots of value for her toy is coming out of her crate when at agility training.   At home she happily ignores other distractions like the dogs barking next door, food on the ground, my dogs running around at the same time.  Susan Garrett gave us the challenge to think of something that we are struggling with and invent a new game to play in order to achieve it.   Decided that today I will use food when I release her from the crate, stay pretty near the crate and then start running when she gets to the RZ and the food, then produce the tuggy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Agility Training yesterday.   Ponto still not wanting to run fast out of crate.   She ran well but still needs to build up more drive.   Decided to play lots of tug games with her, because although she loves playing tug and works to a tuggy toy, she will be distracted from it if other dogs are too close and I need to work on this.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On Being a Good Dog Training Student

I downloaded Susan Garrett's epamphlet on "Being a Good Dog Training Student", and went to training today having planned beforehand what I wanted to do, including crate games and focus over one jump at the start. Fortunately in the course Jo had set we had the turn I had been practising but had had difficulty with.  Jo put me right as to where I should position myself, although the others were doing the turn round the jump the other way. It was a lightbulb moment.  I also practised visualising the bits of the course we were doing beforehand.  Ponto was very happy to drive fast into her crate but more reluctant coming out and had a Don't Want to Don't Have to moment regarding playing with her tug.  At home we never have this, but it was the first time playing crate games at the agility field and she is always nervous with other dogs around.  However, by playing dive to get the tuggy we overcame the problem to a good extent.  Also, although she focuses on the first jump at home, she tends to look at me at training - again because she is concerned about what is going on around her.  I through her toy over the first jump and then released her to it.  This seemed to speed her up for the next bit.  Going to continue working on this regularly.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Not good at record keeping

One of my downfalls with my dog training is not keeping my record keeping and plans of action up to date.  However, today I worked with Dylan on running over three jumps, having been left in a wait.   Fast turns, 360 fast spins.  Restrained Recalls and crate games. Dylan was shy of the crate but is now participating slowly and building up confidence in crate games.  His restrained recall was lovely and fast on both sides.  He tended to flatten the middle of the three jumps.  Will ask on recallers if anyone knows how to cure this one.

Ponto didn't believe in the restrained recall on my own using a lead wrapped loosely round a post, even though I did it just how Susan did it with Swagger.  She stayed where she was assuming she was tied up and doing relaxed isolation instead.  We did get there in the end, but her restrained recall from her crate is very good now.  She had no problem with going over the three jumps, being sent over and being left in a wait and called.  Ponto is now at the stage where I can throw a toy, run around, anything and she stays in the crate till released.    Tomorrow I will leave her in the crate and run Dylan in the garden to test her even further.

Percy was also a little confused with a restrained recall using the lead round the post.  Her crate games are coming along.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Motivational hand touches and other things.

First of all let me say that all my contact practice last week with Dylan paid off.  He came 2nd in agility on Sunday!  Not by the skin of his teeth but by doing his contacts properly, right to the bottom etc.

Today we went for our morning beach walk, practised hand touches, spins, recalls and RZs while there.  I had to put Percy on her lead as she was determined to find a dead fish to roll in again and I wouldn't have had time to bath her before leaving for work.  Need to work on that distraction.

It rained most of the day.  Alela's stitches are looking fine and she has brightened up now after her operation.

We played indoors this afternoon, doing motivational hand touches, walking backwards from me, right across the room and playing the bed games.

POA for tomorrow:  Random, fast sits and downs.  Aim 10 fast sits and downs from each dog.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Games played today

On the walk on the beach.  With all three dogs: Whiplash head recalls, CGs, IYCs, RZs (loads).

In the garden:

Dylan:  Tuggers, like Susan Garrett with Swagger.  Dylan is much more into his tugging now but seems to have a preference for one tuggy so we played with three tuggies.   - 9/10 successful I think.   He also got his down contacts well and is speeding up in the weaves.  In the box sits, downs and stands - 10/10.  Walking across my wobble board from one bed to the other.  8.

Ponto:  Crate Games - brilliant with distractions, did a restrained race back to the crate from further distance.  Using four two by two weave poles now.   In your box sits, downs and stands - 5/10 for these but it was less so progress happening.  Walking across wobble board from bed to bed 6.

Percy:  Send aways using her ball.  She is old, dislikes tugging anything, only plays with a very soft ball, so we practised that.  Very good at her in the box sits, downs and stands - 10.

POA for tomorrow while at a show.

Sit tugs runs.   Can you do it in a box downs, sits, stands.  Crate games close to the car.  Plenty Look at Thats for Ponto as she is not competing but continuing to practise not being reactive to other dogs.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Did I stick to POA's - yes!

Alela was spayed and is home safe and sound from the vet, if still a bit dopey.

Ponto is improving in crate games well.  She waits and comes out and now runs back in after collar grab.  Hand touches very good these days.   Played In a Box with her stands, sits, downs.   Sits from standing, stands from sits or downs, but often downs instead of sits when I am in strange positions and if already down.  I had a lightbulb moment and realised that in early training I had always said "Up sit".  Decided to change word for sit to "assis" (i.e. French) this is beginning to work better than sit in the In your Box games.  Ready to move to two lots of two by twos.

Dylan v. good in your box downs, send away downs, down when coming to me.  I am also teaching him down on his contacts to ensure that he reaches the bottom every time.  Down and touch basically.

Percy - well we started the touching the paws on the wall game.  So far, one paw on the card I am using to begin with.  Might decide to play put your paw on my foot as well.  She thoroughly enjoyed herself, but I know a little often works well with her.

All of us enjoyed ourselves immensely playing together.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One year later two further training methods in between

Teri Martin in the Recallers 2 Group asked if anyone kept a blog.  I did last year, but like many of us Recallers (Susan Garrett's training online) my weakest point is my record keeping.  As with this blog, I did it well for a month and then gave up on in for a while.  Teri has inspired me to use this for my record keeping.   As for Ponto, she is still improving.  Having taken her out of agility for almost a year, she now competes occasionally again, the problem being me and my nerves that she might misbehave again.  However, last Sunday at the show I ran her with her toy, not for competition in the first Steeplechase, and then competed in the second Steeplechase, no incidents from Ponto and I easily managed to front cross at the last jump bringing her well back into the ring to me so she didn't even think about running off to chase away the other dogs.  However, some of her biggest improvements have come since I started using Leslie McDevitt's Control Unleashed book, especially keeping her calm before her run, rather than hyping her up, and doing loads and loads of "Look at That" around the rings and on the beach, in fact anywhere when we are out.  She now looks at other dogs, such as a group of collies racing past us and then looks to me and gets treated.  I then decided to do Susan Garrett's Five Minute Recall Course online.  I am still doing this course along with joining her Puppypeaks course.  Since commencing the Recallers with all my dogs, Dylan's speed has upped immensely in the ring.  His drive is so much better.  And the biggest bonus is that training, even the reactivity training has all become such a lovely game for both me and the dogs.

Right, if I am going to use this blog as my record keeping I better put down my POA for tomorrow:-


  • Take Alela (border collie whippet cross 14 motnh old pup I'm training) to vet to be spayed - so obviously no training with her apart from perhaps a collar grab and a quick sit, tug and run in the morning just as a game before we go.
  • Ponto - crate games, hand touches, are you a gambler and continue retraining weaves two by two method.
  • Dylan - are you a gambler - especially for the downs, extreme maintenance on his contacts, Deke Game.  Dylan also visits the Nursing Home tomorrow where he will be practising (performing) his mixture of tricks for the benefit of the old people again, so will have a lot to do.
  • Percy - my old red setter - I think I'll start clicker training her to put one front leg and one back leg on the wall.  She enjoys learning new clicker tricks.
Tomorrow I will comment on the above, what we did or didn't achieve etc.