Monday, December 22, 2008


So I survived the cold of the first day of the seminar and showed up at 8am for the second day, I had to leave at 6am in the dark and ice, YIKES, but.....So this is a picture and by the second day when I took the picture a lot of the snow had melted and this picture really doesnt capture how pretty the view was, but it really was gorgeous. The second day we were treated to a really nasty wind, I know Kirsten said it was breezy, but she is nuts-there were gale force winds. The first session was prenovice then the novice session. Elicia went over her weave pole training, she likes the channels and some proofing she likes to do. Then she demoed the contact board, which is what I have been working with (my contact training board is longer then she uses, hers is just the length of the dog from chest to beginning of tail) but the games she does are a little more precise and I think would really help the dog understand their position a little more, so I think I will be adding some of that, especially for Cherry. She demoed how she teaches sit/ sit stays. I had noticed yesterday she does a lot of shaping and clicker, but with the sit/sit-stay/release word she does use a hand in the collar and guides the dog. Nothing bad or scary or real forceful but she does guide the dog. I guess I have always liked to try to teach the dog by having them figure it out on their own and problem solve a little more, but for a dog that has been conditioned to understand a hand in their collar it was interesting to watch how she does it. A lot of the participants said they wanted to work on focus issues, so we did the two toy game and I found that very interesting how Elicia feels that when dogs are working and they are distracted, they have the voices in their head. Like the toy or food is calling, and the dog has to make a choice of whether to follow the voices, or to stay on track. So the two toy games are designed to make the dog work through wanting to go and play by putting the toys/distraction closer and closer to the working area and having the dog work through what gets them the treat/toy in the long run. TA DAAAAAAA, I am feeling so smart because after Chloe was trying to leave the ring to find her treats.....another proud moment of mine.....that is EXACTLY what I started doing with her and it has worked like a charm. Chloe is now happily running over and past her treat pouches and then at the end we both run over to find the treats out of the pouch and her last trial she was not looking for the treat location. Sort of the plan Alicia had already suggested with the wild Liz too, so going to start working a little more on that at home. Another thing that I have got over the weekend is a lot of tricks to encourage the dog to be more obstacle focused. I was interested in that because like Elicia kept saying you have to have the balance of obstacle focus and handler focus-no huge revelation but something you always have to keep in mind-balance is good, and lately....think I have worked so much on attention that the balance has shifted to a little more handler focus then object focus and a little more balancing is needed. I did acquire a new title that Elicia Calhoun said I could add to my resume, that of toy guarder, toy wiggler. Denise from class was really getting good at the toy wrangling, she was at the other station. Yippie, I got very fast with my foot stamping on the toys when the dogs were not supposed to get them or wiggling them enticingly when they needed to be attracted to them, LOL, see when you are an auditor you get to be doing some of these important jobs, hahahahah. In the novice session I was very happy to see a lot of the people from my classes, so that made that session a lot of fun too. Bruiser had a working spot and he was just doing awesome-it was neat to see him there. There were some more great handling tips and I thing I brought away from this whole seminar that will play through my head that Elicia kept saying to people was.....MAKE IT HAPPEN-she would usually say that after someone tried something a few times and it just wasnt happening and she would say, it is your job to make it happen this time.

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