Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cherry, Breeze, and Liz are back to basics on the dog walk-day 1 on the tiny plank

Well, I started our dog walk training today. Doing a baseline really showed me what we need to work on and I think Breeze really needs to go back to the beginning if I want to make the dog walk totally independant and I think that is the only way to keep her safe on the dog walk. To be honest I think we have enough of a contact that I am not at all worried about that, we could go out today and I think I would get enough of a behavior that we could actually trial, I am way more worried with how she runs across the dog walk planks and keeps falling and hurting herself. She does not understand that she does not have to watch me on the dog walk, it is an obstacle where she should be able to perform it without checking with me in the middle of it.

So I deceided to make it really clear and start with a very small plank, just the size of the dogs from chest to hips, and then the criteria is to lie down on the plank with the back legs tucked in and the front legs hanging off the front, and definately head facing forward. I think for Breeze this will be more clear then working with the longer board-we can move to the longer board when she figures this whole thing out a little more. Elicia Calhoun works with the smaller board, that is where I got the idea to make a smaller plank.

Liz, of course is a champ and loves this game, so she was hoping right on the board and doing terrific.

Cherry does terrific and only took a few tries before she was going right into the position, I did a lot of treats delivered right in front of them to make it the most rewarding position and something they can not wait to get to.

Breeze....really wants to look back, so I had to more or less lure her into position and then give a lot of treats, and move around her as I was treating, I want her to understand the position includes looking forward. After a few minutes Breeze wanted to play ball and so I put the board a little further out and rewarded her with the ball being thrown for driving forward without looking back. I think with baby steps we are going to get some awesome contacts.

I am going to video as much of the work we are doing so I can really make sure I am rewarding the right things.

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