Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Progress Report on our Recall training

So far I have found Susan Garretts recall course to be excellent and I am so glad I signed up for it. So you want to know how our recall training is going? ...well, let me tell you anyway! hahahaha!

We of course started off strong, and all three of the dogs were just little super stars. They all had their strengths and weaknesses, and some things were easier for one dog, and some things were easier for the other dogs, but be truthful, sweet little Breeze actually was a little behind the others.

The last week though.....the games are using a lot more distractions and doing some testing of the skills we have been working, and poor Lizzie....well, she is once again looking like a special needs girl,...sigh...she simply is not ready for such things. I think Liz and I will be staying at the basic foundation steps for a LONG time. It makes me feel so good too (NOT!) when SG said that your dog is a reflection of your skills as a trainer. YEP, I realize this point I just want to know what I am missing with the Lizard. Maybe as we keep working and Liz gets to the point she can do the higher level games and we work through our distraction list it will all become clearer.

This is where I really feel it is hard to work with three dogs....I have the other dogs working around their highest level distractions and they are doing great with that, and poor Liz is really doing well...considering... if I was only working with Liz and had no one to compare her to...then it would be easier to just concentrate on how many great strides she has made, but the other dogs make it hard to not see how far we still have to go.

Tonight Susan Garrett had her Distraction Webinar which she has said she plans on packaging and selling. I have totally loved almost everything else I have bought from Susan and I have bought it all!!! Not so sure about the webinar, unless the second one has a lot more info and some more helpful ideas, not sure I found it helpful enough to consider buying.

The first two coaching calls were great and left me feeling like I had learned so much and gave me some great things to think about that have really helped our training, and I always love listening to Susan- she is a great speaker but with this webinar tonight after it was over I just felt frustrated and it all seemed like the same things you hear from everyone about dog training over and over and over, really good sound principles, but if I really knew how to apply it we would have fixed her issues long ago. Maybe the webinar will seem much better when it is edited and I can sit down and listen to it without it disconnecting or the sound cutting off every few minutes.

Maybe I am looking for more concrete answers, or maybe I just am not getting it yet.. or maybe it was the fact that the webinar which was over the Internet kept freezing and disconnecting, so I missed a lot of it.

One thing that really made me think and I would recommend checking out is an article that was in the last Teamwork Ebook SG released and it was in Clean Run March '06, called "But it is Not a Border Collie" I found that really interesting talking about how if a dog is under aroused they are way more prone to worrying about the environment, or they won't work in the heat, or they won't want to work if other dogs are barking and if they are overstimulated they can not think or work and how you can help your dog to find a more comfortable middle zone where they are excited enough to work at a high level.


Sara said...

Your sentence that you keep hearing the same things over & over, but not knowing how to apply them hit home. We had conferences at school yesterday, with an expensive guest speaker. She was good, funny, inspiring....Afterward, our principal met with us. He said, "You know, we listen to these speakers, and we're not hearing anything new. We've heard it all before. But, it is good to hear these things over and over, because it reminds us why we're here working with these tough kids and why we do what we do."

I guess it is the same with dog training. Sometimes, if I read something on someone's blog (often yours!), it inspires me to get out there and work with my dogs.

Clearly, you've been inspired to up your training, and improve!

Kathy said...

Thanks Sara, I guess with the distraction webinar I had some high hopes for some answers on how to connect the dots.....but felt like I still have the same questions I have always had...:-)---Kathy

AC said...

I don't think our dogs reflect our training abilities. I get SG's comment in principle, but real training with real dogs just isn't that black and white. I'm always a bit unsettled by comments like that because I think those ideas can fuel judgment within the dog world (especially dog sport world) and set all of us with challenging dogs up to think we're just not doing it right, not doing enough, not understanding...when really, our dogs may just not be up for the challenge.

With that (little rant=) said, I think aiming to improve is a testament to our commitment to our dogs and you are an example of that commitment!

Nat said...

I'm sure everything will click soon. I think it's really great that you're recognizing the different needs of each of your dogs and aren't afraid to go at your dogs' pace. Awesome!

Thanks also for the tips about CCL injuries!!

Sagira said...

Sounds like you sure are learning a lot. I am sure that things will all come together, that seems to be how it goes and is worth all the hard work in the end.

Kathy said...

thanks everyone and thanks so much AC, gosh you know I get tired of comments like what SG said too, how about a few fewer judgements .....heck I know I am putting in a lot of time and thinking about things a lot so telling me there is just something I am not doing right does not really feel encouraging, ;-). I obviously know there is something more I need to know and more work to do or I would not be working so hard or signing up for expensive ecourses, LOL!!!! OOOH well!--Kathy

Cynthia Blue said...

Hmm that is interesting, that if a dog isn't aroused they might be worried about the environment. They might, I guess, but I'd rather have a dog that can be calm, and think, and not be over aroused. I'm not one of those people that thinks a dog has to be in super high drive to do agility... or anything else, actually.

And I know what you mean about having one dog behind the others. Jet is mastering the weaves, but Tatum is going to take much longer to get them. And having six dogs is hard, I wish I could take them all out with me at the same time, but I just can't. Fortunately the husband takes care of the ones I can't.

Kathy said...

Cynthia I probably did not say it right, the article is really good, but what SG was saying is that if the dog is at the low end of the scale with motivation and being excited about a task they will notice lots more things, like when it is too hot, or if the judge has floppy hat, or if there are a lot of smells. She uses the example of a dog chasing a squirrel if they are really into that they dont notice what else is going on. So definitely she is not saying any dog should be over the top, they need to be in the middle, excited enough to be focused on the work, but not so excited they can not think. So the whole article was saying you need to recognize if your dog needs work on ramping them up or work on helping them calm and control themselves. My Lizzie sure needs her chill pills, ;-). She is a dog the article said you would do calmimg and control things with before you took her in the ring not tugging or being wild. My sheltie Chloe always needed a little ramping up ;-).

Ricky the Sheltie said...

It sounds like overall you have gotten a lot out of the recall ecourse - it's ok, I think, if not every dog learns at the same speed. It is a testament to your training that Breeze and Cricket are doing so well - Liz has had good training from you too but it is just taking her longer.

The repeating the same thing over and over happens with everything. I teach kids violin and viola and most lessons are just the same concepts said again and again. I know when I was taking lessons it was the same way and then years later I finally got some stuff I couldn't understand the first time around.

As Sara said, I often read things on your blog too that inspire me and I so appreciate that! Thanks for sharing your training ideas and trials and tribulations!