Sunday, September 5, 2010

WEEKLY CHALLENGE

As far as the challenge, we took our agility things to the park on Monday. We had a great time doing that! There were a lot of kids playing but the were pretty far away, so just a bit of a distraction. We really could have moved closer but I wanted to work on the agility so I left the distractions out of things.

On Wednesday we worked around the soccer team practicing, the big focus of that day was with Breeze and using enough distance that she could work and think with all those super cool soccer balls around. I sure have found what is the top of her distraction list, and her favorite reward.

On Tuesday and Thursday I took the dogs to a cool outdoor eating area while my daughter was at swimming team. It was really nice because I just spread out a blanket on the floor and worked on shaping some tricks and doing some recall games. There were no diners...so I did not worry about bothering them but there were teenagers on bikes and roller skates going around and the little court yard is on the corner of the street with the cars going slowly on two sides. Go figure Liz did terrific. Cricket was pulling and wanted to see the kids, but I made her stop and do something to earn the visit, when I released her so was afraid of the kids, LOL. It was not the most exciting work but we were able to get some nice work with distractions.

One of my challenges and the thing I have been focusing on this week has been trying to make sure that when we work distractions to not rely on the leash as much as possible, meaning that I pay attention enough and try to act proactively enough, manipulate what we are doing and the rewards enough that I am not using the leash to keep the dogs with me, but help them so they make good choices ;-). We actually are doing pretty well, I have been pleased. Susan Garrett had a video on her web site of her dogs on a walk, loose when they see a deer and she does not say anything but the dogs look at the deer, and look back to her and do not try to chase it. YIKES! That is something to aspire too!! LOL, if Lizzie ever gets to be that good.....you all should nominate me for the trainer hall of fame....LOL, no needs to worry about that for awhile though!!!

I sort of feel like I am cheating on the challenge though because with my daughter having swim team practice almost every night... that means I have an hour and a half to kill, or I just have to keep driving back and forth. It is almost like I have an enforced time, although, gosh it is so hot during that part of the day that that makes it a bit hard with the dogs and rotating them around. It has turned out to be the perfect time of the year to be doing the recall course and all this homework.

7 comments:

Sagira said...

That isn't cheating...that is just killing 2 birds with one stone. Keep up the great work. :)

Sam said...

This training challenge thing sounds so difficult for all of you guys who are playing along with it. It's got to be extra difficult for you, because you're not working with one dog, but THREE!

Kudos to you. I've really enjoy reading these updates and hearing about how all of your dogs responded in these new environments!

Sara said...

I think it is great that you are taking advantage of your kids activities to work with your dogs! It is going to pay off big in the end.

My dogs looking at me when deer are around? Ha! That's funny. SG's dogs must be blind. LOL.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

How could you ever think you are cheating when you are working 3 dogs every day on many activities every day? You should get in the trainer hall of fame already!!

Glad to hear things are still going well and that Cricket, Liz and Breeze are learning more and more each week - keep up the great work!!!

Marie said...

I agree. No cheating involved. I think it's a great use of your schedule and the environment. Way to go!

Priscilla said...

No, there isn't any cheating involved at all.

I always love to hear about your agility challenges!!! You're so clever and creative!

Morganne said...

I am so enjoying reading about your training challenges. I am going to work on one this week too. So are you doing a lot of different things with Cricket that you did not do with your other two dogs?