Friday, June 17, 2011

How Can There Always be More to Learn About My Dog...and Myself?

I think the cool thing about training/trick training/agility training is that you really see how your dog thinks, and how you communicate. I have been doing so much training with Cricket right from the start that it is suprising me to find out that I am learning even more about her learning style with the weave challenge.

It is funny because what really shows with the weaves is that we go out to work a new thing and it is always seems like a totally NEW thing-it is ugly and I think wow, this is going to take forever. Once Cricket gets anything "wrong" it really does not fix in that session-no matter how it is trained.

What I learned about me is that I want to keep repeating what we are doing until it is right. Hummm, sound a little ineffective?

The weird thing is that if I leave it alone and go do something else Cricket can be successful at, or wait until the next soon as we go out there it is all MAGICALLY fixed and perfect.

I found out with the Aframe training that I do not have to control everything, really precise marking a good behavior and controlling consequences can be powerful and have its place but lately I am also learning that sometimes the dog can figure it all out-there is so much in the aframe training that I can not really go out there and show her to jump like this right here, and it happens too fast to say click the exact right thing. Our training is really feeling more and more like a partnership and I am really seeing that my little girl can really figure things out-she really amazes me the amount of thinking she must be doing.

I am seeing some of that now with the weave training. I think Cricket has a solid foundation with the weaves and really basically understands them, and now she just needs a little help to really figure out the harder entries. With just a little help she really does a good job getting it all worked out. I tend to want to break it way down, help her a lot and sometimes that is good, but sometimes just backing away and letting her have some time for it all to gel is the best way to go. WHO KNEW?


CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO WITH SELINA AND TWISTER-they did an AWESOME job! Check out her blog while you are there! I am so glad Selina and Twister are working along with us. ;-).


we had to train this one, I got out the 2x2, so I am thinking I will really need to work with the next jump position-I think we have found our holes ;-).


Sara said...

As I read through your post, I kept thinking...this is just like my human students. Yet another parallel between teaching and dog training.


Ricky the Sheltie said...

Cricket is such a fast weaver and man, is she ever nailing those entries!! I love the recalls through - we haven't tried it yet with the proper position but it looks fun! Great, great job!

One thing I do like about using a target plate is it keeps Ricky focused straight ahead. If I were to be late with tossing a food container, I might cause him to start looking back at me. Maybe I will stick to the target for awhile longer.

Working with dogs is amazing and it is even more rewarding when you continue to learn more and more about them!

Sagira said...

It is amazing the stuff that you can learn once you start dog training. We have learned so much in just the 3 years we started and we are now where near knowing it all. SO much out there.

Nat said...

You're definitely right about how much we learn from training our dogs; sometimes I wonder what kind of person I would be if it weren't for my dogs.

Cricket looks beautiful, always love your videos! I still have to do our first weave challenge, I've been super busy with exams :)

Priscilla said...

Oops! I can't watch the video!

I've been learning a lot with Eva and Mika and there is still a lot waiting for me to learn and explore.

Diana said...

Wow, Cricket is just tearing it up!! Sooo exciting. I just finished my 2nd position. I dont think I had my jump angled enough off to the side comparied to yours. Hmm. I may have to redo it.

One thing that may help and maybe you already do this. Start with the previous challenge set up, so you know she has that, then go the the next position.

Cynthia said...

It's definitely amazing to bond with our dogs and do so much training and learning. I love it!

Anonymous said...

Cricket is doing so well! I feel like I say that every time you post a video of her, but it's really true. You two are doing an amazing job of learning together. It's really fun to watch.