Thursday, January 05, 2006


I have started to teach Wyatt directed jumping. This is where there are 3 gloves in the ring. The judge tells you which one to get. You turn with your dog and command your dog to get the one you are facing.

We have a go ahead command and a hand signal to go straight ahead. It was clear that the straight part had no meaning for Wyatt. I think we often expect that our words have a meaning to the dog that is the same as ours. We need to remember that it could mean something different to the dog. Another example is spot with Patriot. It is supposed to mean to go to the bottom of an agility obstacle and out two feet off and 2 feet on the obstacle. It was clear that without the target at the end, he had no idea what it meant. It just happened to look like he knew it because the target was in the right place. When I moved the target he went to that and did a nose touch.

So we have to be careful not to assume the dog has the same meaning as we do. That's why you have to fade targets, move yourself around, try things in different places and positions.

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