Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Have I Run Out of Things to Teach My Dog?

Wyatt and I just finished up the 7 week Around the Clock Method of Scent Discrimination. This is used in traditional obedience's highest class, which is called Utility. I have also taught his all the basics of the rest of utility and open obedience.

We have worked on the highest levels of rally obedience. There are only a few new things to teach there if your dog already knows traditional obedience: heeling in reverse, the offset figure 8 where they have to ignore treats, and side step right.

Additionally, he basically knows the agility game. We have much to do in obedience and agility especially in proofing all this stuff. Also, we could get more precise in obedience for the rest of our days.

But I did feel a real loss when we got to the end of the basic utility training. I think we both enjoy learning new things the most. While there is certain satisfaction in proofing, competing, and perfecting, I get the greatest satisfaction when my dog learns what I have asked him to learn.

I plan of teaching him tracking (enough to get a TD anyway). He knows how to lure course and race. I don't think I want to learn freestyle and I think flyball would be overstimulating for him so I wonder if we have come to the end of the line in terms of teaching my young dog new tricks. I wish there was something past utility! I have a book on dog tricks. Perhaps, I can make that into a new sport.

1 comment:

stephanie from WW said...

IMO, we *never* run out of things to teach our dogs! When you think you have, start thinking outside of the box to improve the behaviors your dog already knows! For instance, sure, he knows sit, down, stand, etc., etc., but does he still know them if you turn your back to him and ask for the behaviors? Dogs, unfortunately, aren't great at generalizing -- which is one reason why we can get a great performance at home, but not the same level of greatness at a show! (I've always said, if judges made house calls, we'd all have OTCH/MACH dogs! ;-) Get creative with the behaviors your dogs already have and you'll have a lifetime of training opportunities for them!