Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sighthounds - Think Different

This question of sighthound drive and motivation is being discussed on the sighthound agility list was well. Most of it is how you train your sighthound.  A lot of the typicaltraining patterns may not work.  Wyatt was a rescue that came to us at one year old with tons of drive and natural retrieve.  I wonder how natural it was though – his first owners must have played with him a lot and I know he did obedience classes.  He loves to work and learn.  The biggest challenges
working with Wyatt have been proofing:  he needs a lot  and consistency: he needs 100%.  

Our other dog was given at 2 years of age and had only done showing and spent lots of time in a crate and was from a huge dog household.  My wife has worked really hard to speed him up.  He actually does play and retrieve now and runs on course.  His next step in obstacles.  They can still  be slow.  Watching them work last weekend, I could see how any correction like redoing a missed jump really slowed him down and demotivated him so they are going to just keep going for now.  She also is working on making the obstacles a chase game just like she does running between the obstacles.

So I think we have to “think different” with sighthounds and watch for some of the things that tend to come more easily for other breeds. What is "play" for your dog and how can you get it into your training?

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