Friday, September 22, 2006

Heeling Improvements

I have not been to obedience class in a while. Since the last class, I have been working a lot on attitude and crispness. I have kept thing short and fun. I have rewarded Wyatt for being in heel position. I have been trying to make it a game - Keep Up With Me If You Can.

He did great in class. Usually I see a degradation in performance in class. I used lots of treats and voice. I used to expect all the work at home to carry over and I would see a degradation when I went to class and used less treats, and less voice, AND there were all the other dogs around. So now I am trying to get him to the same level I see at home before facing voice and treats. I may try to fade voice and treats at home. I tend to treat once for every performance and need to get on a variable schedule.

I did notice degradations when the teacher was close when heeling and also very clearly with the dumbbell when other dogs were close by. There is one dog in particular that is aggressive that he if afraid up. So I tried to really keep the dumbbell fun at class even though not as much is needed at home. To do this, I use a lot of voice, skip the finish and start from heel position frequently and throw it low to the ground after revving him up.

The teacher taught us a good exercise for drop on recall. (I have been having trouble with creeping). You start the dog coming to you. When you say "Down" run to the dog as fast as you can to stop then cold and make sure they can't fail in their down. This teacher always says, "Make it so your dog has to be right."

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Glad to hear about the improvement! Heeling is really what obedience is all about. If you look at where your score lie, that's where you will lose the most points.

Thanks for sharing the tip about the drop. That will come in handy.

Keep up the great work!