Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Utility Workshop Part 2

Here are some things I picked up at Esther Zimmerman's utility workshop.

1) She watched me heeling with Wyatt and suggested I make really sure I don't turn my shoulder back. I think she was talking about when I stop. I tend to look back and treat him back. She suggested I treat Wyatt forged a little instead. This could help with the ever present challenge of lagging whippets!

2) I learned a great game for the turn and sit part of directed jumping. Throw a visible treat like cheese a short distance. As soon as they are head down for the treat (and no later) give the sit command. The dog will turn and sit nicely. I also treat when they sit.

3) Use different methods to teach the directed jumping go out. I was only using 1, which is a target on the ring gates. I am adding a second method that uses a hula hoop. Put a hula hoop near a ring gate. Put a treat an inch or so past the hula hoop near the ring gate. Start close. Give the go out command. Give the sit command at least initially so the dog sits in the hoop. Wyatt is still getting used to the hoop. He would not sit in a small hoop so I got bigger one.

4) This was really good since Wyatt can be a creeper. Teach an explicit drop back down by luring the dog down with treat towards and under the dog's chest. The front should drop, then the back legs. This makes the dog drop back without moving forward.

Hope these are helpful. Esther teaches at Master Peace Dog Training Center in Franklin, Massachusetts.

1 comment:

manymuddypaws said...

Soudns like you got some great advice! I really wish there were more obedience type seminars in my area!