Sunday, April 04, 2010


I am little frustrated with Wyatt and obedience.  He learns so quickly and does SO well at home and class yet we can not Q at a trial.  Yesterday, he did not sit once for heeling in open and novice and froze on both recalls and went down on his out of sight sit.  He did go down once for a sit when I gave a second command but that did not help for the rest of the novice class.  I thought I would try it.  I think I have been a little misguided in my focus, which has been at tweaking stuff he has been failing on in the ring.  The real issue is stress. He know how to do everything quite well.  More ideas on that in my next entry.

Patriot did very well.  He is a much more confident dog than Wyatt.  But he is much harder to train and still does not do a great drop and is not very motivated to retrieve.  But he had a very nice novice run with a 185.  He did a down when I said sit on the long sit so I had to quickly get him back up and touched his collar so I lost 3 points there somewhere. 

Patriot and Wyatt went charging out of an open gate when we got home and Patriot got injured, probably by running into something.  He is OK but spend the night at the animal hospital. It was a on the bottom of his chest. 


Robin said...

Do you do Rally at all? If so, have you thought of APDT Rally where you can give food rewards in the ring? It's structured; you can only give a reward from your pocket at the end of a stationary sign before starting to heel toward the next sign. But it might be a way to break the ring-stress cycle. A real ring situation, but reward involved!

Heather said...

Yes, Wyatt has his RAE.

doberkim said...

Aside from doing Rally (either APDT which I enjoy immensely more than AKC, but in MA you have less of it - you would have to go to NH or ME I think to do it I believe, or maybe Masterpeace may do some?), the other thing I would do is show less and match more - because right now all he is getting to do is practice the wrong thing.

Be it stress or something else, all that is happening is the wrong behaviors/stress behaviors are compounding and he's just learning that in the ring he can do these things (not saying he's doing it on purpose) - but he's learned that in the context of the ring, where he already feels stress, that there's no release of that stress and there's no possible way that he can be corrected, there's no possible way that he can be released from that pressure, there's no possible way he can escape it.

I'd take the dog and pull him, match him and try to recreate it in other instances - stress him in training and at matches and have a plan with your trainer as to what you will do when these things happen.

What you do when the dog doesn't sit or doesn't do the DOR/(or doesn't even come) will depend on how they were taught and what type of dog you have. My harder, crazy doberman is handled much different than the cream puff aussie in the house. Is the dog not sitting because he's not paying attention, he's stressed, he's not understanding what is asked of him, he's unsure what you want?

Play a lot of games in the recall - leave the dog and toss toys and treats, get the dog anticipating the recall! (im not sure how the dog was taught to drop originally, but there are corrections v. retraining the drop as well)

and with the sits - reward every single sit and make it much more difficult for the dog to hit the sits - remove footwork, reward only fast sits, use only the best treats for sits, make it hard for the dog to get into heel position and sit, make an entire game out of getting into heel and sitting and then staying there.