Thursday, October 12, 2006

We're Training!

Okay, so I confess, I don't feel ready for the BH. I know, Laev's 18 months old and they're "supposed" to be ready for the BH at 14 months, but.... I don't feel that we are. I would be glad to pass it, not totally confident that it was positively going to happen.

This is primarily for two reasons, and the biggest one is that honor down. Sheesh! Who decided that a dog should lie quietly while someone calls "Come!" and another dog runs to him? While the honoring dog's handler isn't even there facing the dog, a visual reminder that it isn't *her* handler which is recalling her?

And, we're still having trouble with that sit out of motion thing.

Laev's heeling is pretty, but we have to go through the entire pattern twice. That's something like 300-350 paces without R+. That's a long time for that kind of focus from a young dog; I'd rather have the gunshots back in the pattern and only heel once. Let's just do it offleash from the beginning!

But, I don't get to make the rules :-) so we're training for the BH. I took Laev to the car dealership today, while Alena had an oil change, for a little practice in the shop area; she was a little distracted by the sounds of the shop but never stopped working. Left heel position once, I think, and returned when called. I was pleased with that.

Then tonight I did some heeling and sit-out-of-motion with her before classes, and for the first time it looked like she was started to get it. She hesitated a few times, sitting slowly, and a few times she dropped toward a down and caught herself inches above the floor, but she was getting it more often than not. Maybe there's hope!

Then for my recall module, we had only one dog, a service puppy in training who needed work around distractions. Well, we had only one dog, so few distractions -- until I brought out Laev. :-) It was good for both dogs, working around each other, and finally I put Laev on a wall tether and we did recalls away from distractions (me offering free food) with the service puppy.

This was PERFECT for Laevatein. The tether didn't pin her in place, but it prevented her from moving forward if she broke her down while the puppy recalled to his own handler. Then, if she held the down, I could go to her while the puppy was being reinforced and I could reinforce her with lots of treats between her paws.

And it worked! She started holding her down nicely. There might be hope. Maybe. :-)

Very nice service puppy in training. I hope he does well!

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