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  #21  
Old 11-16-2012, 11:39 AM
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Red.Apricot Red.Apricot is offline
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I started buckling down on Elsie's heeling last week. When she's on, she's GORGEOUS. But, unfortunately (because I'm lazy) she'd heel reliably for about a minute before wandering.

So, now I'm working on making heeling super rewarding to her, and on extending the behavior for a lot longer period of time.

She's already getting snappier.

Oh and I've been trying to get her to 'spring off the line' as it were, because she was lagging a bit on the first couple steps no matter what else I tried, so I'm trying to make jumping up as soon as I say lets-go (rather than waiting until I've already taken a step) part of the behavior, and so far that's working well, too.

I'm also actively seeking out more distracting environments for us to practice heeling in, because we both need it.
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  #22  
Old 11-16-2012, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Emily View Post
Ok, here it is, I finally did it, so you all better show up now!

I'll start! I've got Mackenzy, 7 yrs old. She has her CD and RA, and one leg of her CDX. We're holding off on further trialing to get some foundation issues straightened out.

And then there's the Keeva, she's a baby with no titles, and we're going make sure we're very, very ready before we go in the ring because I'd like to pull high scores ideally.

So, what I'd love thoughts on are two issues Mackenzy is having:

1.) Slow down on recall. She always does it, and she always does it well enough to Q but it's slower than I'd like. Keeva has a "dig front nails in and slam down" down in motion, Macky creeps. I've done a lot of fast "chase me and then DOWN!" games, and lots of DIM (down in motion, from here on out) while heeling practice.
I always imprint a recall by tossing a ball or food between my legs so they get used to running thru me. after a lot of that it makes for some interesting fronts when I don't toss one thru but if I time it right in the beginning I can save my family jewels some hardship with a hard sit and some hand help. This of course slows them down again a bit because the game has changed a bit, but once the realize that sometimes the ball is getting tossed thru at the last second, sometimes it's sit and it gets tossed thru or any other number of good things that can happen there, the speed is there and consistent thru to the front position. At least it always has been for me.
2.) Some dumbbell issues... She will often wait for a second cue to take her dumbbell, or want me to "help" her with my body. I would LOVE any suggestions for this one, as well as some ideas on increasing her enthusiasm in general. Her enthusiasm isn't bad (moves at a brisk trot) but I'd love it to be better!
Stop helping her Stepping towards and pointing is help as i'm sure you know, fade it. Just small points or steps, then just give the object a hard stare, then a glance and give her some time to figure it out. Patience is good here.

for making it more enthusiastic, make it a game. I always train fronts, "take it", holds, etc seperately. My dogs are easily in drive, i pretty much just have to breath, but I use toys at first, toss one, tell them to "take it" or "get it" and as soon as they do I mark and toss a different one. Increases speed and enthusiasm for the toy. After my hold and dumbell is good, I'll use that. Toss it, take it, when they do, immediately mark and reward with food or ball.

and where ever they drop it is fine, after they get reward from me, I tell them to "take it" again and at first they're a bit confused, but soon the immediately race back to the dumbell, I mark when they pick it up and reward again.

moving on, they have to do more, grab and start running back, grab and come to front. At this point I might toss it, tell them to take it, mark when they're almost to a front and reward, and then do a short heeling away and tell them to take it again, then mark/reward as soon as they touch it, then do some tug play and pull them away from the DB and them tell them to get it again and come to front before I mark/play. But I only toss it once, the rest of the time they're dropping it and i'm moving them away with play or heeling and they have to go back and get it when I say.

this can cause them to drop it early and things, but you have to balance that later and don't let them get away with dropping it before you mark and reward. if they anticipate the reward, i just give a verbal "ah" and "get it" and back to the game. It's fun, it's fast, and then it's done. Easier to demonstrate than type. Does it make sense?


Now, with Keeva, and again, I'd kill for your thoughts, things are going really well aside from her distractible baby brain, but, she's uncomfortable with the "fast" portion of heeling - totally thinks I'm going to step on her, and swings really wide so she can watch me. Again, halps?

Alright, now it's your turn with suggestions and your own issues/triumphs. Like I said, you'd better show up!

I should have some video up later today.
My response is in red
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  #23  
Old 11-16-2012, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Finkie_Mom View Post
Oh! I can start with a question... How does everyone teach "front?"
I imprint with two hands of food and get them pushing into me to get it. Then gradually as they're pushing I lure them to a sit and draw them closer with body language and get to the point I can fade the food lures and both hands at the side and get eye contact before rewarding.

At first though a lot of just pushing into me and food up close. Later it's a lot of manipulation to get them straight and lots of short, short recalls, like 2 steps and reinforce the up close, straight, eye contact front.
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  #24  
Old 11-16-2012, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Flyinsbt View Post
Have you ever seen Petra Ford, with her amazing Lab, Tyler? Two times National Obedience Champion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv4izoPcvCA

The dog is incredible. And he's a field-bred Lab, with drive oozing out of him. .
It's a nice routine, but I wouldn't call it oozing with drive by any means. I've seen plenty of IPO dogs that aren't very drivey in OB too, but I wouldn't call that a drivey routine.
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  #25  
Old 11-16-2012, 12:15 PM
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Cohen is my first performance dog, and I'm trying to do a little bit of everything with her. Unfortunately for her, she's my guinea pig -- I'm making loads of first timer mistakes with her. Fortunately for me, she's pretty forgiving. She has her CD and her RA and a leg towards her RE. We've never NQd during an obedience sport run, but I'm a perfectionist and opted to take some time off from competition until I could get a few drive issues sorted out.

Cohen can get really flat in the ring, so I've been reading a lot about play via Denise Fenzi and I'm planning on taking some private lessons with a new obedience instructor but I haven't made the appointments yet. I think I've fallen into a fairly common trap where I rely too heavily on food and other constant reinforcement so when the motivation isn't there the performance suffers.

I think I'll not bother taking Cohen any further than her RE since Rally really hasn't done much for me. Rally was a fantastic intro to competition sports in general (we got started when Cohen was ~8 months old or so) but I find it's a bit lackluster as a sport. I like the precision and drive required in obedience, and the exhilaration in agility. I find Rally allows for sloppy performances and I don't want to get accustomed to that. I may go back with Cohen in a few more years once I really get her obedience down, but in the mean time it's on the back burner after RE.
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  #26  
Old 11-16-2012, 12:22 PM
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Cohen can get really flat in the ring, so I've been reading a lot about play via Denise Fenzi and I'm planning on taking some private lessons with a new obedience instructor but I haven't made the appointments yet. I think I've fallen into a fairly common trap where I rely too heavily on food and other constant reinforcement so when the motivation isn't there the performance suffers.
Not saying this is YOU, just a general observation. Food or reward generally isn't a problem. It's a part, but mostly I see people get too serious and try and do too much routine. Do this heeling patter, do that, retrieve to front, doesn't get quite right, back up and make front, then good and food. Over and over.

Break it up small and short, get the pieces trained, then do them all with play. Nothing is the same and nothing is expected. Keeps the dog guessing and engaged. In the end when pieces are joined together and rewards are held longer the dogs become MORE engaged and push HARDER because they know what gets them the good stuff and it will eventually come, but you have to balance it in the beginning like anything else so you don't make them push too long and check out, but at the same time you have to keep them working and not dependant on food and cues.

Overall I see people asking for way too much too soon with too much pattern. I think that kills performance overall
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
Not saying this is YOU, just a general observation. Food or reward generally isn't a problem. It's a part, but mostly I see people get too serious and try and do too much routine. Do this heeling patter, do that, retrieve to front, doesn't get quite right, back up and make front, then good and food. Over and over.

Break it up small and short, get the pieces trained, then do them all with play. Nothing is the same and nothing is expected. Keeps the dog guessing and engaged. In the end when pieces are joined together and rewards are held longer the dogs become MORE engaged and push HARDER because they know what gets them the good stuff and it will eventually come, but you have to balance it in the beginning like anything else so you don't make them push too long and check out, but at the same time you have to keep them working and not dependant on food and cues.

Overall I see people asking for way too much too soon with too much pattern. I think that kills performance overall
You make some good points. I think for the most part over the last 6 months we've just been working on individual elements, and I've not bothered putting everything into a proper sequence since, well, the last time we were in a comp ring. It's tough to get a handle on how our brief practices are faring, considering the issue was keeping the motivation up throughout the entire exercises. As I said, I'm waiting to see an instructor before I even try putting it all together again. A fresh and experienced pair of eyes will be very helpful.

I really love teaching the individual exercises too, so Cohen has had an understanding of all the Open and Utility exercises for a good long time now. I think right now though I've focused too much on the mechanics of the exercises rather than the drive required while doing them.

But don't get me wrong - she's a good little obedience dog. I tend to be pretty hard on myself and like to keep people's expectations low. Makes life easier. :P
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  #28  
Old 11-16-2012, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
It's a nice routine, but I wouldn't call it oozing with drive by any means. I've seen plenty of IPO dogs that aren't very drivey in OB too, but I wouldn't call that a drivey routine.
Trust me, the dog is oozing with drive. I've seen him in person. It's harder to see in the video, because you can't see that he's about to jump out of his skin, but his every move is fully engaged. He's a big dog with a long stride, and to keep him precise in that small ring the drive has to be capped, but it is very much there.

when he goes over the top, he barks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_K1Ud92s9s

So she has to keep him really in check.

Last edited by Flyinsbt; 11-16-2012 at 02:16 PM.
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  #29  
Old 11-16-2012, 02:31 PM
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He looks fantastic, my biggest gripe about AKC obedience is the inconsistency of hand allowances. I have been told by judges I cannot glue my hand my my stomach, as such. It makes me very uncomfortable not knowing exactly can I can and cannot do with any given judge.
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  #30  
Old 11-16-2012, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
He looks fantastic, my biggest gripe about AKC obedience is the inconsistency of hand allowances. I have been told by judges I cannot glue my hand my my stomach, as such. It makes me very uncomfortable not knowing exactly can I can and cannot do with any given judge.
Lots of hip tapping, finger targets and handler help. Didn't realize so much was allowed.
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