Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Signals 101 - back to basics!

I pulled out one of my training books - "Ring Ready" - last night to get some help on signals gone bad. Their recommendation for signal problems was to stay in closer to give the signals in order to build confidence. Then gradually increase the distance. The book also recommended breaking down the signals and rewarding each correct response. So, today at the club I practiced signals from about 12-15 feet away from him, instead of all the way across the ring. I plan to continue staying closer the rest of the week, or until he's 100% correct on each signal before I start increasing distance. I started out by doing just the down signal several times and going in to reward him after each down, then restarting the exercise. After a while, I added the sit following the down and rewarded that each time. He was about 90% correct on the signals, so I'm still going to stay close tomorrow and see how it goes.

The staying close seemed to work well for the signal exercise, so I decided to do that on the go-outs also. He's been having a problem with the sits on the go-outs lately. So, today I followed him out and gave the 'sit' command from about half-way across the ring instead of staying back at the start line. He did the sits fine when I followed him out, so I'm going to do that for awhile to see if it increases the speed of his sits.

I don't know why, but it does seem to make a big difference in his performance if I'm in closer proximity to him. The hard part for me is going to be to slow down, and not increase the distance too quickly :)

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