Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Continuing to work on speed

I think the exercises we've been doing to try to increase speed are working. We started last week with increasing the distance for all the exercises and we've dropped the formal fronts on the recalls. I'm starting to see a difference - instead of walking in slowly, he's now trotting in. Real progress! Of course eventually we'll have to put formal fronts in and reduce the distance, but for now we'll continue practicing with increased distance and try to build that 'muscle memory.'

There have been more distractions than usual at the club the last couple days. I think it's a sign that the spring trials are beginning and people are getting their dogs prepared. Distractions are good. He needs to learn to work with other dogs and activities going on around him. We started out with a couple long distance recalls, which went well. Then, he and his training partner, Melody, did a couple recalls together. Border Terriers are faster than Great Danes - at least today : )

He's not missing on his signals hardly ever now, so we may be over the hump on that one. No more avoidance behavior, at least not in practice. And, the articles and gloves went well today. I'm putting the articles on the far side of the ring so I can get quite a bit of distance on the return. I send him to the pile from about 20 feet away, then retreat back across the ring for the return. He's now trotting back to me with the article.

Tomorrow night we start another eight-week utility class. It's been two weeks since we finished up the last session. He's much more stressed in class than in practice, so I will be watching to see if I see any improvement in his performance or attitude in class.


The PR Gang said...

You must be really excited with his progress! Good work. Perhaps it's more challenging and fun from a distance. Hope it goes well in class too.

Kathie R said...

Thanks! Working under stress will be the real test. Hope he can hold it together :)

Honey the Great Dane said...

Ooh - well done! Way to go, Jackson!

I'm really slow too sometimes - my human says I act like I'm on sedatives!

Yesterday, she got really mad at me because I was plodding in slow motion through our Freestyle training and acting like I didn't know anything...when she knew I could do it perfectly well the day before! She is getting really stressy because we have a big performance coming up in a week's time and she is worried that we won't be ready, because we've only had about 4 weeks to put together this new routine...

We're doing so much training at the moment, I think my head is going to explode! Every morning for 10mins before breakfast and every evening for 10mins before my walk...well, my human says she might give me (and herself!) a day off tomorrow coz we've been working so hard. Maybe with a bit of a break, I'll get better and faster again! :-)

Honey the Great Dane

Kathie R said...

Yeah, I know what you mean Honey. Some days I just feel tired. I wonder where those Goldens and Labs get all their energy! They just never seem to want to quit practicing :)


HawaiianDane said...

Great work on the training! I know it is hard work but it sounds like you are doing great so far!