Thursday, March 12, 2009

Practice at the club today

Well, the spring-like weather we had last week did not hold, so it was back to the club today for practice. We had a really good practice session today. We were the only ones training at the club so there were not many distractions. Two of the rings had been combined into one really big ring so that was somewhat different for him. The large ring though really helped with his speed I think. At least it gives him more room to get moving, and speed is one of the things we're working on now.

We started out with a few restrained recalls to get him going. I've been doing this lately to help get his speed up, and it really seems to be working. Plus, I'm trying to be more upbeat, less formal, and keeping things moving at a faster pace. We then did some heeling and signals. He was focused and the signals were good today.

We're sticking with the plan of only putting five articles out. Working on getting him to go out and go right to work. He did that today and was good on all articles, however, he was slow going out and coming back. I think I'll wait and work on speed with articles once he is more confident in working the articles under stress.

The go-outs for directed jumping were much improved. They were straight and he had a pretty brisk pace going out, and the sits were fairly quick. I set the jumps at 16 inches because I'm still concerned about the lameness issues, however, he wasn't showing signs of limping today and seemed to be moving much better. Hmmmm, maybe the acupuncture treatment is helping, or maybe it's the Dasuquin. I started him on Dasuquin, a joint supplement, this week, which may also be helping.

We finished up with the glove exercise and another set of signals, both of which went well.

Overall, I think the upbeat, shorter sessions are more productive, so I'm going to try keeping the sessions shorter for awhile.


The PR Gang said...

Great news! Sounds like the short sessions and your attitude are having a positive effect.

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh, Jackson - you are so clever doing all those things! I'm really in awe of you...

My human says that I'm like you too - if she acts more chatty and laughs a lot and bounces around like she does when we're playing a game - instead of "serious training time" - then I work much better. And I have limited concentration too! She says she gets better results from me if she does really short training sessions two times a day rather than a longer one once a day.

Do you like tennis balls? I really LOVE them! I go a bit crazy when they come out. So my human has started to use them in our training recently because it keeps me keen and excited if I think that she might whip it out of her pocket anytime I do well - I mean, I like the treats and stuff but they make me drool constantly and aren't as exciting as the ball. And of course, I do just like praise as well...but having a favourite toy sort of "wakes me up"! and makes me move faster and do everything with more energy! I think it's because then I think that training is part of playing - as opposed to something serious and scary.

Anyway, keep up your good work and I can't wait to hear more about it! Do you think your human could video you doing some training? I would love to watch you and learn from you!!

Honey the Great Dane

Kathie R said...

Hey Honey, Thanks for the comments. I'm not really crazy about toys. When Mom throws a ball or toy I may run after it and sniff it, but when it stops moving then I go on to something else. Maybe I need to give it another try :) What I do love, is when she throws these little liver treats called Bil-Jac. That really gets me going!

I'll remind Mom to take the video camera to practice this weekend. If I do good at something, maybe she'll upload it to my blog.