Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Trying some new things!

We're trying some new things during our training sessions, thanks to suggestions from someone on an obedience list that I'm on. I think this will help to loosen things up and maybe create some energy. First off, we're losing the formal fronts with the exercises - at least for now. We're starting out our training sessions with a couple long distance and/or restrained recalls to try to build speed and set the tone for the session. No fronts with these recalls, just praise and treats for coming fast - which he is doing.

When we do articles, we set the pile in a location where I can get quite a bit of distance for the return. I send him to the pile from the normal distance, then as he is going to the pile, I go the opposite direction across two rings and wait for him there. With this increased distance between us, he is trotting back with the article now instead of walking slowly. Progress! And, again, no fronts - just praise and treats.

The other thing I am trying with articles is tossing the article toward the pile. This is getting him moving faster toward the pile. I think these new techniques are having the side effect of reducing some of the stress associated with this exercise. He doesn't seem so serious and worried about it.

When we do the glove exercise, I'm also dropping the formal front. This seems to also be speeding up his return with the glove.

I've gone back to using the dowel retrieve for the go-outs. I trained go-outs using a dowel retrieve, but kinda got away from it because he was doing pretty good with the go-outs, however, he really starts slowing down when he gets about two thirds of the way out. I think putting the dowel out is giving him more of a purpose for going out and it really increases his speed. Sits are still slow, but the directed part of the jumping is good.

Overall, I think these new techniques may give us a needed energy boost in our training. I'm going to stick with using these for a few weeks and then evaluate where we are.


The PR Gang said...

Good ideas! Similar to teaching a pup to come, start running away as soon as they head toward you. Always a fun game!
Best of luck!

Kathie R said...

Thanks! I think this is going to make training more fun for both of us!

Honey the Great Dane said...

Yeah, my human agrees with the PR Gang - running away is always good for getting an enthusiastic come!

And yeah - making training more fun and less "serious" is the key! I'm the same - if I thnk it's really serious, I get all slow and zombie-like!

She also says she loves your posts - they are always full of interesting training tips! She just wishes we had more time to train formal Obedience like you...but we're too busy at the moment slogging on our new dance routine. Oh, and I had a big photoshoot today with Rachael Hale, the famous animal portrait photographer - she asked me to model for some pics in her new book! - so been busy practising for that (they wanted me to push a supermarket trolley!!). Come over to my blog and see me primping for my shoot! :-)

Honey the Great Dane

Kathie R said...

Wow, you look really relaxed with that spa treatment! Maybe I should try that to help me relax :) Can't wait to see the photos. I'm sure they will be great - you are a natural!


HawaiianDane said...

Wow, I think that technique sounds like a good one! I am glad that he is improving and having more fun with it!!

We tagged you in our blog!