Monday, May 25, 2009

Fun Match - Sunday

Our local Great Dane club hosted a fun match this weekend at the country home of two of our members. We offered all-breed conformation, obedience, rally and agility activities and CGC (Canine Good Citizen) testing; and topped it off with a potluck picnic. It was really a great opportunity to get together to socialize; have some fun with our dogs; and try some new activities with them. We had 40-plus dogs participating in the various activities.

Jackson did a utility run-thru, a rally course and tried some of the jumps in the agility course. The thing that surprised me the most with him, was his enthusiasm for the agility jumps. When they bring out the agility equipment at the club, he gets really stressed, but outside in the open like it was Sunday, he did not seem worried at all. Hmmmm, maybe I will need to rethink the agility thing, and see if I can find a class that is outside. He might actually enjoy doing it in a different setting.

His utility run-thru went pretty well considering all the outside distractions. A lot different than training in the obedience building. He was good on his signals, however his heeling was not as close and sharp as I would like. The scent articles were pretty good, though he did seem to be avoiding the leather article, so I gave him the 'get to work' command. Afterwhich he went directly to the correct article and picked it up. The match judge, Sonia, said she thought I was putting too much scent on it and he didn't want to pick it up - it was too 'hot.' I've been told that before, but I've never really been able to make sense of it. Considering all the things he eats (including poop occasionally) - how can my scent be offensive - too hot? Sonia went on the explain that it's not necessarily offensive - just too 'hot' (too strong of a scent). Hmmm... I'm still not sure about this, but I've decided to try lightly scenting my articles for awhile to see how it goes.

The gloves and moving stand were good, however, we had a problem with the directed jumping exercise. His go outs were not as far and brisk as I would like. I put the dowel out but he couldn't see it in the grass, so without a target to aim for, he was a little lost. Then, the first jump did not look right to him (it was an agility bar jump) so I had to give him a second command for that. The second jump (also an agility bar jump) was good. Overall, not too bad for the really distracting environment and a new look for the ring.

Training notes:
1) keep working in new/distracting environments - it really helps.
2) scent the articles lightly - see how that works.


Honey the Great Dane said...

Hi Jackson,

Wow! Once again, I'm SO impressed with all the things you do...I feel like it's reading about Canine University!!

And you're so lucky to have a Great Dane club like that which organises all these different activities...(sigh), I wish we had that there. We used to go to the Auckland Great Dane club events but they got really BORING because they were only doing ribbon parades (for conformation shows) and nobody seemed interested in doing anything else with their Danes!! They either do Show stuff or are just couch potato pets...but nobody does Agility or Obedience or (heaven forbid!) Canine Freestyle...I'm the only one and my humans and I always feel a bit of a freak there. Hsin-Yi tried to get other Dane owners interested in some other activities but no one was really into it. So we stopped going.

And we feel a bit of a freak at Obedience clubs too coz they're all fast, clever Border Collies and German Shepherds and people make fun of me for being big and we don't much like going there either!! Which means that there aren't any nice social places for me and my human to do our training and we have to mostly do it ourselves at home or in the park...which is pretty lonely!! :(

Honey the Great Dane

HawaiianDane said...

REally cool you got to try the Agility course outside! Sometimes a change of setting works to peak interest! We dont do Agility, but I can also tell a difference when showing indoors and out. Keep up the hard work! We always enjoy following your progress!