Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weekend Seminar

I didn't get much training in last weekend because I attended a two-day seminar put on by Celeste Meade. However, I did get lots of information, motivation and a number of exercises that I am most anxious to try with Jackson.

Celeste's theme for the seminar was "Attitude is Everything!" She focuses on a motivational, upbeat method of training, creating drive and attitude, and keeping attention between exercises. Since I'm really trying to focus on less formality and more fun and games in training Jackson, this really came at a good time, and I'm looking forward to incorporating these ideas in my training program. Her demo dog was a border collie, so I did have a bit of a problem visualizing Jackson performing with the speed and enthusiasm of a border collie : ) but, I did learn some ways that I can use to try to increase drive and attention.

One of the games that she demonstrated to increase drive was: throw a treat - call dog back to touch your finger - give the dog a treat and throw in the opposite direction - call dog back to touch your finger - and so on at a fast pace. Now, the one thing that I do with Jackson that really does get him revved up is to throw a treat across the ring, but.... I hadn't thought of a way to get him to run back to me. He would stay out away from me waiting for me to throw another treat for him to chase. So, I didn't know if this would work with him but thought I would give it a try. Yesterday we went out to the club and I tried it. It worked beautifully, so now I have a game to get him revved up and driving in practice. I'll try to get a video of us doing this so it will make more sense. ( I swear, he's almost as fast as a bc when he goes after those treats : )

We only have two days left to train before we leave for the weekend of trials. Today we're going to a new location to train and for these two days we're going to keep it informal, work on speed and having fun. I'm also trying to adjust my attitude because I think that's an important part of changing Jackson's attitude. You could tell when Celeste talked about her dogs how much she enjoyed them and appreciated their unique personalities - even when they made mistakes in the ring. She didn't get mad at them, she just saw it as information for training.

As I try more of the exercises/games that were presented at the seminar, I will post about them and whether or not I have success with them. I'm just hoping I can remember all that I learned!


Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh yes, Kathie - PLEASE do post them!! I would LOVE to learn more ways to motivate my big lump too! Hee! Hee! :-)

I so agree with the "attitude" thing - I find that with Honey a lot - if I'm not too "serious" and don't lose my patience or get mad at her when she is being slow or stupid or something, she actually performs better overall (despite the occasional mistakes) - or rather, she looks better performing the exercises with enthusiasm, even if she doesn't have the precision. So I have really been adjusting my attitude too...but I have to admit, it's very hard sometimes! Especially when you KNOW they can do better and are just trying it on!!

But I know what you mean - I hate it when Honey has that plodding, sleep-walking attitude that she has sometimes - it's really obvious when she is revved up and is obviously finding that training exercise FUN as opposed to a chore that she has to do just to please me! :-)

Anyway, am really looking forward to hearing more about this seminar and how things go when you try them with Jackson - and yes, please post videos!!!


Honey the Great Dane said...

ps. I so know what you mean when people demonstrate things with their fast, focused working breeds...sometimes, it is just so 'out-of-touch' with our dogs that I find the advice a bit laughable! :-) But it's always good to listen and learn and take as much as you can from others, I guess! Adapt it for our giant slow-coaches!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jackson and Kathie :)
I saw you over on Honey's blog and wanted to say hello! Jackson you are so clever and obedient - a credit to your mumma :D

Come and visit my blog please :)

wet soggy nose pashes,
Mr Darcy

Honey the Great Dane said...

Hey Jackson - I'm hosting my first ever competition and I think it might be right up your alley! Come over to my blog to check it out...

Honey the Great Dane