Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jolee's jump start

Okay, Jolee has taken over Jackson's blog today. I train both dogs but usually just write about Jackson. Jolee is quite different from Jackson in attitude so it's been fun training her too - easier in some respects and more difficult in others. We've been working on her 'jump start' to heeling. It started out unintentional. She would jump forward when we started heeling. I thought it was cute, so I've been reinforcing it with rewards. My thinking is, she'll likely lose the jump part in a trial setting, but she may be a lot quicker getting up and started heeling and thus stay in better heel position.

Here's a short clip of her jump start to heeling - pay attention or you'll miss it, it's only six seconds long : )

I also got a short clip of her heeling today. I love her heads-up heeling - something I could never get with Jackson. I think it's just a personality thing. I didn't teach her to do it, but I'm really rewarding it to keep it going. She does tend to lose it though with distractions so I'm trying to build muscle memory and work with distractions.


Lindsay said...

I love her little jump start! And she does such a lovely heel!

The PR Gang said...

The jump start is awesome. Really shows her enthusiasm. I'm curious as to why you say she would probably lose that in a trial setting. Perhaps you're unconsciously setting her up??
Beautiful heeling. I remember commenting on her attention in previous post. It's great!

Kathie R said...

Thanks for the comments. I'm really working to keep the jump and the enthusiasm, and I do hope to see it in the trials. However, it seems that everything slows down when there are distractions, or we're in an unfamiliar place. I'm trying to exaggerate it as much as possible in training, so when it does come down a notch in a trial it will still be there. Yes, and I do have to check myself too as my enthusiasm comes down a notch or two also in a trial :)

Jennifer H. said...

LOL!! Falkor does the same jump start but he does lose it if there are loads of distractions around. I think it's so cute!

And my word her heeling is BEAUUUUTIFUL!! I would give my left arm for attention like that. Are you spitting treats to her as you heel or do you reward after your done heeling???

Love the videos!!

Kathie R said...

Oh yes, I am spitting treats (cheese), thus the great attention to my face :) I'm trying to lengthen the heeling distance before rewarding and breaking it off. Hoping it will become her default behavior - even with distractions!

Honey the Great Dane said...

OOh - it's so interesting to watch Jolee and how different she is to Jackson. I just love the way she looks up at your face - just like a Border Collie! Hee! hee! GREAT attention and focus!

It's strange how they both slow down in "the real thing" - I wonder how much of that is to do with subtle signals they are picking up from you (which you don't even realise you're giving)...I find when we're competiting or performing, thinking of Honey and not wanting to affect her helps me to really calm down - you know, like projecting calm and confidence for HER benefit (because Honey is like Jackson - she'll slow down and act all mopey when she is stressed and under pressure) really helps me feel better too.

I think that while it obviously depends on the dog, overall, it does get better the more you do it - ie. it's like desensitisation, isn't it? The more the dog has to perform in those environments (and has as positive an experience as possible) - the less bothered they become. I've certainly noticed with Honey that it's taken 2 yrs of relatively regular public performances (whether demo or competitions) for her to stop slowing down and acting all repressed - now when we're dancing in a ring, she is all focused on me and relaxed and not fazed by the crowds or atmosphere or anything...but I don't know if that's a reflection of ME and that I'm more used to it and more relaxed and confident not - or it's HER getting used to things! :-)


Kathie R said...

Hsin-Yi, I think you're right about the desensitisation - the more you do it, the more confidence you get. And, I know I'm not as relaxed in a trial as I am in training - even though I try to convince myself that I'm not nervous and try to project an aura of calmness :) I'm planning to enter several trials this fall, hoping that will help both Jackson and me get more relaxed and confident in the ring. At this point, I think that's the key - just getting out there and doing it!