Thursday, March 18, 2010

Finally, we can train outdoors!

A touch of spring broke out this week, which means we can train outdoors. It is wonderful to be outside without freezing, so we took advantage of the nice weather and met up with our training buddy, Melody the border terrier, at the fairgrounds. This is one of our favorite places to train. It's a huge state fairgrounds with many different places to set up our training equipment. It's usually not real busy, but there are always some people walking/driving/working around there, which helps provide some distractions.

I have been sticking with my goal of training with less formality for awhile in order to build confidence and have more fun. We haven't been doing a lot of formal fronts and finishes, and I've been throwing a lot of treats. This seems to really be helping his speed and enthusiasm. I've also been 'revving' him up to retrieve the dumbbell and go to the article pile. Today in practice he actually trotted out to the article pile -- and back. He usually walks slowly, so this was a bit of a surprise. The downside of all this revving up is that he occasionally anticipates instead of waiting for my command. I'm not worried about that right now, but it's something to watch.

Overall, his attitude seems much improved in practice, so I'm hoping this will carry over. (Maybe it's the weather. I know the springlike weather is sure helping my attitude :) We have a fun match in a week, so we'll see how that goes.

I took a few pictures of Jackson and Melody training today.

Jackson and Melody practicing signals together

Practicing heeling

Working articles

Waiting for the directional jump signal

Melody and Jackson resting



Samantha said...

I am sure enjoying watching you train Melody and Jackson! I have a little practice going tomorrow am with two other Open doggies - each Wed. and Friday, we work together (but me on the last leg of Novice, and a trial next Thurs.), then with our instructor on Monday afternoons. A lot of patience! Thanks for showing Jackson training today! It must be wonderful to be able to work outside!
Miche and Sammie

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Yes, I am so excited that spring seems to be here! I too did my first training outdoors this week!

It sounds like it's really going well in training, attitude is everything! I can't wait to hear how the fun match goes!

Honey the Great Dane said...

Aw - LOVE your trainign photos!! And great to hear that Jackson is trotting out & returning - sounds like great progress! I do agree that the more "fun" training attitude must be helping - and I personally always feel that it's easier to tone down enthusiasm on the day, than try to dredge up motivation that isn't there!