Monday, November 1, 2010

Weekend Trials - still one to go!

The weekend trials turned out to be a weekend for training, as we didn't qualify in utility any of the days. The stress monster got to Jackson and our go outs for directed jumping fell apart. He just couldn't bring himself to go to the other side of the ring and sit. Instead, he either didn't go far enough out or when he did he turned around and walked back in too close to the jumps. Now, we've had problems with slow sits and/or no sits on the go outs, but the walking back in is new.  There was ring rental time after the trial ended, so we spent our five minutes in the ring just working on go outs. He was able to do them in practice, but that didn't carry over into the trial the next day.

He had a couple other glitches during the weekend - but, I'm not too worried about them. Overall, I think he was just bothered and distracted enough by the trial environment that he couldn't perform well. I never really know what one - or more - things bother him about certain venues so I just have to wait until we go in the ring to see how it's going to go.

My plan in training this month is to try some different things with go outs to see what helps. We were back at the club training today and I put a couple guides out at the location where I want him to sit. It was just two of the 2" high-jump boards parallel to one another and just far enough apart for him the turn around and sit. Well, wouldn't you know - he was perfect. I've used guides before and they evidently are the clue he needs for him to know exactly what to do. He appears very confident about what it is he is supposed to do when he sees the guides. Now, the challenge will be - how to wean him off the guides? I think I'll take it slow this time and maybe reduce the visibility of the guides gradually.

Our next trial is the end of the month in the building where we train. You would think that would be easier for him, but.... we've not done particularly well in that building previously, so I'm not overly confident.  We'll see : )


tervnmal said...

Good luck at the DMOTC trials! It was fun to see him work this weekend, he looks so regal in the lineup of dogs on Open stays.

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

what was your original method of teaching the go out? Not because I can offer any advice to you, I'm not experienced enough yet :) but I'm just curious!

Jennifer H. said...

You'll have loads of people rooting for you guys at our trial. And it would be pretty cool if you guys finish there. :)

It was nice chatting with you at the trial!

Kathie R said...

Thanks for the comments :)
Laura, the method I used for teaching go outs was retrieving the dowel. While retrieving is self-rewarding for a lot of dogs - it appeared to be just work for Jackson, so I sometimes use a treat on the gates to increase enthusiasm and get him to go all the way to the gates.

Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

Good luck at the upcoming trial! Sorry that you didn't qualify this weekend, but the guides seem to be doing the trick of reminding him what to do. I can't wait to hear how it all works out.

Lindsay said...

That's a bummer that you guys didn't qualify, but only one more to go!!!