Friday, April 29, 2011

School visit

Jackson was invited to do another school visit/demo today at an elementary school. The students in this group were younger than we normally see ... and somewhat more animated :) They were six and seven year olds. Jackson wasn't sure quite what to think of them at first, but warmed up to them pretty quickly.

Our team consisted of two standard poodles, two Nova Scotia Duck Tollers, a Border Terrier, a Scottie and Jackson. The class had been studying dogs so we talked a little about our breed of dog and demonstrated some obedience exercises, then had a meet and greet with the students. All in all it was great fun.

Here's some of the photos taken at the visit.

Some of our team members.

Demonstrating the Stand for Exam

The Figure 8

Drop on Recall

Retrieving the dumbbell

And... just waiting for the next command

I've added this last photo so Laura could see there actually was a Toller present : )

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Is there a dance routine in Jackson's future?

Well, I haven't decided yet, but.... at least I'm thinking about it : ) Our blog friends, Honey and Hsin-Yi in Australia, are having a contest - Dancing with the doggie Stars - and have encouraged us to participate. She suggested that we might use some of Jackson's obedience moves to create a dance routine. We have until June 15 to come up with something, so if anyone has ideas on which obedience moves might lend themselves to a dance routine ... please, send them our way. I'm a little short on creativity. But, I'm thinking it would really be a fun challenge.

In the meantime, we continue to work on our obedience exercises. I think my readjusted attitude is making a difference. Now that we are no longer under pressure to achieve the udx title, we have really relaxed our training attitude and are having a lot more fun. I didn't realize how stressed we were!

We've also started tracking again. We hadn't been out tracking for a couple years so we're starting over this spring with the basics - doing straight line tracks with lots of food drops along the way. Both Jackson and Jolee are doing great with it. I'll leave you with a short clip of Jolee and hubby on their first time out tracking this spring. (The orange flags mark the beginning and end of the short track.)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Yes, I have puppy pics!

Thanks for asking : )

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Jackson and Jolee!

Wow! Can't believe it's been seven years since these pictures were taken. The happy day was April 7, 2004, so they are seven years old today!!!

Jackson and Jolee three months old

Friday, April 1, 2011

On the Road to a Brilliant Recall!

Last summer I took Susan Garrett's online course, "The 5 Minute Formula for a Brilliant Recall!" A different game was presented every day for a month to help achieve brilliant recalls. It was a good course and introduced a lot of fun games to play with your dog. I believe Susan's philosophy is that if you have a brilliant recall, everything else will fall into place - so to speak.

I think that's true - if you have a brilliant recall, you likely have a good relationship with your dog and he is much more willing to work with you. It's all about the dog finding the value with you, and not with other distracting things around him. Not having done a lot of these games previously, things moved along pretty fast and I found it hard to keep up. I was still trying to master the first day's game at the end of the month. Fortunately, at the end of the course, we were able to download all of the daily lessons so we could go back through them again at our leisure. So, that's where I am this spring, starting back with the basics.

Jackson has a pretty solid recall - but brilliant - it is not. So, now we are recommitted to going back through those lessons to make our recalls more brilliant. Today we worked on one of the first games to shape the basic recall. Jackson is not motivated by toys so I used the highest value food treat that I have found - moist dog food.

Since the weather is breaking here in the Midwest, it was a great day to get outside and play. (I wish I had done a lot more of this type of activity when I first started training Jackson : )