RLS and there goes my nose target!

November 18, 2008

The trial on the weekend went really well.  I just ran Riot and Preston as I had planned to give Chase and Bounder the winter off.  Because of the new requirements for the CKC world team application I have to do 4 trials with Chase before February so I guess he isn’t getting a break.  This was Riot’s third trial in a row with 100% clean on jumpers and standard!  Her YPS in standard were all around 5.3 and her running dogwalk was great. 

Preston on the other hand was just plain naughty!  His second trial (last month) was in a horse arena and when we got to the seesaw in our standard run he would not nose target in the dirt (totally forgot to work on that!) he instead nose targeted the end of the seesaw and I let him finish the rest of the course.  Since that trial we have been working our nose targets on lots of different surfaces but would you believe that at the trial this weekend he refused to target on every see saw!  He just stopped at the end with four feet on and stared at me.  Each run I took him off the see saw and made him re-do the obstacle and of course the second attempt was perfect…uhg!  Its amazing how reinforcing the wrong thing once can effect such a strong behavior.  So back to the drawing board; we took home a bag full of dirt from the arena and we are working on targeting at home on a baking sheet of smelly dirt, but I will likely have some training in the ring to do with my now ring wise dog.  Other than the seesaw Preston did well, though he decided to run past the chute in every run so we might have to go and train on some different equipment before the next trial.

Since I got Preston he has always had the habit of paddling his front feet on his startline, I have worked on it quite a bit but the behavior is still there.  I didn’t think it would cause a problem with his startline because he never breaks position and I don’t think it is due to stress or excitement, I think it is trained behavior.  He used to lean forward in the sit with his weight on his forehand so I worked a lot on getting him to sit up straight and while doing so I inadvertently trained the feet paddling.  The only time he does it is when I walk away for the first couple steps and then he stops probably because I have been conscious not to release him until his feet are still but since I am cracking down on my student’s start line behavior I figure I better not be so hypocritical.  I can walk around him and throw distractions behind him and he wont move his feet to look back, its just when I turn my back and begin to walk away.  I have tried a bunch of things but the problem is that it is only when my back is turned.  Tonight I came up with a plan and we have started working on getting rid of the behavior.  We will see how it progresses and maybe post some video, the big thing I have to be aware of is the response cost as it is such a cheap behavior. 

We have also been working lots on our obedience and I am thinking about entering a trial in April.  Our heeling is getting really good, just needs a bit more duration, our stand is almost perfect, just need to work on the examination.  The only thing left to train for Novice is a straight font and I plan to do that in the next couple weeks.  Just for fun we started some dumb bell work and our sit/down/stand discrimination.

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One Response to “RLS and there goes my nose target!”

  1. Melissa said

    I think Treo and Preston have been secretly emailing each other to see how much they can really test us. Just this past weekend at a USDAA trial, Treo and I had some of our best runs in competition; however….he’s starting to see what he can get away with. No nose touch off the DW (ok on the teeter and AF) and really, really to close to call self-releases! Naughty boy! I’m going to work tomorrow AM on proofing nose touches and distractions on contacts tomorrow AM. Cheeky monkey! I have until January to pull us back up to snuff!

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