A very busy month!

October 9, 2009

We have had a busy month, starting with the trip to Austria for the world championships then flying out to Vernon, BC for a week of seminars, then directly to Moncton, NB for another 4 days of teaching and finally back home to starting my very own classes at a new arena.  In the middle of all of that I have been attempting to raise and train my now 4 1/2 month old puppy Summit.

Worlds was fun, I was happy with the way Riot was running and although I wanted to do better over all we had many good moments.  I will definitely need to work more on Riot’s ground speed if we want any chance against all those medium border collies.  Vernon was fun, got to catch up with friends and met lots of nice new people.  Summit got to go swimming at the lake and be a demo dog for the foundation workshops.  Moncton was as always a great trip, this years groups have many great people and lots of talented dogs.  The puppy group was a blast with 13 puppies in the group, it will be tonnes of fun to see each team progress each month.  Although I hate leaving the older dogs at home the trips were great to get Summit into many new environments and meet lots of new people and dogs.

Summit is now 4 1/2 months and yes, he is still perfect 🙂  He is such a confident, happy puppy and is always so much fun to work with.  Training him has taught me so much about high drive dogs and motivation.  I have been trying to build more strength in all of my other dogs weaknesses:

-I have put way more effort into building value for tugging and just playing with me before building any new behaviors

-more focus on creating desire and drive in control positions rather than just proofing distractions

-We have made sure we have built equal drive and speed on recalls when I am standing still as when I run

-not barking EVER!

-if we work on shaping any behavior with food I have been very picky about keeping the desire in each behavior I teach him

-lots more jump grids!

We don’t know a whole lot more than what we posted last time, we do know how to swim and have been doing lots of socializing with other people and puppies.  Because I have been so busy we havn’t started too many new things, but we have been building a stronger understanding with all the foundation games:

start line: he can hold a sit, stand and down without any paw movement throughout any distraction – throwing toy behind, running past him, running circles around him, kicking soccer ball, dogs recalled past.  Just need to wok on dogs tugging and retrieving past him, then in front of equipment.

circle work – working on proofing handling manouvers with the toy ahead as a distraction.  We have been running circles around toys and using the table as a distraction.

recalls- calling off people feeding him, tugging with him, while running to a toy, while eating supper, while chasing the shelties, while playing with other puppies…no problem!

Tugging – can tug on a low value toy while I play with and tease with his favorite.  Can tug while shelties run circles around him and retrieve a ball, can tug with cookies practically up his nose, while fast dogs do tunnels, while children are near, while preston is tugging on another toy beside him (thats a tough one!  While I grab the collar, blow in his face, pick him up and shake him upside down 🙂

Crate games – have been working on staying in crate while I send Chase and Bounder over equipment

Walking on a leash – gentle leader is being faded, occationally we have to put it back on but he is very good.  We get lots of practice up and down the aisles of the pet store now that the snow is here

Body awarness – I was holding off on too much shaping in order to balance control with more craziness but we know the balance disks, perch faded, lift back legs, bow, yoga…

Sleeping – I have seen him sleep! Just once….

Sum 4.5 months

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