Monday, January 18, 2010

Handling Class Week 3

(Disclaimer: This stuff is pretty boring and technical to read so we understand if you don't read! We're writing this down for us so we don't forget it).

Jenn was back to teach our class this week. Today was all about recalls to heel. We have not practiced this at all since mom never does a lead out with me. So it was very new for us. First we practiced a serpentine recall over one jump. Mom sat me parallel to the jump - close to the standard. Then she went to the landing side of the jump 12" from the bar (or whatever height you dog jumps) and kind of in line with the opposite standard on the other side. She turned her outside foot in the direction we were going to go and presented her inside leg and arm to me and said, "Jump" and cued me to jump with true collection and land right next to her inside hand. It's very difficult to describe - easier to see but we have no video. After you practice this (it is a learned skill for the dog), you can then use recall to heel in a serpentine - like the second jump of a serpentine - so instead of mom running to the take-off side of the second jump in a serpentine, she can stay on the landing side of the second jump and recall me over. So mom stays on the same side for all three jumps. We did well with this because I am pattern trained to do serpentines this way. Jenn told mom to be careful and try to find the tightest path for me so I don't have to cover more yardage than necessary. That is important and mom will have to try to remember that!! We also did a cool sequence where we did the first two jumps of a serpentine (with the recall to heel) and then a send into the tunnel - so the tunnel was the third obstacle in the serpentine.

Our second recall today was the foundation recall (all of this handling is based on Linda Mecklenberg's Awesome Paws handling system). I wait on the middle of the take-off side of the jump and mom goes to the middle of the landing side and faces me - again 12" from the bar - and this time she calls me over directly to her inside hand for true collection. If she stands farther back she can still do recall to heel but it would cue extension. Both are needed some times. Again all hard to explain and we hope we have it right in our minds. We did some sequences where mom did a two-jump lead out and then called to me. You can imagine that I was not super fast coming from the startline. But we were there to practice a new skill that who knows, someday we may need!

There are 6 positions of recall to heel and we are going to learn 4 of them. But Jenn says you can get super detailed about it all and she is just giving us the basic idea and then it's up for us to decide how much we want to do with them.

At the beginning of class I was very distracted by stuff that I could've swore was food on the floor! Jenn said she never realized how easily distracted I was - she told mom to try and get me to focus on her more. Well, that was great because it meant more chicken for me! The best thing about today's class though was Jenn noticing and saying I did a fast dogwalk! Hurray for me!

Gotta zoom!



Kathy said...

HORRAY for Ricky and fast dog walks!!!!!!! Good job! I love Linda M and I was thinking when you were describing the serpentine recalls to heel that it sounded like Linda M, then you said it was from aphs, LOL. GREAT description by the way.

More chicken is always GREAT, so glad tonights class had a lot of chicken for you Ricky!

Dawn said...

You remind me that I need to give Katie LOTS of rewards at our agility class Wed.

And of COURSE she's going to notice your fast dogwalk! You are AWESOME at dogwalk!

Diana said...

Sounds like a great class. I understood exactly what you were saying. Congrats on the fast dogwalk! Diana

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

I'm glad the pretending to be distrakhted so woo get more chikhken is working fur woo!


Marie said...

I loved your descriptions. They were very clear. Keep them coming! Also, congrats on the fast dogwalk. That's great!

As for the distractions on the floor...I have that problem with both Layla and Dare. Something that we are doing to hopefully improve that issue is training with things all over the floor, like treat bags, toys, leaves, whatever. It goes against my natural inclination to clean up everything before we train, but really it's a great way to work on "leave it" and focusing on me and our training, rather than the distractions. I would only do this while working on skills that are already solid, not when you are teaching a new skill.

Sara said...

Yay for the fast dogwalk!!!!!

There is a aphs seminar here next sunday. I was going to sign up for it, but since we have our league the day before, I thought it would be too much agility in one weekend for oreo. Now, I kind of wish we had!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Marie - thanks for the good ideas on distraction training! It will be really hard for me to learn to ignore stuff on the floor even at home, but we should really make an effort to work on it and we'll use your suggestions! First to train mom that it's ok to leave some stuff on the floor - lol!

Priscilla said...

Eva just told me that she wants to learn all these when she's bigger ;)

Fizz said...

We find it all very interesting to read! It sounds like a really great and informative class, Ricky :-)
Mum beed teaching me to be more focussed on her this week, but I just more interested in focussing on the chicken :-)

Fizz x