Canine Freestyle Winter 09 – Class 3

Class Recap

What great dogs we got!

We’re in pretty tight confines here and we’ve got some young dogs… things are going well though…

The spotSpot is a “go to a place”, or “go to a mat” behavior. This means that the dog seeks out and performs a duration behavior on a spot of the handler’s choosing. A Pedestal is a raised spot. Anything a dog can leap onto and perch upon. Spots and Pedestals are important dog training tools.... training is definitely working out to our advantage.

Had a bit of an exciting entry for our convalescing Pit Bull. Emma’s on fire coming in to class… i look over and all I see is little pibble feet scrabbling on the floor of the studio. I hustled over and grabbed the lead and moved her quickly through the studio to a quiet corner and hit Look at That (LAT) and some eye contact… all was good.

[info_box_1 title=”Trainer’s Tip!”]Remember that taking charge and moving away from the distraction means that the dog has to deal with you and has to leave the distraction.[/info_box_1]

Class settled rather quickly. Good dogs, good handlers!

More Backing Up

Backing Up in a Channel with Reward PlacementThe dog puts his face where the Cookie or the disc happens. Where you put the reward matters. Reward Placement is huge in disc dog freestyle. Your dog’s face will always wind up where you throw the disc. He will go where the disc happens. If a disc in thrown to a place, the dog will return from that place.... and Rear foot targeting was practiced again and the dogs improved markedly, as did the handlers. Reinforcement mechanics, intent and execution are really cleaning up for everybody. That’s really looking good.

We also did some backing up against the wall and some scoot work from heel (and side?) positions. There are several keys to this skill:

  • The dog must be a bit in front of heel position to hit the correct angle for a successful backing up through the handler’s legs
  • Get your foot to the wall.
  • Pay your dog after you turn to face him or when they wind up in heel or side position.
  • As the skill grows step ‘less towards the wall’ and ask your dog to make the turn on his or her own.
  • If the skill goes awry, stop… reset and try again.

Team Irie did some shaping out of some floor targeting, getting a nice stretch type thing at a distance…

Team Onyx worked on Right and Left Paw from a knee cue on a pedastal.

Floor Time

Team Irie really rocked! They are looking quite good as a team – TONS of tricks. Creating a set of notecards and and actual routine is totally on the agenda for Team Irie.

Team Onyx had some issues hooking up because of the Economics of Distraction. Choose to heel was employed and the team got back on track and finished out rather well… a bit greedy at the very end.

Choose to heel, dismissal and less pulling from the handler to interact will solve these distraction based problems.

Team Kaia busted out some new moves and flowed around the stage nicely and Ransom was Rantabulous as usual.

Team Emma, our convalescing pibble? She hung out did all the work and didn’t even get to play. Poor girl… She is getting much better at working around distractions, though. GO EMMA!

Dogs and Handlers are becoming teams.

Apryl and I have been talking about how cool Canine Freestyle Class is because the handler and dog learn so much about moving together as a team. It’s just so cool to watch people get their feet under themselves when it comes to handling with body language and movement.