Yesterday Bug had his second Communications class. Having been through this class with two other dogs I was pleasantly surprised by how UN-distracted the Bug was in the stimulating barn environment.
We set up obedience ring style gates to give each student and dog space to work in which wouldn't be accidentally invaded by other handlers or dogs. The dogs were placed on a 15 foot long line and then we (the handlers) waited for our dogs to "check-in" by making eye contact. I brought Evanger's 100% Rabbit canned food and my clicker. Bug immediately started giving me loads of eye contact.
However when Katrin suggested I move 90 degrees and wait for him to make eye contact I "lost" my dog! :D He sat staring at my side. Eventually I moved and made it easier so we could set him up for success. I am happy to say on Dog # 3 I am much less of a helper-human. We have a lot to work on this week. I am really pleased with his willingness to work. It's interesting, Carmen with a lack of input/direction goes exploring or starts staring. Bug's default is to sit or lay down and wait for info. Both behaviors have their merits and present different long term challenges.
During Ike's C.H. class I was struck with an awful stomach ache. So while I watched the class I did not participate at all. Katrin closed off part of the arena and had the handlers take their dog off-lead. The handler walked as though their dog was in heel position (without actually asking their dog to be there or cuing it) and when the dog actually was in heel position they were rewarded. Otherwise there was no interaction between handler and dog. I would like to try this with Ike. I am very curious how he would handle this change; I am inclined to think he would get the idea pretty quickly.
The other thing we worked on are tuck sits. The goal is for the dog's front feet to stay stationary. So, ask for a sit but do not move your hand. Katrin suggested having the dog do a nose touch and a sit while holding the nose touch. Ike was hysterical trying all sorts of silly things. Ike got the tuck-sit idea very quickly. Considering a year ago when we did the competition obedience class at Masterpeace he would only sit 4 feet away from me it is safe to say we have made progress!
Good classes even with the terrible stomach ache.
4 days ago