Thursday, August 14, 2008

Handling Class

The Bug and I attended handling class last night at Masterpeace. There were less than 10 dogs there, so a smaller class than the last time we attended. It went well!

Things I need to remember and work on:

1. When Bug is on the table the leash goes around my neck so it is out of the way and I am not holding it all clumpy-lumpy. I remembered the second time we were on the table. (But I did remember where to set him correctly – front feet maybe 3” from the edge – yay!)

2. Practice holding the leash for gaiting, etc. It feels long for its purpose and I am awkward about holding it in one hand.

3. Practice “wide-vision” when gaiting, i.e. stand up straight, look up and ahead, but still watch the Bug out of the corner of my eye in case I am walking too fast and he thinks he needs to lope.

4. Practice picking up the Bug’s feet the CORRECT way while he is on the table if I need to make an adjustment . The correct way being over the shoulder versus snaking between his legs or some other foolish way! Currently when I attempt to make a slight adjustment the Bug sits. I SAW him allow Holly to make adjustments so I know he can get over being freaked by me making an adjustment.

Mini-breakthrough…..I used hand touches to keep the Bug engaged and standing while waiting for our faux-judge Kerry to inspect us. I am trying very hard to only reinforce standing not getting up out of a sit, i.e. Bug sits because he is bored and I essentially lure him back into a stand by moving etc. Wouldn’t you keep sitting down if it meant you were going to move and maybe get a cookie? So we worked the hand touches. His cue is “hit it.” The added benefit is that He thinks it is a fun game so we get lots of happy ears!

It was a fun class. There was one person there who was not what I consider not very “nice” to their dog. Lots of angry verbal corrections – gives me the heebie jeebies. It also seems like a fair number of people offer repeated leash pops which I find odd. What’s that saying?

“You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”


Diana said...

I think is common for people to use leash pops. I saw a lot of golder retriever people do that before they even started walking with there dog at that Chris Zink seminar. I dont like that either. One time(at an agility trial) I saw this lady training her dog to retrieve a bumper. When she took it from the dog and he gave it to her, she popped him in the mouth. I guess he wasnt suppose to let go until the verbal command. It was very upsetting to see at least to me. Diana

Cat, Tessie, & Strata said...

Lots of people use the little 'leash pops' as a non-verbal reminder of "let's go!" (usually in addition to the verbal command "trot" or "let's go" or whatever they use). Some feel it serves as a reminder to pick their heads up -- this is true for Strata. Then again, a 'leash pop' for Strata consists of one finger lifting the leash a little, since anything more than that would screw up his gait anyway!

So I don't see it as a correction or as an aversive... more as a simple reminder. That said, I KNOW a couple "regulars" in Kerry's class can rip a dog's head off if they feel it's not performing... and that's not right.

Jules said...

I think it is just something I focus on because I am not accustomed to seeing it.