This past weekend was eye opening. People say that the purpose of a trial is to showcase your training. That every point lost on trial day simply highlights a flaw in training. I have some major flaws in my training. It’s time to reassess what I’m doing and move from there. I’ve decided to break down each phase to check where I’m at and where I’m heading.
Wyatt’s not a bad tracker. I was having issues a few weeks ago with him tracking to fast but I think I cleared this up by feeding more the track. I’m making good foot steps and have been able to back off on the feeding a bit but he’s still showing intense and dedicated tracking. One thing he has done twice in a row now is blow corners. Once he passes a corner he gets confused and is not very good finding it again by himself. I think I’m going to spend a few days doing a few short tracks a day with lots of corners.
I thought Wyatt’s obedience was on point. I was sorely mistaken. If Saturday was a SchH1 heeling routine he would not have passed. If I put too much pressure on him he goes in to avoidance. I’ve taken a major step back and am treating him as if I beginning heeling. I ask hm to fuss and feed him a bunch in position. I take small steps and quick turns and reward for attention and position. I have also begun to teach the dumbell.
Protection is still a weekly battle. His grips sucks, he’s getting better at calmly hold the sleeve but he still gets hectic and swings it back and forth and he still has nerve issues. His drive for the sleeve his high enough that it allows us to work through these issues but its slow going. I would enjoy protection far more with a dog that was better suited for it.
So I know that we will eventually get SchH1 on Wyatt. At one point I was hoping to trial in the fall but I’m thinking that may be too soon. Next spring we will be having a large trial with a German judge so unless Wyatt is doing outstanding in September I think that’s what I’m going to be shooting for.