Wyatt’s Learning!

Went out and tracked today. Wyatt didn’t do terrible. He made the corner very well and downed on command at the article. His obedience today was haphazard though. He was easily distracted during heeling outside. I think this has to do wit a combination of him being free all day and him  tracking in the morning.

I’m not going to be ready for the fall trial. Just not going to happen. I have too much to do and there’s about a 70% chance I’m going to be deployed in August for this damn Gulf Coast spill (I hate you BP!). I think I’m going to slow my tracking down and focus on his retrieves for the next few months. Once I get that whee it should be then I’ll move back to tracking. My poor pound dog simply doesn’t have the drive to do both in one day.

I’ll leave you with some pics of is retrieves today

Two steps foward and one step back

Went out and tracked Wyatt today. I’ve done 4 straight tracks this week and he’s nailed all three of them. I decided to up the ante a bit today and add a corner. He made the corner pretty well but he got confused after the corner and got turned around. He eventually found his way and then failed to down on the article. Bah. The only thing we can do it more tracking.

On a positive note I’ve really been able to motivate Wyatt this week in obedience. His heeling is looking much better and he has begun taking the dumbbell from my hand on command. Hopefully I can put it all together at some point.

I think out club is having a trial in September. I’m trying to get him ready for Sch1 at this trial but I don’t think it’s going to happen. We’ll see in three months I guess.

Here’s the track:

Dogs I like to watch

I’m sitting here on Memorial weekend getting ready to go march in a  parade in Brooklyn.  Not excited. But on a happier note less than a week until I pick up a new puppy. I am just going to post a few videos of dogs that I enjoy watching

More puppy pics!

Good training day

Finally. The last couple of days have been a little bit rough. Yesterday I had a hard time motivating Wyatt to do much of anything. His heeling was decent and we started to work on his send out but he wouldn’t go over the jump for anything  and we had to take a step back with the dumbbells.

Today he stayed in his room until I got home from work. We immediately started training and I tried to be as happy and motivating as possible. That’s what he needed. And I’m terrible at it. I’ve never used enough praise. Every trainer has bad habits and this my worst.

Claudia Romard Seminar

This week our club hosted Claudia Romard for a Schutzhund Seminar that covered all three phases and Wyatt was one of the dogs she worked with. I have mixed feelings about the seminar. On Saturday it was more of a formal lecture type. Claudia spoke for a couple of hours, imparted some wisdom on her training style and then we worked the dogs individually. After each dog Claudia gave some tips and advice. For Wyatt she told me that I should stop spitting hot dogs to him from my mouth. We then worked the dogs in protection. She didn’t have much advice there.

On Sunday it was a lot less formal. We tracked a few dogs. She gave me some good advice on improving Wyatt’s tracking. She said that he lacked intensity and I needed something special to put on the track to spark his interest. I went to the store after the seminar and bought some wet food to train with.  She also showed us how she specifically trains her dogs in tracking. She starts all her dogs on scent pads. After the dog is fluent on the scent pad she creates a track from that scent pad to another one, from there she creates a track to another scent pad. As the dog gets better she does more legs and scent pads, more distance to the scent pad and smaller scent pads. I’m not sure I’ll use the method but it sure sounds interesting.

The seminar wasn’t bad but I’m not sure it was worth the $1500 our club payed. Claudia’s style is very similar to what our club uses any way. I didn’t feel she did anything special and she didn’t show us much specifics. I think it would have been more fair to invite her for a training day and pay for her gas and room. Live and learn I guess.

Where we stand

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.

Tracking

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.

Obedience

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

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.