Thursday, September 24, 2009

Diva's 2nd and Last class at Smallie Acres

Due to bad weather today was Diva's 2nd and last class. She and KL (and I ) learned a ton.

First we showed off what we'd learnt the past couple of weeks working at home. Then we learned all sorts of new stuff.

Circles: Teach the dog to follow you. Inside and outside circles. Start with the dog on your outside and jog a large circle, treat to keep the dog running by your side and watching you. Do both ways and then switch to the inside. Inside is harder than the outside. This is a really good exercise to teach your dog to run with you and stay to whatever side you're asking her to run on. Always treat with the dog side hand.

Next Diva met her first piece of agility equipment - a big scary tunnel. At first she was not so sure but then when it was squished up she went through. After that, there was no stopping her -she was quite confident going through the whole thing extended.

Next we did an exercise that will be the foundation of rear crosses. Put your dog in a sit and then step back a few steps to the side, then back. You should be able to go right around your dog without it busting its sit. The dog should turn its head left when you're on the left, and then when you step over the line to the right, you're looking for the dog to turn its head to the right rather than move or try looking over its shoulder at you. Slowly add distance.

Out: Use something like a cone to get your dog to walk around while you walk a straight line. Treat the dog in a straight line as soon as it goes out around the object. You want to treat with the dog side hand. Gradually increase the distance between the cone and the handler.

Make a Choice: A fun game to teach the dog to "leave it". Hold some treats in your hand, and make a fist. When the dog stops trying to get the treat or looks away, click and treat with the OTHER hand. After a while you can open your hand when the dog steps back. The goal is to be able to get your dog to ignore something dropped on the ground so you don't have to use "leave it".

Watch: Put your hand out, when your dog touches, click and treat. Gradually demand more of a touch to get the reward.

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