Monday, November 15, 2010
A different approach
When I do the figure eight exercise with Cheddar, I always start by heeling toward the left post. More often than not, she bumps my leg at about 3 steps into the pattern. I know this is from lack of attention while heeling. She is NOT a "heads up" heeler. Anatolians just don't get into staring at your face whilst you spit cheese at them every few steps. So last week one of the gals that I was doing figure eights with at class, started off with the right post and when I asked her about it, she said her dog would get bummed out doing the same exercise the same way time after time. She decided to switch it up and the dog's attitude is much better. I tried it and by going to the right post first, the left bump at 3 steps is eliminated. Now by the time we get to the left post, Cheddar is mentally into the exercise and, so far, no bumping. I'm going to mix it up more by doing a post 2 times in a row, throwing in some slow and fast times, doing BIG and small circles around posts, doing an an about-turn midway through the exercise, breaking the exercise off midway with alot of praise and throwing a toy, etc. I'm having trouble getting her to "down" quickly while I'm heeling. This is in preparation for the drop on recall. She goes down on the first command, but it is sssllooooowww. I do reward her with food when she is down, but she is not real food motivated, and in essence I'm rewarding her for the SLOW down. Happy heeling!