Saturday, October 10, 2009

With me (and Rosy)

Great class on Friday. I asked for a private training session, so that I could work with some issues with Rosy. The main things were grooming (tolerating it), heeling and casual heeling, and ability to tolerate being handled.

Interesting thing about Rosy is that she prefers that people not handle her head. She also likes to look at what's happening around her. She's very attentive to sound, movement, etc. And yes, most dogs are, but she is particularly so, to a degree that is interesting to work with. She will actually turn her rear end to most people, and lean on their legs (just a little, not hard), so that they can rub or scratch her flanks.

So, since that doesn't go over big in the obedience ring (stand for examination) or in the conformation ring, we'll work on her allow that to happen when I ask her to. The heeling work is particularly important, as I really need her to walk nicely with me so that my back doesn't get yanked out of joint. She's very smart, and learned quickly what we wanted her to do. We'll work on it in the house, in the backyard (those squirrels tease her a lot, so this may be a challenge) , and then driveway, then side walk, and onward. Also did a little bit of obedience work on heeling. The casual heel command will be 'with me' which will let her know she doesn't have to look at me, etc. while we're walking. The heel command will be reserved for the more military style heeling used in the obedience competition ring. I'm very pleased with her progress already.

Also working on attention, which just means the dog looks at you & pays attention to what you're saying. Sound easy? Not for Rosy, who prefers to lean on me (which keeps track of me) and look elsewhere. She definitely wants to keep track of me, which is really fun. She's a good girl.

Had a great track today, and for the first time, I did it without much assistance. I looked back at the first corner to see if she really was indicating the corner & my friends said yes. Did as suggested (and as I had done several times before on tracks) and just called her to me when she started galloping, and held her for a moment to settle her down. Each time she refocused & showed me where the track was. Boy, she's fast! I need to practice my sprinting. Good day for tracking. I put down two tracks, and one went through treelines & the other was a road crossing plus a really difficult tree & plant area, that was a set of bulldozed ruts. When you walked in there, it looked like you were climbing a mountain, but it was actually very easy to go up the hill. Very nice working dogs made short work of them.