Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spring is Sprung!

Spring made is AKC Novice Standard debut this weekend.  He earned two Novice Standard legs and two Novice JWW legs.  He earned his NAJ this weekend.  His confidence was definitely increasing and therefore his speed in JWW was increasing.  He nailed all of his weave poles.  On Saturday and Sunday he did his contacts well.  On Monday he bailed on the teeter which was the fourth obstacle.  I had him do the weaves right after it so we could end on a good note and left the ring.  He needs more work on contacts in different places and on different types so we will do that before we trial again.  I will only trial him in ASCA and NADAC where we can repeat the contacts.  It is too hard when he can bail and I can't put him back on so he doesn't get a chance to work through it.  The teeter at BOTC caught a lot of dogs by surprise so I am not surprised that he started to lose confidence on it.  I have been working him on my teeter at home and he is gaining his confidence back. 

Spring is interesting because he doesn't show signs of fear with the teeter.  He can jump on low ones anywhere and ride them down in all kinds of crazy positions.  I do think his vision issues cause him to become unsure - the base seems to be the latest to throw him off.  He doesn't know how or can't see the base well enough and maybe he doesn't know where the tip point is relative to the base.  You can see him stutter step before contacts sometimes and we believe he has a vision issue which causes this.  So I suspec he doesn't know how to interpret what he sees and how it relates to the location of the board and tip point.  More miles will help him sort it all out, I'm sure of it.

It is always something new with my dogs!  I know I learn more from having different dogs and I don't have "cookie cutter" dogs which is why I so firmly believe there is no one way to train a dog.  No matter what anyone says - there is really no one training method that will work for all dogs and all people.  This is why I like learning different methods and I'm willing to try different things.  The methods I use the most are the ones I've had the most success with and are the easiest for people to be able to use at home on their own.  I also like to use training methods with my own dogs first before training others.  It is best to experience how a method works before teaching others.  It helps to be able to work with a lot of different dogs to be able to try out different methods. 

Now to go out and learn more about dog training, conditioning and trialing...

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