Sunday, April 17, 2011

First Match

Today, Marge and I attended an obedience match at our dog training club.  It was the first time we matched in obedience.

We did two runs; the second was loads better than the first.  Marge was sort of distracted on the first run.  I'm trying really hard to get her to understand that the reward is both hidden and delayed (as opposed to in my hand at all times - definitely one of my training flaws), and I think in focusing on that, I didn't help her enough.  I got my act together once I realized I needed to change my strategy.

Several people commented on how good our heeling is.  It didn't feel good.. though it was better on the second run.

So why don't I just run through the exercises and talk about how I did today with them?

Heel on Leash
- Overall, she was pretty good.  Distracted on the first run but seemed to get better as time went on.  Her halts were lacking tremendously, partially because her attention wasn't as great as it usually is.  She got a little laggy in some spots, but when I did my footwork correctly, things seemed to come together more.

Figure 8 on Leash
- Again, got better in our second run.  The first run, she was laggy and distracted around the outer ring.  This exercise is one of her strongest, so I was a little concerned about that.  However, she did better the second time around.  She also paid no mind to the fact that we actually had people as posts for a change.

Stand for Exam
- AWESOME.  She held it fine twice for a person she knows well and then held it with a waggy tail for someone she has never met before in her life.  Happily, this exercise is proving to be a HUGE non-issue as it stands right now.

Heel off Leash
- Like the heel on leash, this was patchy.. we really just need to work it more.

Recall over Jump (UKC Recall)
- This was hit and miss.  One time, she missed my verbal cue and stared at my cluelessly.  She had a couple of perfect ones and some not-so-straight ones.  She did NOT break from the front position prematurely, though, which was a big deal (she likes to take it into her own hands and finish before I let her know it is OK to do so).

- Held both the sit and the down, but she was very interested in the Flat Coat working in the other ring.   We did some really nice proofing, though, because the Open level dogs were doing their stays with the Novice dogs, so there were dogs moving around and people moving in to and out of the ring.  Marge didn't even bat an eye at that stuff!

We do need to do more work with Honoring (the UKC's version of the down-stay), but I'm pretty confident in Marge's ability to handle it.

I didn't get any video, but here she is working out in the field with me recently. (Ignore the fact that my hands are in all the wrong places!)

I think we've totally smash our obedience goals for the first half of this year. If things keep panning out this well, we'll be entered in our first UKC obedience trial on June 11th.


Lindsay April 17, 2011 at 1:31 PM  

Nice work! And I love the heeling video! She has such nice attention on you.L)

Stella April 17, 2011 at 1:35 PM  

Marge is simply wonderful, even when you don't think she does things wonderfully. Just my uneducated opinion!

Jo and Stella

Sara April 17, 2011 at 1:47 PM  

What a great job Marge did on her first try! Amazed about the stand for exam, that's wonderful Sam!

Sue April 17, 2011 at 2:13 PM  

Wow, you two continue to amaze me.

Chris and Ricky April 17, 2011 at 5:27 PM  

I think Marge's heeling and attention in the video are super! It is great that you did so well in her first ob match. Wish I would get brave enough to try with Ricky!

Diana April 17, 2011 at 6:15 PM  

Wow, you guys look great!

Kirby, CGC April 17, 2011 at 8:53 PM  

Congrats to you and Marge! Your heeling looks beautiful.

Kirby's mom

Kathy Mocharnuk April 18, 2011 at 12:03 AM  

wow, the heeling really looks nice, you guys continually amaze with how fast you both learn and all the things you can do!

KB April 20, 2011 at 8:26 AM  

Great job. You two are zooming forward.

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