Saturday, 26 January 2013

Sit means , Sit

Just back from a 2 day workshop with Kim Collins in Prince Albert.  Since my last post talks about stays, I thought I would write about a revelation I had at the workshop regarding the stay.   To make it simple, sit means sit until released, down means down until released and stand means stand until released.  If the dog breaks, how can you convey to them what was wrong except to reinforce the position you left them in.  If you use stay or wait and the dog breaks how is the dog supposed to know what part they got wrong.


In both the CKC Draft Test and the Obedience trial I entered last year with Reese, we NQ’ed on the stays. I use the word wait on a recall and stay on an exercise in which I will return to release the dog.  I can see where although not confusing to me, it is not clear to the dog.  It is much simpler to reinforce each position.  So I have already started to do that with Reese and I see it makes things clear to her.  I’ve also just been using the position cue with no wait or stay with Nugget and having some success. 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Stay, I say!

Well 2013 is here and we have been doing a little training in January.  Of note is Reese’s Open Class every Thursday.  We are only into week 2 of 8 classes, but things are going good.  This week we practised our long downs in a new way I think is really good for Reese.  

The sits and downs have been our nemesis in both the Obedience Ring and the Draft Dog ring, so any help we can get is huge. I wasn’t sure I was up for out of sight stays, since we have had limited success with insight stays.   What we did 1st was a 1 minute sit stay.  We then returned to our dogs and released.  Then set them up for what when done would be a 3 minute down with some period where the handler was out of sight.  There were 8 handler/dog pairs, so our instructor had us leave our dogs and go to then end of the room, after a few seconds the first 3 handlers left the room, walked out of sight, counted to 10 and returned.  Then the next 3 left the room, when they returned, the last 2 went and returned.  Once the last group returned, we all returned to our dogs. 

This was great for Reese, the handlers leaving intermittently was enough of a distraction for her to not get stressed about her stay.  She did shift her feet in position when I left, but did stay in place, which I will take as success.  Always...more to come.