Thursday, January 22, 2009

Smackdown on the Long Down

The smackdown look. He does this sometimes now when another dog runs by.
If you're a faithful i-schutzhund blog reader, lol, you know that Kane and I are "this" close to being ready for the BH. Read more about what the BH entails on this fabulous site. By the way, BH is also called Traffic Steady Companion Dog Test.
A big part of the BH is the obedience routine, which I have no doubts that we will pass. During the obedience routing there is another handler and dog who are doing a long down at the side of the field. The handler walks their dog to a spot on the side, the dog sits when they halt, the leash is unsnapped after ok from the judge, the dog is told to lay down and the handler walks 30 paces forward away from the dog and remains standing with their back to the dog until the other dog has finished their routine. Being good, mom!

Kane's issue is dog aggression and wanting most of all to run for the other dog when it runs. We also have the possibility of the OTHER dog breaking and going for Kane, which would be just as awful. So, we've been giving Kane the smackdown on the long down. Love the headline. :-) This entails a long line being tied to a lightpost and then we do a controlled heel to where the clip on the line is, stop, attached the line, heel a few more steps. Then I unhook the leash (which is done in trial) and give the down command.
I then walk 20 paces or so away from him and stand with my side facing him so that I can still see.
He does, of course, still have the remote collar on.

This doesn't sound like fun, and it isn't. But I need him to be know that if he breaks from that long down, I will be VERY, VERY upset. The trick is to use the remote collar consistently and always in conjunction with a command. When he complies, he is always rewarded.

Interestingly he has done quite well the past few times, we've had 2 dogs that he's not used to (Thanks Nick and Sammy!) and also Nobi whom he does know. Nobi even likes to catch his ball or tug and run close to Kane during his "victory lap." Kane stayed down and I was very proud.Nobi catching a ball!

The idea is to continue this every time we have practice, and then continue some more with no line, but still the remote collar, and then without.

Wish us luck!


YD said...

Kane is a smart boy, I'm sure in no time he will learn it and be great at it.

JP said...

Cool stuff. Practice makes perfect, and I'm sure I don't need to tell you but be sure and do some runs w/out the safety line, exactly as Kane will be during the trial. GSDs notice those subtle differences.

I don't suppose you have any way of finding me a schutzhund club or contact in the middle Tennessee area, do you?

Mrs. JP said...

Kane is awesome! GSD's are great dogs. We have every confidence that you will do well. I can tell from just looking at Kane that he will make you proud. Keep us posted and take pictures when you go so we can see too.

Lena said...

YD: Kane says thank you. He IS smart, sometimes too smart. It takes a lot to keep up with him!

JP: Look at either of these links for clubs in TN.

I'd recommend that you call and ask to come by for a visit. Unfortunately many clubs are very political and not always friendly to "strangers." I hope you luck out and find a good one - keep me posted!

Mrs. JP: Thank you! Kane came unexpectedly into my life and he's brought me so much joy. I never imagined training a dog could be so much fun!

JP said...

Thanks for the info, Lena. I'll look into them and let you know how it goes.