Friday, May 22, 2009

4 blinds!

Woo-hoo, we're running 4 blinds!

Well, technically I'm not, Kane is. :-) I'm so excited!

Now that he runs four blinds with a heel and sit in between each, we have started alternating with no heel and sit, just a direct send to the next blind between 1 and 2, then a heel sit between 2 and 3, and a heel sit between 3 and 4. So far so good.

We have finally also formed a REAL Schutzhund USA club: Piedmont Schutzhund Club. We have our affiliation trial on Saturday June 6 and we hope to have a real trial in November, maybe.
The affiliation trial is a mock trial, so Kane and I have entered for the BH which will be a practice run before the real thing. I'm getting a bit nervous, I think. The BH is obedience and "temperament" testing only making sure Kane is not nervous around other dogs, people, cars and bicycles.

I still have to learn the pattern for the obedience - guess what I'll be doing this weekend????!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Still working on the blind search

Let's start at the beginning. At practice on May 3, we tracked a 80-30-80 track with 2 corners, food in every 5 steps and 5 step corners. This time I had brought a rock to drop at my first corner. I noticed that as I get nervous about not knowing where my corner is, Kane feels it and gets flustered by me and so he messes up. I absolutely have to get better at reading my track. Luckily Sean is an expert at tracking wildlife, so teaching me how to see my own stomping shouldn't be a problem. :-)

So....with me knowing where the corner was....Kane did an excellent job. He vacuumed through the corners like he was on a rail, and only once did he go slightly off track but found it with no encouragement from me. I'm so happy.
Obedience was good as well. We showed Richard how far we've come with calm holding of the dumbell in front and he said it looked nice. It's aggravatingly slow though, but I'm determined to stick with it. It's one of the exercises he doesn't exactly enjoy.

In protection we're continuing with blind search as an obedience exercise. My friend Julie has been gonig out on the field with me to help coach me. It's working great since I'm so into what I'm doing that I don't notice the little things. Today we worked Kane a little harder than we had before, because now we're seeing that he's in this for himself and not doing it because I ask him to. It needs to be a mix of the two, but he needs to do what I ask him to.
When he goes into the blind, I call "Kane, come" and immediately after "heel" and I'm standing still with my back towards him. If he goes past me, he gets a correction and continuous command until he is in heel position. As soon as his butt touches the ground I point and say "revere."
I also stopped grabbing the leash as Richard pointed out it may increase his drive with the little tugs he gets. It's better to use it when I really need to.
In the end, I think he caught on to the message, so now we have to continue to enforce it and we should be good. Thanks for the help Julie! And thanks Richard for being patient with me and Kane!