Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Mock BH - We passed!

It wasn't extremely pretty - but we passed! (insert happy dance here)

The BH is a temperament test that is rated either pass or fail. First you go through a pattern obedience session, on and off leash, and you need to accumulate a certain % of points to be allowed to continue and take the traffic part of the test.
Here's a summary of what went well, and what did not go so well:

Good Things:
  • Kane did not break the long down while Nobi and Julie were doing their routine. I so badly wanted to turn around and look at him, but he was fine. Sean said he flinched a little when Julie did the recall with Nobi, but he stayed put.
  • We did not mess up any of the pattern - we did the correct turns at the right time and the correct number of steps for each section.
  • Did I mention that Kane did not break the long down?
  • Kane also did not break the long down.
  • I was extremely happy to see that Kane did not break the long down.

Checking in - I already lost his attention...

The not so good things:
  • Nerves. I have them.
  • The judge asked for a microchip scanner, which of course I did not bring (it IS the handler's responsibility). He told me that this is needed for a real trial, just so that I know, but it made me (more) nervous nonetheless.
  • In turn, my nervousness transferred to Kane and he sniffed the starting point flag (rookie mistake on my part - set up at least 2 feet from the flag!)
  • During the entire first leg of the pattern (50 steps straight heeling) Kane was next to me, but NOT heeling (see picture below). He was looking around for the bad guys that were making me nervous.

Oups, that's not exactly heeling.

Oh, we're heeling? Hey, I know how to do that!!!

Forged heeling.
  • The heeling was extremely forged at times, and even more so when Kane was off-leash. Proper heeling means his front shoulder is aligned with my hip. He's about two steps ahead of me in the picture above.

Group Heeling Exercise.

  • During the group heeling exercise, I did not pay attention to who was in the group and I stopped next to a tall, new man (bad move). Kane leaned over to sniff his pants (obviously "breaking" the heel eye-contact). I made a correction which is so NOT allowed. It's better to do a second command.
Kane (left) being good while Nobi (right)
does the down out of motion exercise. Good Boys!

The recall was nice. Actually it was perfect. :-)

I don't have any pics of the traffic portion because my photographer had to ride the bicycle around us. :-) Kane paid no attention to car, biker or the jogger. Then the judge had me bring him in under the carport (our shade) where there were lots of people, chairs and noise. He had me put Kane in a sit next to a group of people, shake hands with them and talk with them. Then I put Kane in a down position and walked away outside of the carport. They talked for a few more minutes and then the judge said to call my dog. I did, and my little boy took the shortest route to get to me, which involved a huge leap over the chairs, and almost over my mom who was sitting in one of the chairs. It was awesome!

Now I have a great big list of things to work on in obedience, especially correct heel position, my nerves, on and off leash obedience and distractions. We've already started.

I'm thinking about doing the real BH on July 18-19 when there is a trial down at Myrtle Beach, but we'll see. We are dog-sitting for another GSD, Sebastian, that weekend, and I'm not sure if that will bring too much stress in addition to the travel etc.


Woodrow, Sweetie, MJ Campanella said...

Congrats - what a wonderful feeling it must be -

woodrow, and all his letters Ch., CGC, TD, TT, RN, RA etc.

Anonymous said...

That's a very nice looking dog yo have. I live in Hickory and would like to get some more information about your club. I'm trying to decide on a club (between Wayne Simanovich's, the one in Lenoir, and yours). Could you tell me where it is located, how many are in it, when the club meets, and the cost? If you'd prefer to email me it's d_sigmon at charter.net. Thank you.

YD said...

Kane: Good boy, keep trying and do your very best. We are very proud of you!

Lena: Go for it in July. What do you have to lose? Practice makes perfect and you learn from your mistakes.

JP said...

Congratulations to you both! He's a great looking dog and I love to see pictures of him.

For what it's worth, from my experience, dogs like routine, and they don't deliver their best behavior when something upsets that routine. But then again, a big part of this training is introducing surprise elements and expecting your dog to still deliver a stellar performance, so I'm no help at all...

Mrs. JP said...

Good for you and Kane. Did you mention whether Kane did well on the long down? He's such a good boy and handsome too. That was a tough test in the crowd and then when you left he stayed - wow! Very Cool.

Allison (Dog Mom) said...

Wow--congratulations on your passing grade!!

Now you have specific things you can work on.

Way to go, Kane!
Gus and Waldo