Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back to obedience!

Last night was the second week in our obedience club's new home and the first time I got to work with Dax in class. I should rephrase that - I got to play with Dax in class. First week I never can, because I'm the club registrar and have to fuss with paperwork the whole time.
I'm still not used to how tentative Dax can be in new places - she's such a happy, sweet, social girl, I don't expect it. When I walk her around, let her sniff and get used to places, she's fine.
Dax's heeling isn't great - she's always a bit laggy and it's not her favorite thing. So I've changed our training regime. Since she absolutely adores agility, I'm adapting our obedience training to be as much fun, exciting and playful as agility. If I get two perfect heeling steps, we break off the exercise and celebrate! Next time we'll try for three.
I was so used to working with Roc (happily retired and now known as Mr. Spud), who absolutely adored obedience training, that I tried to train Dax using exercises that worked for Roc. Mistake! Every dog is different and requires different handling methods. Dax loves laughter and play. She has no "work" ethic - if it's not fun, she's not interested. It's my job to make obedience fun.
It's working. We had a great time in class. A change in attitude can make a big difference!
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GeeRome said...

I share your pain regarding the "lagging". My young boy can be really reeeeeeally slow if he wants to be. Now if only I could haul around a couple of jumps to obedience trials and set them up so that we literally "jump" our way into the ring, I think he might be better! haha

The good thing about these challenges ... they make you a better trainer and more prepared for the next challenge!

Keep up the good work.

Hope said...

What a good idea - a Practijump or two in our training bag! Dax would sure love that. A new exercise is born - jump/heeling! Love it, love it, love it!