Jackie's training journal

Discussion in 'Your Training Logs' started by SevandJack, May 8, 2016.

  1. Xena Dog Princess

    Xena Dog Princess Registered Users

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    Ah that's unfortunate!

    But Sev, those labs are the 1%! One of the instructors at my club said to me "Xena's very calm for a lab" Xena...the dog which was losing its mind with excitement over THE PEOPLE and THE DOGS and who I was really struggling to keep focus on me...that was considered calm? Our dogs are not in the minority, just keep telling yourself that.
     
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  2. SevandJack

    SevandJack Registered Users

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    Thanks, I appreciate it. Not really feeling that great about it all, but I really appreciate it, and I will keep it in mind.
     
  3. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    How did you get him to do it in the house? The very first steps? You need to go right back to basics with him when you change environment, especially to somewhere so distracting. So rewards for just looking at the dummy, then for putting his nose on it, then for holding it in his mouth, then add distance and movement... make the rewards really good and the enthusiasm will transfer to the retrieve itself, given time. Clicker training would be really good for this. For the first steps, it may be worth keeping him on lead, so he can't wander off and find entertainment elsewhere.
     
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  4. SevandJack

    SevandJack Registered Users

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    That's exactly how I got him to do it around the house and yard, then suddenly he seemed to find it hilarious all on it's own and started playing with it like it was a ball, so I stupidly thought it might transfer out of the house. I admit, I also feel a bit awkward about clicker training at BASIS 2, as that isn't the methodology that the trainers use.
     
  5. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    So don't do it there :)
    Do it when you're out by yourselves, in the park, in the streets, anywhere. The more places you do it, the more he'll be able to generalise it to other places.
     
  6. SevandJack

    SevandJack Registered Users

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    BASIS 2, day 4.

    Last week was cancelled, so it's been two weeks again.

    Things went reasonably. I've recently been put on medical leave for stress and anxiety, and wasn't sure I could haandle training yesterday. I was so stressed out that I nearly started crying while waiting for training to start, though I managed to keep in the waterworks. Jackie met a sweet Rottweiler bitch on the airing field, who's owner wanted them to meet. The dogs practically fell in love after a couple of play bows and kept an eye on each other all training. Jackie had a hard time concentrating at first, but for once he wasn't the least focused dog on the field. The most focussed title goes to that magic black lab that must surely be an angel, while the leadt focused was the pretty bridle corgi. Once I managed to get Jackie to focus on me, he went through the exercises very well. One of the trainers suggested I get a small squeaky toy to keep in my pocket and squeak it when he isn't focused on me.
    We did focus exercises, the usual sit-stay, down, leave it, heel, recal, and started seek.
     
  7. SevandJack

    SevandJack Registered Users

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    BASIS 2, day 5.

    Things went well today. We did the usual exercises, as well as recall with distractions, which went really well. Jackie came straight to me, right between two of the other dogs. There was also a 'brain teaser' puzzle box that he had no trouble with at all. Another exercise was a leave it while I was laying out some toys, then putting them away again, all while Jackie wasn't allowed to touch or sniff them. It went really well, only one of the toys was almost irresistible, though he didn't pick it up. Couldn't stop him from sniffing it.
    He also had some fun with the rottweiler again, and 'fell in love' with a large golden retriever, who he REALLY wanted to play with. It was sweet.
     
  8. SevandJack

    SevandJack Registered Users

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    Wrote to the trainer to ask about the next step for training, given that next week is the last of BASIS 2. The original plan was that Jackie and I would go on to Hunt 1 training, but I wasn't sure that we were ready for that, and I was right. Still, my pride stung just a bit when the trainer categorically stated that Jackie wasn't ready for Hunt 1 then sShe suggested I start on the "Special Problem" course, for problem dogs.
    I mean, I KNOW I can't be the only person who heard that their dogs weren't ready for Hunt 1 on BASIS 2, given that several others that had planned to continue to Hunt 1 have made less progress than Jackie and me, but I'm still a bit frustrated. The age limit is minimum 6 months old, so they must not all be perfect puppies when they start.
    I just don't know, maybe I'll find a different club and do some more obedience training instead, given that I can't see how Jackie is a problem dog. He isn't aggressive to anyone nor does he ignore me, he's just overly energetic. He does almost everything I ask of him, so I just don't know why she'd suggest that course. Problem dog? What?
     
  9. JulieT

    JulieT Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Can you get more feedback about what you have to work on?

    I do understand your frustration - my older dog, Charlie, is pretty much a perfect pet (apart from his football addiction, but hey, no-one is perfect :D ) but he falls way, way short of the standards of dogs that have been built up to work. Compared to the dogs around him, day to day, he looks good. But up against dogs that are really well trained, he looks like a total hooligan. So it might be a mis-match of your daily experience vs the requirements? There isn't much wrong with that, although it can be a shock for pet owners (like me) to realise how high the required standards are.....
     
  10. SevandJack

    SevandJack Registered Users

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    That's the thing, tho, according to their website, all the prereqs for Hunt 1 are BASIS 1 and 2 or the equivalent, and that's all. If you can prove you have taken two basic starter courses, you can sign up without ever even meeting the trainer. There is no other description of beginning standards, and the description of the course says that they work mostly on getting the obedience right.
    Strange as it may sound if you've read my training journal, Jackie and I are the third best team on the course, behind a seasoned trainer/lab team and my sister and her dog. If everyone is falling below the standards for continuing on after their own BASIS courses, maybe they should set up a third BASIS course or up the training standard on the BASIS courses? Or even just a description of what your dog needs to be able to do, rather than just needing the BASIS courses for admittance?
    I mean, I know this is wounded pride talking, but I still feel quite frustrated.
     
  11. Xena Dog Princess

    Xena Dog Princess Registered Users

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    At a guess, it sounds like Jackie could technically do the Hunt course (he passed the Basis courses) but because he's too excited there'd just be no point in the Hunt course until he's a little older and more sensible? I don't understand the "problem dogs" suggestion though. From my very limited experience of Xena and this forum, it sounds like you've got a standard, excitable young lab. I'd keep on with general obedience training and eventually you'll get to the stage where he's ready for the Hunt course. Try not to take the trainer's feedback personally. I want to go down the Flygility route with Xena but that's a distant...very, VERY distant goal lol.
     
  12. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    I can tell how frustrated you are, and I don't have any experience of the courses you're talking about, but I can probably liken it to ski instructor courses. There are four levels in my association, ranging from newbie instructor to God. Each one is exponentially harder. The prerequisite to do one course is that you have been successful at the level before. That's it. But, in reality (except for the most gifted people), if you went from your Level 2 straight to your Level 3, you'd be way out of your depth. You would be frustrated and miserable, and the other people on the course would be held back because you weren't ready to do the things they were. So, just because that's the only prerequisite, it doesn't mean that having ticked that box means you're ready to start the next grade. Being told you're not ready to go to the next level course isn't because you're a failure in any way; it just means you need time. You're expected to go away and practice by yourself, and under the guidance of other, more highly qualified instructors, until you have consolidated your skills.

    I can imagine it's the same thing here, especially with an excitable dog. Maybe he can technically do the things that have been asked of him on the BASIS 2 course, but he needs time to learn some self control. Maybe that's what the "problem" course is for (although maybe awkwardly named). The book Control Unleashed is about a program for reactive ("problem") dogs, but the same methods can be used incredibly successfully for over-excitable dogs, too, to teach them how to be calmer in exciting environments.

    So it could be that other dogs aren't as good as you guys on the BASIS stuff, but are OK to progress to Hunt, because their dogs are calmer (read: boring). Whereas maybe Jackie would be frustrated and/or disruptive through his excitement?

    I'm obviously just guessing, here, but that would be my first thought.
     
  13. JulieT

    JulieT Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I think you should go back to the instructor, explain you find it confusing, and just ask why the trainer has suggested the class he has - then when you have an explanation, you can decide whether you think that's fair, or you disagree. It's very difficult without clear feedback about what you have to do.
     
  14. SevandJack

    SevandJack Registered Users

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    Last day of BASIS 2.

    The usual trainer wasn't there, so we had the trainer-in-training and the assistant trainer.

    Jackie had been almost unnaturally calm all day, and I, the fool, had high hopes for training. As soon as we reached the training field it was as if Jackie decided to release ALL the pent up energy he'd saved that day.
    For the first time in ages, we didn't get through all the exercises. I kept having to kneel and calm him down to get his attention, but even with a fistful of sausage I had trouble maintaining it for more than a few seconds at a time. Naturally it took us much longer to get through the training, and we ran out of time before we finished. We did manage slightly better than most of the others at a recall over a field of treats, as all I had to do was start to walk away and Jackie hurried after me. I was amazed that he didn't try to run off to join the large group that was doing scent trials.

    We're going to take a bit of a break from organized training for winter, then shop around for a good obedience course. My sister suggested that we start at training at the kennel club, because you get a mug for each completed course. I don't know, I'm going to do a bunch of research and hope for a good class somewhere.
     
  15. SevandJack

    SevandJack Registered Users

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    Right, so shopping around for a trainer is really frustrating. No one appears to be doing the national kennel club obedience training.
     

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