Willow's and Shadow's training log

Discussion in 'Your Training Logs' started by snowbunny, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,214
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    I'm really excited. I want to do as much of the groundwork as possible before we go, so that we get maximum bang for our buck :)
     
  2. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,884
    Ah, you'll have a fab time!
     
  3. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,214
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    I've done a couple of sessions setting up permanent blinds. Sadly, I've been told not to use the first place I was using, so I've had to start again at a different place. This evening was the first time that I did an actual blind at the location, and the distance was very short, but I took a video, so thought I'd post it anyway. I've been working on my lining up and it's nice to see that it looks pretty good on the video!

     
  4. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    6,227
    Brilliant! Lovely and straight too! :)
     
  5. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,884
    Very good girl! :)
     
  6. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,214
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    Thanks, it was a very easy one (the GoPro makes it look like it was miles away!) and she could see the dummy almost as soon as she started off, but that's what Pippa's article says to do, and I'm happy to follow it :)

    We've done quite a few marked retrieves to that rock, too, using it as a target for building the straight lines.

    It's so handy having a helper so I can distract the dog while he places the dummy, otherwise there's no way I'd be able to set up these blinds.
     
  7. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,884
    It was still lovely and fast and straight. :)
     
  8. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,214
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    And waggy, don't forget the wagginess :)
     
    drjs@5 and JulieT like this.
  9. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    6,227
    Well my understanding is that is it critical to set the dog up to succeed, as well as the importance of drills. I love the speed of Willow and her confidence. Benson is OK running out, but ambles on the return :)
     
  10. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,214
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    Definitely, and Willow is a dog that you absolutely have to do that with. She's super sensitive and if she doesn't have a really high rate of success, she disengages. She does love problem solving, though, and when she figures something out, she's a joy to see, so it's a fine line between challenging her and allowing her to succeed.
     
  11. Newbie Lab Owner

    Newbie Lab Owner Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Messages:
    1,487
    Location:
    UK
    Well done Willow :D
     
  12. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Messages:
    11,437
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    That was so straight and fast. Good girl Willow :) x
     
  13. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    11,440
    Perfect!! Well done Willow xx
     
  14. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,214
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    Still struggling to find suitable opportunities for training sessions, but I fitted one in yesterday evening. It's becoming hard work to get to the place we do most of our training, because it's down a steep hill and the snow is really soft come the evening time.

    There had been quite a lot of melt in the area, so I reduced the distance for Willow's first blind, but she still didn't run in a straight line - the patches of grass sticking through the snow seemed to make her arc around quite a bit, so I reduced the distance even further and had a bit more success. I suppose that's one of the issues with a permanent blind, if the dog comes to expect the dummy to be by the marker (a big rock in this case), then it knows that it will be there whether it takes the straight line or a more circuitous route. So, for now, the spot I've chosen may not be the best to use. It will hopefully be better again once all the snow has gone.

    When J turned up with Shadow, I advised him to start closer, too, and Shadow ran straight and true, with confidence. On the third one, I made the dummy a little harder to see and I noticed a tiny hesitation just before he spotted it. I guess this is probably quite useful, in that he needs to learn to keep going whether he can see something or not, and since the hesitation occurred immediately before he spotted the dummy, it might help strengthen his confidence that, even if he can't see it, the dummy is there?

    We then did some work on throwing the dummy over the dogs' heads, using the clock face technique. Willow is a superstar at this and I managed to throw the dummy three times directly over her head without her flickering. I'm still standing very close to her when I do this, and throwing the dummy farther behind, so the next step is to stretch the distance between her and me.

    When J did it with Shadow, he rushed through a bit, which isn't great for Shadow but useful so I could talk through stuff with J. Showing him how Shadow nearly broke his sit when he threw the dummy to 11 o'clock, and so he couldn't make it harder yet. He still rushed on too quickly and threw the dummy over his head and, as predicted, Shadow went for it. No matter, I got him to take a few steps back and set him up for success, plus increase his level of praise (he's a bit "flat" giving the treat, and you could see Shadow getting distracted - as soon as J became more animated with the rewarding, Shadow started working better), and we worked back up to the throw to 12 o'clock. Shadow struggles more with this than Willow does, because he has a strong chase instinct, but did very well and, after that first time, didn't break his sit. It's pretty hard work training a human to train a dog!

    Smaller things, I had some great fun playing chasey-tug with Willow, and working on the "give" cue with this. She's a lot more switched on to playing tug when it's just the two of us (J and S weren't with us at that point). Her delivery to hand is also getting far stronger. I also started with directional back-casting, using the edge of a path to ensure she turned the way I wanted, and a target stick behind her. We only did one direction, but I need to do more work on her remaining steady until I send her back - as soon as I raised my hand, she'd turn, when I want her to wait for either the visual or verbal cue. So, back to the beginning with that. It shouldn't take long, because she's nicely steady when lined up at heel and when I use direction at a distance, so it's just a case of proofing this for a different situation and preventing anticipation.
     
    bbrown and Stacia like this.
  15. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    11,440
    Anticipation is a pain in the proverbial with these smart dogs isn't it?!

    Riley really benefited from me doing 'fake' casts and then changing my mind. It was hard as I'd been rushing to get my cast in before he went rather than training what i really needed but it was worth it. It's tricky because it's quite a traditional thing to do by people who are prepared use a 'no' at the least to let the dog know they've made a mistake. I've had a short line on Riley just to catch him if he breaks. You can do the same with your back casts although harder to catch if they go wrong as the dogs at distance. Also if you're working on directions I would worry less about steadiness and just about what you're trying to train. Once you get multiple dummies out and the dogs not sure if they're going left, right or back they'll naturally wait for instruction a bit more.
     
  16. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,884
    Or the prospect of trying to pick all the dummies up at the same time blows their furry mind.....:rofl:
     
    bbrown likes this.
  17. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    15,214
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    This is Willow! We're OK with a wide angle, but she can't cope with the lure of a second one when the angles are closer at the moment. I'm contemplating using the pheasant dummies from The Working Dog Company, because she can't fit two of those in her mouth at once. Unlike regular dummies :rolleyes:
     
    bbrown likes this.
  18. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    11,440
    Wide angle is fine though :)

    Obi will do 180s at the moment so a dummy behind him and a dummy behind me or a 'left' and a 'right'. Occasionally along fence lines we can get a 90 degree in but in the open if I tighten it up too much he'll start shopping ;)
     
  19. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    11,440
    They still might wait to find out which one to pick up first!!!!! :cwl:
     
  20. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,884
    Only normal dogs do that.

    "Why would you need someone else to tell you which one to pick up first?" says Charlie. "Perfectly capable of deciding that for myself! "
     
    snowbunny and bbrown like this.

Share This Page