Register    Login    Forum    Search    FAQ

Board index » Lacys In Action » Training




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Agility: Getting Started
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:45 pm 
Offline
NLDA Lifetime Member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:02 pm
Posts: 385
Cannon and I attended our first class at "Top Notch Canines" last night, and, well, at least the instructor didn't throw us out. #:-s

We had done all the prep homework: some introductory clicker work with a cardboard box, and I used the clicker to get him re-accustomed to going into a crate and staying there until I released him. So I had nice neat little checkmarks by each of the items on the list we'd been given. All the supplies? Check. Good snacks? Check. Introduced to the clicker? Double Check! Okay! Let's go!

Ann: Did you take him for a walk?
Jim: Ahhh... no. I figured I'd want his energy up for the class.
Ann: Don't you want to get of all that.. you know.. his heeber jeebers out?
Jim: well... er... he is kinda of wound up, but too late for that now
Ann:
[-x

Have I ever mentioned I married Ann because she is, well, a whole lot wiser than I am?

Wound up doesn't begin to describe how Cannon was in a class with 7 brand new other dogs, not to mention several others off running around on a course filled with great toys waiting to be sniffed, and (any chance he got) MARKED! :- And being in a crate is one thing, but being in a crate when other dogs aren't? No way?

Instructor: "So we have a barker..."
Jim: "Ahh, no. He's just whining a little. You'll know when he barks." ^#(^


The good news is that he was a very focused dog. The bad news is that he was focused on the other dogs, not on me and the lessons!

So we were sent to the corner. :ymblushing: Actually just off a bit from the other dogs so that I wouldn't be dragged in circles, so the other dogs wouldn't be terrorized, and so that he might actually think about why we were there. And he did.. sorta. We were waiting for them to sit, then clicking and treating. He would sit, and sometimes even accept the treat, so long as I didn't block his view of the other dogs while giving it to him. He was afriad he'd miss something in the nano-second it takes him to inhale a treat.

Jim: "He isn't usually around this many dogs at once. Just the neighbors boxer."
Instructor: "Well, after a few classes, he'll get used to it."

I'm sure she's right... :^o

_________________
Jim Browning
and Cannon


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:32 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:04 pm
Posts: 1677
Location: Burnet County
Jim I am sure he will adjust.. ;)

I absolutely love the way you tell a story :))
Hang in there!!

~Mis

_________________
M.D.Brooks Founding Member & Breeders Committee Chair
Bayed Blue...Bayed True...That's A Lacy Dog
If You can't keep up with the Lacy Dog...stay on the porch!
http://www.nationallacydog.org/index.html
http://www.lacyhuntingdogs.bravehost.com


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:06 pm 
Offline
NLDA Lifetime Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:27 am
Posts: 2456
Location: SoCal
:)) #-o :)) Oh my... I feel your pain, I promise, but I'm dying with laughter. Oh the wondrous life of a Lacy owner!

My first day of class, we went around in a circle and introduced ourselves, and I think my little spiel went something along the lines of... "This is Sadie. She's a Lacy. Yes, that's the State Dog of Texas. She hunts wild boar on the weekends. She is doing much better, but she does have some aggression issues, so she really needs her space. Lots of space. And don't make eye contact with her. And please don't let your dog make eye contact with her. And if anything does happen, just freeze and let me deal with it. We're really excited to be here!" The entire class avoided us like the plague, which is exactly what I wanted. Our classmates are much more relaxed around her today, but every so often she snaps at something to keep everyone on their toes, so we still get our space 8-|

Whether they are a barker or a biter or just full of Lacy attitude and energy, group classes aren't easy. Lacys are on a totally different level than the other dogs. Eventually, that will serve you well in agility, but it can be a rough road in the beginning. Just stick with it, practice as much as possible and don't be afraid to look like an ass ;;)

As for useful suggestions... the "watch me" command needs to be your new best friend. I do it a lot in Sadie so she doesn't get into evil stare mode and jump other dogs. I also use it to get her focused before our runs so she doesn't take off like a rogue rocket. I think it could help anyone doing agility with a Lacy. The trick is to practice a ton in lots of situations with awesome treats to get it usefully ingrained.

I've heard a couple different ways to train it, but this is what we did. In the beginning, I lured her eye contact. I took an awesome treat, made her sit, showed her I had it and then pulled it up next to my eyes. She would bore holes in my skull starting at that thing. I started saying "watch me" when the treat got close to my face and "yes" as soon as she focused on my eyes. Since you have a clicker, you can click instead of a "yes" to mark the behavior. Work on holding it for an extended period of time by getting in multiple clicks/verbal markers. When we are practicing, I might mark it up to four times and only treat if she really stays focused. And not watching is not an option. We won't start the run or keep walking or whatever until she watches. I will go as far as physically moving her head to insist she follows through every time.

Once he gets the concept, start practicing everywhere. Go stand next to the Boxer's fence with the best treats ever. Then in more public places or standing next to a juicy steak or whatever you think will distract him. In tempting situations, I usually get Sadie's attention first, then command, then enforce, then treat. So: "Yo, Sadie." (She looks over, if not, I call her nasty names or snap my fingers or whatever.) "Watch me." (She stares me down.) "Yes!" (She stares harder, you can literally see her eyes get bigger.) Treat or excessive praise. Without this command, I'd be seriously screwed.

And definitely follow your wife's suggestion. After our first few lessons, Sadie realized agility meant running around and being crazy, and she would go nuts. So my instructor suggested we take very long walks before class. Now that she understands the concept a little better and we do agility twice a week, they aren't as important, but even after a hard weekend of hunting she is never too tired for agility!

_________________
"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:22 pm
Posts: 315
Location: Arizona
Jim, nice story, i was laughing the whole time..... Well I sold a pup today and I met the people at petco in flagstaff az about 90 miles from here. I seen everyone walking around with their dogs so I got the idea "let see how Sage will do in there" :-? well he was ok till he seen the picture of a cat X_X then another person walked in with a dog, we had to exit stage left..... :)) I dont make it a habit of socializing my dogs and it sure did show....lol bad Chad

_________________
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.--Unknown


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:34 pm 
Offline
NLDA Lifetime Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:46 pm
Posts: 4640
Too funny!!! Can't wait for the next installment!! And I would just love to see him dragging you around in circles!!

Betty

_________________
Betty

"You did then what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did
better."
Maya Angelou

"You have enemies? Good, that means you stood up for something in your life!"
Winston Churchill

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bjleek/


Top 
 Profile  
 
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:20 am
Posts: 1186
Location: San Antonio
Jim: you really should listend to your wife!!!!!

_________________
Alex & Shannon


Top 
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

Board index » Lacys In Action » Training


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron