2-minute dog trainer – establishing and reaching goals

I’ve been recording Tempest’s runs. I’ve recorded 5 of them.

On the first day I established a few goals for the rest of our lives. <g>

Triggering Event — second and third run of the day, novice Fast and novice standard, Tempest did a “fly-by” on the dogwalk once, and the teeter twice.

Goal — put pressure on his path on the approach to the dogwalk and teeter, point directly at it, say my verbal cue clearly and loudly.

Achievement — Tempest’s standard run today started  1)tunnel,  2) dogwalk.  I pushed into his path, pointed at the dogwalk, and put authority in my verbal cue. He shot straight up the dogwalk without hesitation.  He also went ahead of me to the teeter, though he lost his 2-on-2-off at the last second.

Triggering Event — Tempest had a good start-line stay and a good down/stay on the pause table, and I want that to continue.

Goal — continue asking for and rewarding calm obedience-for-agility. Put a pause table protocol into our meal-time schedule.

Achievement — Tempest held his start-line stays today, but got to the table ahead of me and — in his excitement and stimulation, refused to lie down.  The judge finished counting, said “go!” and still I waited for my down.  Didn’t get it. Turned and walked away from him. Called him over the last 2 jumps and left the ring. This MUST become a major training objective for Tempest. His excitement cannot override a down command.

So many lovely things happened today that I cannot dwell on the pause-table-down for long.

We had a JWW course that began with 3 jumps in a straight line followed by 6 weaves — all lined up nicely along a side of the ring.

YIKES!  I consulted with Bud — “should I lead out to the weaves and let him manage the jumps on his own while I focus on the weave entry?  Or just plan on having to restart the weaves?”  Bud said, “take a small lead-out and then tell him to WEAVE!

I led out past jump 2, released Tempest, he dropped bar 2 so GAME ON!  I shouted Weave! and he nailed those suckers.  I then sent him into a big pinwheel where I really wanted him to manage the pinwheel while I set up for a landing side cross.  When I realized no Q was in the offing, I threw caution to the wind and drove in for the cross. It wasn’t pretty, but we managed to switch sides.

In standard he was running beautifully until I tried to draw him in before the weaves. My “close” cue was ill-timed, way early, and forced him to drop bars on the double before the weavepoles. So much about the run felt smooth and connected that the off-courses and dropped bars didn’t phase me.

We’re on this fabulous journey, and all I can hope is that Tempest stays healthy and happy, and that we continue enjoying this great sport.

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One Response to “2-minute dog trainer – establishing and reaching goals”

  1. Erica Says:

    You’re going to have a tough time finding a teapot large enough to keep that Tempest in! That’s a boy that is going to really love The Game once it truly clicks and he’s well on the way to that awareness judging by this weekend’s outing. Thank heavens you’ve laid down such a great foundation for calm and sanity. It was a joy to watch both the Country Dream pups and I look forward to seeing the lightbulb moments happen for T. Kory is already running so much more maturely, clearly well on his path.

    Isn’t it amazing what just two minutes can lead to? Wonder if I should consider training my boys?
    Erica, Tressel and the Double-Jointed Circus Freak

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