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01 March 2008

Back at Agility

This morning I was able to take Brac to agility training for the first time since just before Christmas. You can imagine how excited he was when he got there. There was no training for a month over the Christmas period and then when it started up again it was cancelled for the first two weeks due to bad weather. Since then there have been a couple of training days cancelled because the organisers have been away and of those that were available either we were away or Brac had a cut paw. Next week there won't be any agility training as Crufts is on and most of the trainers and some of the trainees will be there.
Despite Brac not having been for so long he hadn't forgotten any of it and was far more 'on the ball' than me. I was still trying to fathom out my lefts from rights when he was half way around the course. I swear he is probably better off without me barking commands at him all the way around especially when half the time they are wrong and he ignores me anyway. I think I need to go round with Gaffa tape over my mouth :-)


Linda said...

Such a smart dog. I've never known how to train one, not that I even have one.

Sally T said...

It's not much different from training children. The only real difference is you must use exactly the same words every time and if you tell them to do it, once you know they understand, you must ensure they obey otherwise they will assume you don't mean it and will ignore you in the future. Sounds harsh but it's not really. For example, if you tell a dog 'down' (meaning lay down) you can't use that same command to tell that dog to stop jumping up at you. If you do, the dog must lay down. If he doesn't and you don't do anything to correct it you have taught the dog that 'down' doesn't mean down. Even though you used the wrong command you must follow it through because you can't say to the dog "I'm sorry I didn't mean it".
On the other hand, if you said "down" to a dog and you meant for him to lay down and all he did in response was to sit you need to put him gently into the down and then praise him. Otherwise the dog will think it is OK to sit on the down command if that's what he feels like at the time.
Always give plenty of praise or a treat when-ever they do things right. This is something you need to keep up throughout their life not just when they are learning.

Sally T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sally T said...

I speak to Brac all the time so he has an enormous vocabulary for a dog. This makes him real fun as a companion because I can give him simple commands like I am speaking to a small child and he will carry them out. For instance I can tell him to go to a certain room in the house and get something for me. Or instruct him to gather his toys and put them away. Sometimes he complains by grumbling which is really funny but he always does it because he knows he will get a reward. His toys all live in a crate but there are now too many for the crate so they tend to fall out if he is not careful when he puts them away. When this happens he picks it up again and puts it back but if it keeps falling out he starts to lose his temper with it which only makes things worse. Just like a child in so many ways.

Miriam said...

Go Brac go! It always amazes how they pick their training back up again after a down period!

A Margarita said...

Awww, he's cute and smart???? He's going to make some girl doggie very happy one day ;)

John Bryson said...

my dog looks exactly like your dog!

Sally T said...

Well, John, I can't just take your word for it. You'll have to post a photo :-)