Wednesday, August 4, 2010

#3 Practice with Sheryl - Touch Targets To Build Drive

This morning Sheryl arrived at 8 a.m. with Charlie, left at 1 p.m..  She invited me to a Joan Baez concert tomorrow night at the Riverside Centroplex to help her celebrate her birthday, and I accepted!  WOW!  What a wonderful treat!  I discovered we are about the same age -- I'm her elder by about 8 months!  I thought she was in her 40's.

We learned a neat trick buying the tickets thru TicketMasters 800#.  It's all automated, but if you want to speak to a person you keep saying "Other" to the questions until it finally asks if you want to speak to Customer Service.  The value of an intuitive being on the other end of the line can not be overstated!

Maxie running at Monroe Trial, OS,
TOUCH TARGET CONTAINERS: Today we reviewed the obstacle focus exercises we learned in Session #2 and had been practicing at home, then I demonstrated my own Touch Target exercises which I find so valuable in training Directional Handling, Sending, and Building Drive.  I gave her two little plastic "Glad Mini Round" 1/2 cup containers.  We poked holes in the lids and bottoms with a heated ice pick, cut a hot dog into tiny chunks and filled both containers, plus another bag for our pockets.  Then we went outside.  I put Maxie thru the paces in the chart below, even introducing a jump where the arrows are and having him make figure 8's before stopping for a treat.  He did great.  Then Charlie learned to do some of it.  We will both practice it this week.  I want to see how many more variations I can come up with.

Building Drive:
I used Touch Targets a lot to build up Maxie's speed. He used to be somewhat lethargic, but with this training he just couldn't wait to touch that target and come back for a treat.  His course times now are at least 20 seconds less than SCT (Standard Course Time). He's pretty fast.

With this skill firmly in hand, you can start throwing the container over a jump, release D over the jump to Touch, return to you for a treat. You can leave the container on the ground, send D back over jump to Touch and return to you for a treat. Repeat numerous times, from various angles.  This is especially useful for dogs who are not toy orientated, like Maxie.  It works about the same way. Begin throwing container further and further away, even way past the last weave, etc., as you send D over or through an obstacle.  D will run very fast to touch the target, so he can get that reward as quickly as possible.

Club Stuff:  Sheryl had some good ideas about growing the LCCOC club membership, attracting more students, developing more instructors, and  more competitors. We both agree the club doesn't make it easy to get involved.  She related her difficulties. We seem to be on the same page about all this, and discussed maybe getting some members together to brainstorm these issues.

Success With One Jump Lessons learned today:
These lessons were kind of confusing, and I can barely read Sheryl's notes.  OOPS!  Since it's raining out, I have time to go back and watch it again.


UP = go long, keep looking for what's ahead.
CHECK = after taking a jump, make a nice tight turn back to me by the shortest route.
BREAK = Over
Get the behavior first, then name it when you get it.

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