Friday, February 24, 2012

See Saw Puppy Training w Portia and Honey Bear

Michele and Honey Bear
My 2 working agility dogs were NOT introduced to the see saw in the following manner.  They did the low teeter for 6 weeks as our club teaches it, then it was gradually raised over several weeks.

However, still part of the Fat Tuesday experiment (previous post on Tunnel Relays) with training 10 year old Portia to train a puppy, seeing how long I could hold her interest, and seeing what I could get out of 5 lbs. of fearless Papillon from the first attempt, here's a composite video of what we accomplished over a 10 minute session.  I would not attempt this with a timid or overly rambunctious dog, but it worked out well for 4 month old Honey Bear (aka Winnie Pooch).

I do insist on a front entry as shown (with guide gates at first), a nose touch at the bottom to lower their center of gravity and get a solid "halt", and I require a release before they get off.  A side exit from the bottom is allowed, but only after the halt and release. 

As you can see, Honey Bear has no fear of the seesaw and ran right to the end on his first attempt.  This is not typical of most dogs I've seen in Intro.  He was, of course, running to get his Cheerio.  I am convinced that the placement of the treat at board level, creating a nose touch behavior within 2 inches of the end of the board, is why neither of my dogs have the fly off, get off, stop in the middle, refusal problems I see in so many other agility dogs.  Even with my experienced dogs, I still bend down and treat at the end of the board at least half the time in practice to keep their performance at its best.  Or, if I'm a good distance away, I click when they get to the end, then release them for a treat.

For more tips on see saw training with "around the clock" exercises, follow this link.

Upwards and onward!

1 comment:

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Elayne Taylor
Dog Behavior