These are the chronicles of two Shetland Sheepdogs and their adventures in rally-o, obedience, flyball, agility, tracking and therapy dog work.
Also including information on raw feeding, canine epilepsy, positive training, and lots and lots of Sheltie hair!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rally-O Practice

Wednesdays are currently set aside for Rally-O practice. A lady that I train with is offering semi-formal classes, and attendance is quite sporadic. Tonight, I was the only one that showed up. I actually quite prefer it that way, I get to work on whatever I want to without worrying about disrupting the rest of the class or being rude for ignoring the lesson. We set up an Advanced/Excellent course and each ran our dogs a couple of times.

The boys did great tonight. I took a few minutes to practice the broad jump as Gio really hasn't been introduced to it before and Romeo has a bad habit of cutting the corners or running up to the jump, jumping straight in the air, then racing back to me for a treat (of course, he doesn't get one for that). Apparently jumping over the jump just puts him too far away for easy access to treats. After a couple of go's, they were doing great. I'm working Romeo mostly for precise jumps through the middle of the broad jump, and firing out a good distance past the jump before turning around to come back to me. Hopefully that will help break his corner-jumping habit. With Gio, the damn bull-dozer, I'm just working on him actually recognizing that there is a jump there. He gets so excited for jumping that he often forgets to do it in the first place so will blow straight through it, scattering the boards everywhere or tripping and landing flat on his face.

After that, we put the broad jump in the course to see if any of the learning would transfer over. And it did! Both dogs too the jump properly on the first go round! YAY!

Romeo also had a bit of extra work on not being a nerd in the off-set figure eight. Romeo has a solid "leave it", so solid that if I dare say the words "leave it" he will not go within 10 feet of "it". Funny ... as I never even taught him that command. Must have been in his previous life. Making the off-set figure eight exercise quite difficult. Normally, I don't even tell him to "leave it" during that exercise, instead ask for a "watch me" and hope that if he is watching me he won't notice the food bowls. I accidentally told him to "leave it" in a trial once and he stopped outside of the pylons and waited for me to walk the figure eight by myself before joining up with me at the next sign. BRAT! So we took some extra time to work on heeling and "surviving" amid the food bowls. After a few rounds of "click/treat" for heeling and eye contact while between the food bowls, he finally caught on. We'll have to practice it some more, but I see some hope for him with that exercise!

After class, the boys got some free time to play with the other lady's dogs, a Border Collie and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Romeo has taken a shining to the Corgi, and Gio and the Border Collie make great barking buddies. Each pair is quite alike, really. Romeo and the Corgi do the play bounce n' chase thing, while Gio and the Border Collie don't actually want to play, but are just quite happy running in circles around the other two and barking.

1 comment:

Ruby said...

Hi Romeo & Geo

Thanks for welcomeing me to the Bone Zone. I see that you guys are Therapy Dogs with St. John Ambulance. Same here. Have a good weekend. I will be back.

Love Ruby

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