**** Before I get carried away - I think it is just awesome to see new trainers in here and I love reading how well you guys are doing! I read something fairly depressing on facebook yesterday - somebody was making grim prognostications about obedience trials. As long as there are people jumping into novice a and really ENJOYING training their dogs how to do extraordinary things. Keep it up guys!
Yesterday I (drumroll) read
the class handout finally for the articles training. You can tell why I'm reliant on having classes nearby and why I glazed over a few years ago with the first official novice class with Jacks and the teacher gave everyone a list of books that she wanted us to read in addition to the classes. <- I'm definitely a reader, but dog training kinda is something I like watching vs reading about. >.<
The method is based on 7 weeks of training. <- Not necessarily 7 weeks in real time, just how the steps are broken up.
Last week I was caught off guard when the instructor asked us how far we got. And other people said they were on week 2 or week 3. I (dummy) assumed these weeks were real time and I focused only on week 1 (scented metal article around the clock, adding article each time).
Stressed when I saw that in the method itself, the first article down needs to be only scented, not baited. <- I must have missed that. o_O Fortunately I've been doing that anyway, but (away) from the mat and in a more formal retrieve way vs "find it". Doh.
And stressed a little when I see exactly where I skipped ahead. Per the notes, I should not be backing off and controlling the retrieve from behind the dog until we are at week 6. After we've weaned off the bait. o_O My teacher mentioned in class that skipping ahead is fine, but we might discover holes later on or things might fall apart later.
Until we get to that point (week 6), I'm supposed to be rushing up, grabbing the collar, and reinforcing the find by praising the find, letting him lick off the bait, and calling/popping him back to the start point. Should he pick up the wrong article, then I would be correcting at that point and physically guiding him to the correct article to reinforce.
Before I read above notes and panicked about my doing this wrong, I played a little game with Jacks after training Berts and after formally training articles (through week 2) much earlier. I still had the mat out and noticed that Jacks still wanted to train. So I took 3 articles - one scented metal and 1 unscented leather and 1 unscented metal. I used absolutely no bait, only scented the metal article until my hands hurt. >.< I alternated putting the scented metal on the outside where he'd easily find it and then putting it towards the middle or behind the unscented dummy articles. He found the correct metal article each time - we did this only 3 times and then I quit.