Spent my 'Me' time this morning watching a Petra Ford webinar on Command Discrimination (rest day from working out) issues and some of the games she uses to help her dogs. Her dogs have different temperaments and she was able to show different games for different underlying temperaments.
I think Wren might be old enough to start working on some of these games..well actually I have begun pieces like leaving her on a stay and walking forward and then walking back to reward in place, throwing a toy or treat behind her as I release but Petra will also release forward, I think I'll add that into the mix as well as her training her dogs to use her left hand as a focal point when she is walking away... this too will apply to all of my dogs.
So much to train but all these pieces will hopefully let me further learn to 'split' and not to 'lump'
I have watched several of the Obedience Road first videos and while I will need to modify, there are pointers that I either forgot or never knew so all is good so far.
Tonight Wren graduated her class. The instructor, and owner of the training facility, asked how old Wren was and I said 20 weeks and joked that she was almost old enough to be in the class This class was for pups over 5 months old.
But, what to do next? I asked if she should take the class again and Marty said probably not since Wren has some 'mad' skills and she should advance up to the more formal classes.
Problem being, I have not nailed down her tuck sit yet so I don't want to start heeling work yet .... if I let her start formal sits she may well get into the habit of rocking back. Plus quite honestly, I don't much like training heeling before my dogs are close to full height and their head position will remain fairly constant.
So now I am looking for a puppy style agility class so that she can continue to learn and grow around other dogs and also thinking perhaps Rally leaving out sits for awhile -- would that even make sense?
Her graduation trick was pretty awesome I thought -- a spin -> a circle -> a through the legs and a sit into heel position. She was so proud of herself and enjoyed the applause for sure We had the option of doing a trick or not and I have been working on these moves since they will most likely morph into part of her ring-prep routine.
Last night we had wicked T'storms that had Aedan huddled on my bed shaking and somehow Brady seems to have injured his dew claws. Finch had an exciting day yesterday so....
Although she is too young really, the instructor knows me well enough to know I will not stress Wren's growing body but I do want her working around other dogs as well as learning how to use her body.....
Today, on a humid & drizzly day, on wet equipment & ground, lil Miss Wren had her first core class where there is an obstacle course set up of things that wobble, shake, are made to climb up, climb down, work on core by pivoting/wobbling, jump from a stand still, rear end awareness, front end awareness etc. At different points Wren spotted a full height A Frame (not part of the course) that she wanted to explore since she loves the one in our backyard and also a Dogwalk -- she has never to my knowledge seen a full sized dogwalk - standing close by, I let her climb the ramp and took her off when she reached the radio perched on top - I may set up my dogwalk (lowered) for her to explore in the yard. There were probably 8-10 other dogs in the class and Wren really didn't show an inclinantion to interact with any of them although a few showed interest in her ... of course I had freeze dried SALMON treats -- I think she likes them LOL
Late posting this -- here is Ms Wren doing a sit stay at one of my training clubs - I was about 30 feet away and while she had the distraction of Brady, Aedan & mama Finch in crates by the wall, I have not yet included her in a sit-stay lineup with my dogs or other dogs yet.
She is definitely at the stage where her body parts -- well -- are figuring out how to fit together and she has lost enough teeth that her tongue doesn't quite know where to go LOL
My training process builds on success and allowing choices rather than encouraging failures/correction, so it will probably be several more weeks before at least one of dog joins her in the stay lineup. Her sit is getting better but as she grows I will be working more on rear end awareness and hopefully get those back legs fully tucked in -- she is almost as tall as her mama (who I just measured at the request of the breeder and she has hit 21.5 inches so she can be entered in the CCA if her coat recovers from puppies + spay in time). Towhee's/Finch's line grows quickly in puppyhood until 5-6 months but can then take awhile to reach full height -- we didn't think Finch would make minimum height but she did I don't think Wren will have an issue reaching height
Wren also now meets the requirements to join in Sat drop-in Rally classes (other than still being a bit young) so I may start her up as the instructor is aware of the work I am putting in to teach her a full tuck sit and will work with me ... I also need to wait until the weather cools as the classes are 10, 11:15 and 12:30 (Utility/Open, Open/Novice, Rally all levels) so the dogs have to be crated in the cars while it's not their turn. I also have the option of Thu night classes where that instructor is full-on my training methods; difference is Sat instructor works on individual stations in cubicles and then course work, Thu night instructor works on Course work (2 sets with 1 master) while the other dogs hang around although all classes start with pot work; Thu class has a few reactive dogs however, and I am unsure if I want Wren around them -- she did have a tendency to bark early on and that seems to have subsided but she might well decide to give the reactive dogs her opinion .... decisions, decisions