So phase 1 of adventure week is over! We went to the foundation session of Daisy Peel's seminar at Cloud Nine Dog Training in Hopkins, MN.
Way back in 2011 I heard that Daisy was coming to MN and I thought, "Wouldn't it be neat to take her online class and then at the end of that class attend her seminar and meet her in person?!?" So yup, that's what we did.
Oh, yeah and maybe I should have read the fine (or not so fine) print that said the session was from 1pm to 5pm. Hmm, yeah that's 4 hours! That's a long time for a dog to work and not have a putty fried brain. Actually, that's a long time for ME to work and not turn into a zombie.
Yes, I turned into a zombie.
I signed up to audit the rear cross session which started at 6:30pm, but I was toasted by 5pm, so we left. I looked at Tibby, I looked at the clock and then I thought about the 2 hour drive home. It wasn't a very hard decision.
Daisy is like a totally normal, average person. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but she's OK. Not scary or whatever like I had read in a few places. In fact when we first walked in I didn't recognize her. She's smaller than I thought she would be!! :P Daisy said she thought Tibby looked bigger than she thought she would be LOL!
Ahh the internets - where size is only relative.
The Cloud Nine place was nice. Kind of small and built like a split level maze type (fill in your own word I'm tired). They are having a teacup agility trial there at the end of the month. It would be the perfect size for teacup agility! Really, it was nice and all the people were very nice.
There were only 12 people there (1/2 working, 1/2 auditing), so it was really more like a semi-private lesson.
I want to say this in the nicest way possible, so please don't get offended: Because I'm new to dog sports/agility/dog training I some times feel like I'm entering a new culture. Have you ever been to a foreign country or high school??? It's like the first day of high school. I try to soak everything in and figure out what these people are about. So not only is the agility information new, but all the social stuff is too. Like should I walk past you with my dog, if your dog is tugging or should I wait? Is it OK to pet your dog if it comes up to me? Or why would someone bring a dog they don't live with, but are planning on training and the dog's actual owners also are auditing, but they don't train the dog? Confusing stuff. :P
So anyway, Tibby did awesome. She was CrAzY. If she could have bounced off of the walls she would have. Focus? Not so much. But I'll take crazy Tibby over scared Tibby any day.
My hand was actively bleeding 5 mins. into the seminar. I think Tibby got a little ketchup with her hot dogs. yuck! hee hee hee. She has sharp teeth!
She actually worked for 4 hours. Right to the very end. AND she played with her toy. No issues, except that she wanted me to run around with her and actually play.
Of course, there were breaks for Daisy to lecture. But for Tibby the lecture parts were the worst. It took her 3 hours to remember that she had a delicious lamb stuffed Kong to lick in her crate. So yeah, I crated out of my car and she barked. Until she remembered the Kong and then she was quiet, but of course then we were almost done. She also sat with me for part of the time. I had a 2nd Kong and she licked that.
Daisy would have us break up and practice in different parts of the room and then she would come around and watch us work. By the 3rd time of doing that I stopped working until she came around to us. First of all, Tibby would do it perfectly until Daisy came to watch and then she would get too excited to pay attention. Second of all, I was getting tired and I thought Tibby would get full pretty soon with all the treats she was getting! Third of all, I didn't want to practice it wrong a bunch of times. So some of the time we sat on the (nice cushy mat) floor and watched the other teams. I learned from that too. It's interesting seeing a lot of dogs and handlers doing the same thing. And yup we were all at about the same speed. Everyone has a different issue, but we all have issues :)
I took some notes, but they would require a lot of back explanation. If you have the Foundation Jumping book by Linda Mecklenburg - then you know what we covered at the seminar.
Things I thought were interesting (and new to me):
The cue to the dog to jump is the handler's motion towards the jump or location to the jump.
Building value for jumping - Dog should see a room full of jumps as a million opportunities to be rewarded.
Handler ahead of dog - forward cue
Handler behind dog - turning cue
Indirect eye contact - forward cue
Direct eye contact - turning cue
Example: weaves - indirect eye contact - forward cue
Dogs have to be trained to follow arm cues - this is not instinctual
Steer a dog with motion - motion is instinctual to dogs
Obstacle name = forward cue
dog's name = attention cue
She said none of her dog's know direction cues like right, left, ect.
She said with a novice dog she would run them to where she wanted them to go instead of trying to use arm cues or directional cues. They will get them evenutally, but it's easier to use your motion to move them around the course.
AND it's offical: Daisy said I was very calm. And that Tibby needs me to be less calm. More rewarding with my voice.
She said Tibby is a party girl. Like a bunch of times.
Ok, ok. I'll try to be more of a party girl with Tibby. But I was tired! It was a loooong time to be training! I don't have the stamina of Tibby. :P
I think I was doing pretty good for the first hour or so giving Tibby verbal encouragement. She does like it a LOT. But after a while......
Tibby highlights: She did one jump back and forth (boring) for 8 mins. We worked our way around the room at different jump stations - Tibby did from 12" up to 16". By the end of 8 mins. I was tired, but Tibby was still offering to jump the jump. Back and forth. Without me moving at all. So all the work was Tibby's.
At the end of the seminar we did a little sequence of 1 jump wrap to a tunnel to a 2nd jump wrap. Tibby did it and I think she read my cues pretty well :) And that was after 4 HOURS of working!
OH YEAH and PS I had the wrong size treats AGAIN!!! Every time I go somewhere they are either too big or too small. Last night I spent an extra hour (around midnight) cutting Tibby's treats nice and small. Then today Daisy said we should have big treats - like a cheese stick! Or a hot dog! Seriously I can never win. Daisy would have liked the treats I brought to Jane Killion's seminar and Jane would have liked the treats I brought to Daisy Peel's seminar, BUT I can never get them at the right seminar!!!
So to re-cap if your couldn't tell with all my whining: Good time, Tibby did great, Daisy was nice.