Friday, April 27, 2012

I Taught My First Lesson

I taught my first lesson today.  Well, sort of.  Because we aren't taking the Tuesday night classes at SB Training, Zoe' Mom and I decided to train together.  Since I've been doing agility for a longer, I'm in charge of the lesson plan.  We take turns with our dogs. 

We have different goals.  My goal was for Tibby to pay attention to me in a new HIGHLY distracting environment.  Zoe's Mom's goal was to get Zoe to do the jumps off leash.  We both met our goals!

Most of the time Tibby got to watch.  This is how the hour went: Zoe trains while Tibby barks.  Tibby's turn - she comes out of the crate, ignores me, sniffs the grass, I put her back in the crate.  Zoe's turn! repeat a bunch.  Finally by the end I think she got it.  Come out of crate, do agility with Mom or go back in the crate. 

It was hard for her, because not only was she in a new OUTDOOR place, with a barking dog on the other side of the fence, but it was extremely windy.  Tibby hates the wind.  She doesn't like things moving in the wind - leaves, windchimes, plastic bags, yard signs.  She really just hates the wind. 

I think Zoe and her Mom did really, really well.  We broke down the 3 obstacles that I brought over and then did them in little mini sequences and if Zoe acted scared we stopped and worked on getting her to feeling comfortable with it again.  I didn't tape all that stuff.  So the video is just a few highlights showing them working and eventually working off leash!  Which was Zoe's Mom's goal :)
The FUNNIEST part is at 2:40 on the video.  ZM goes to do a front cross and totally wipes out on the grass.  Slippery!  Or the wind blew her over!  LOL! 
There is also a little Zoe/Tibby play time in the middle of the video - for anyone interested in Tibby's 'play style'.  She plays drive-by-run-over-my-friend-smackdown.

The issue I have with Zoe's Mom is that she won't do any shaping/clicker work with Zoe.  I gave her a clicker once and showed her how to use the clicker, but she doesn't want to use it.  So that makes it extra hard to teach Zoe.  Basically I lured/shaped Zoe to go over the jumps today.  Come closer to the jump - treat.  Little bit closer - treat. Closer - more treats.  Nose over the jump - treat!  Jumps over the jump - BIG treats! 

I told ZM that I was only going to bring over one jump and a tunnel.  She begged me to at least bring 2 jumps.  I keep trying to explain that it doesn't matter how many obstacles you have - if your dog won't go over one - you don't need to have more than one!  She told me it would be perfect if we had 10 jumps and 2 tunnels and an A-frame.  And I said, well you still have to train one jump first.

It makes me worry that maybe I'm a bad student.  I hope I'm not!  I don't mind doing the boring foundation stuff.  I understand where ZM's coming from.  You want to have fun with your dog and play.  But I wanted to have fun with Tibby today and I had to make the choice - let her ignore me or let her sit in her crate.  Hopefully she learned something by sitting in her crate.  I know what she learns when she gets to ignore me!  Maybe I'm not explaining this very well.....Um, you can't get to the top of the ladder without taking the first step. 

This video above is the last part of our hour training session.  I made 2 videos, because I know you guys see Tibby ignoring me often enough ;)  So the first video is after she has been watching Zoe work and has been barking.  She had been in and out of the crate about 6 or 7 times.  She had mostly ignored me or tried the old do an obstacle and then run away trick.  Oh, ha ha that one is getting old!

In the short video above 3 things happen - 1 the tunnel tries to blow away.  2 - Tibby can wait for her release for a really long time when I'm on the other side of the yard with my back to her  3 - She CAN focus in a very distracting environment.

This video is the whole training session.  It's fairly boring - unless you like watching Tibby ignore me and then get put back in her crate.  She does good by the end though!  Yeah for Tibby :)


K-Koira said...

I think a lot of people really just want to get to the "real" stuff in sports. I see it a lot with flyball, they just want to do all the jumps, they know their dog can do it, or something similar. Which results in spending months proofing the jumps because the dog picked up a pattern of running around them (if we give in to the owner wanting to move forward that fast).

Its even worse for the box if they move forward too fast, when the dog doesn't have the proper grounding. I am sure it is the same thing with agility- sure, your dog might be able to do the sport without doing a ton of foundation work, but will they be able to do it well?

Catalina said...

I forgot to mention that I gave Zoe's Mom some homework - the 4 turns that we learned from Daisy Peel's class. Push,peel,rear cross, front cross.

Update on their progress - ZM said that she is doing really good with the pull and the push is coming along.

Anyone impressed with Tibby's amazing wait in the crate on the video??? I was!

Loretta Mueller said...

YAY for Tibby making good choices!!! :) AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!