Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dishpans & Dog Training

I have been rather weakly and forlornly dreaming of doing some obedience with Tip.  I sporadically try to get him to heel.  He has learned to gait beautifully and very flashily at my side.   About 2 to 3 feet to my side.  Worked GREAT in the breed ring, but as far as heel position?  Not so much. 

The sitting next to me thing??? Not really.  He ends up way off to the side and rotated.  Cut him some slack!  It took him 9 months to learn how to sit, and in doing so he was always facing us!  So suddenly expecting him to achieve a sitting position while sitting next to me is a huge, unprecedented shift in expectations.  

But, I console myself that in Beginner Novice or Novice, No Sits in heeling are only points off.

However, not maintaining position during a stay while a handler goes back to heel??? NQ!!!!  Why is that bad?  because he has no concept that stay means he cannot pivot around and continue to face me while I try to walk around him to reach heel position.  

How to teach this little dog that stay means hold that position, even when I walk round behind you??  hmmmnnnnn

This was something that only required husband and child to leave the house, leaving me with a glass of wine, a bag of treats, and two hungry and eager little dogs.

Then I thought.  YES!!! A platform!  I will put him on that little footstool in a sit stay so he cannot easily get off it, and that will help him keep position while I walk around him.

Flaw in this plan?  I have no idea where that footstool is.

However, there was in the basement a blue dishpan.

There are some real advantages to having a toy dog.  Like they fit on a dish pan.  First Bo demo'ed how to sit on a dish pan while your person walked in circles around you, telling you to stay, telling you were good, and feeding you treats.
Bo shows how to sit on a dish pan.
So then I got Tip to figure out how to sit on a dish pan.  OK -- so I still have to physically help him, but once he is positioned on there, he could stay there while I walked in little circles around him, without him pivoting around and breaking position.

Then I realized.  Wow.  It has sides.  He could sit there, down at foot level, and the dish pan would prevent him from breaking the sit stay by the little walls.

So we did that, too.
Tip in dishpan.  Bo beside dish pan.
Tip held his stays while I walked around him several times and went to heel position.

Now sadly, I was doing this in the basement, with no audience, rather than in public, in a place where I could baffle and really worry my neighbors.  But I am seriously considering taking Tip and the dishpan on the road, to some dog training venue.  To try things out.

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