Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Distance Practice and Better Appraoches

Today in the yard I have figured out that Abbey definitely understands her distance cues now and spends less time barking at me and looking for exactly where I want her to go. I find that great, but during said learning process she learned how to take her own personal short cut up the teeter which doesn't include making the up contact. So, this week I decided I would nip that in the bud before it became a permanent habit. So out came the reinforcement planter pots.

Abbey, of course being the genius she is, figured out what I wanted the first try. Oooh, mommy wants me to go ROUND the planter pots and hit the yellow on the teeter going UP too! Yes, sweetie that's exactly what mommy wants you to do. Nice Job. A couple more reps and we'll be finished. Abbey of course decided she would do the last few reps perfect and get a jackpot.

Now I can't wait to go to the field to really put everything to the test.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Look Ma No Hands!!

Today I decided I should probably do some agility in the yard with Abbey to keep all those good distance skills she has been gaining SHARP. I tried a new tactic, though. I tried using a verbal cue only...NO HANDS.

Whenever we run our dogs a lot of us to get them to move away from us use those flying arms. I decided to see how Abbey would react if she didn't have that crutch. Abbey the totally awesome proved to me that there is more going on in that noggin than I give her credit for (and I think she's bloody smart). She took her verbal cue like she's been doing it all her life and as I pulled away she pushed out going around the cones (planter pots) and coming around to a perfect approach on the teeter.

I need to now go and generalize this at the field and other areas, but Abbey and distance are now becoming better friends which is improving her speed because it means that I can get ahead of her more often. A lagging handler never prospers.

So today, Abbey said "look Ma, NO HANDS!"