10 April 2012
A scientific dog training analysis of Jacked Up.
When I practice, I want the dogs to always be very fast, in scientific terms, ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM, but with the abilty to listen and focus at the same time. I like to call this state, In Drive.
Do not try to practice with dogs in Reverse, Neutral, or Gears with Low Numbers. Also my car has a gear called S, which I think means Sporty. A gear like this would be ok. Key point is ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM. ZOOM!
Just being at the trial is enough to make Gustavo go ZOOM. Clearly. But not in a good way. Because he is too busy zooming to listen. When we practice though, I want him as close to that state as he can be so he is used to listening and doing obstacles, such as collecting his composure enough to get into weave pole entries, with top speeds and zooming brain.
Things that get him there are: Frisbee with me and Otterpop, The delightful presence of Robot, and Frisbee with me. I would like to say I was at the top of his list, and we sure do work on this, but I am still trumped by Otterpop and Robot.
Frisbee with me is an especially fun one for all of us because Otterpop has to lay there seething with the rage that is impulse control and not get the frisbee sometimes which makes her CRAZY and me all, HA HA HA HA HA, Otterpop, I am the BOSS OF YOU!
Also, I think I deserve a medal for teaching Gustavo to bring back his toy. He is sort of with his tug but not very outstanding, so take the medal back for that failure if you must, but someday I hope everyone has to walk a mile in my shoes that are called still trying to train Gustavo.
Dogs are weird. Otterpop can turn on Drive in an instant. Turning off Otterpop's is hard, she only does it on her own in the one time we actually have a use for it-during the agility trial. I couldn't even imagine practicing with her in any other gear, yet this is the one we end up with competing. But see, in Drive, there is also focus and listening, which Otterpop at least maintains when she runs the not optimal second gear. Gustavo has Triple Fast Zoom Speed, but because his brain goes kaplooey sometimes and focus and listening go out the window. I don't call this Drive. I call this, Jacked Up for No Good but for the Insane. So getting the actual Drive to turn on quickly from a state of Zoom is our always challenge.
We had a great practice today, using Robot and Frisbee and Otterpop and Tofo Chunklets for rewarding and playing. I won't say that Gustavo hit every single hard weave entry flawlessly, or held every single teeter totter til the bottom, but we worked on it having a very fun time with all of us running our asses off. And that he had to continue to listen no matter what we were doing, lots of challening drills which I will maybe share later unless I get stuck in Reverse.
Someday someday someday, chipping away at the championness.
by team small dog at 5:44 AM