I have a couple matches with Baloo next week, and I would like some suggestions on what I should do to help break him of this ring-spaciness he's stricken with whenever we compete.
They're only correction matches, so anything goes, pretty much (except food, I would imagine). I have tried being upbeat and have even been downright sing-songy with my upper register in an attempt to get/keep his attention. That has NOT worked. Tried clapping and clucking at him, using his name combined with attention commands, that hasn't worked either.
So... what should I do? I want to try and use this time wisely, as I refuse to compete with him until we get this hurdle at least most of the way under our belts.
Whisper - I'm serious - I've started whispering to Emilu in the ring and it seems to help.
I agree with Pat--it certainly can't hurt to try. I was going to suggest getting really still and focused. I had a great trainer who gave me some excellent advice: "Would you just shut up for a minute? You are totally confusing that poor boy. No wonder he tunes you out!" Not sure if it applies to you, but something to consider...
My instructor has told me a couple of times now that I "chatter too much" to Emilu, and then when I shut up in the ring, she gets nervous and thinks she's doing something wrong. I think that rally had something to do with this - I DO talk a lot in rally, and then when I go to obedience I have to shut-up and Emilu shuts down.
if you can take rewards of some kind in the ring, DO! (If food isn't allowed, bring a tuggy toy - canadian tire has those great tennis balls on short ropes/handholds, fit into a belt) and reward after every other station, or every station if he's really distracted. If rewards aren't allowed, use a fun trick (touch, spin) or a momentary game as motivation. Move quickly when heeling too - that was one of my biggest issues. Picking up the pace really motivated tristan.
Just alert the judge before hand what you are intending to do.
LOL Nathan, I AM chattery. I didn't know you and Theo competed, neat!
Nancy I don't even think they have judges for the rally, but I'll definitely let whoever is manning the ring know.
I didn't want to bring rewards into the ring because I fear relying on "props" too much... anything where it would be super obvious to him whether I have it on me or not, you know? But, at this point I think I'll just have to do that.
I have tried "touch" on occasion... haven't tried spin yet, he likes that one. I'll have to brush him up on it before wednesday.
What do you do when he doesn't pay attention? That might lead to the fix it!
Do you compete with whatever he IS paying attention to? Or do you put him away and work him later?
I've learned a lot training the demon Dalmatian about attention, and let me tell you, they learn quicker to pay attention if you ignore THEM. Hapi stops paying attention, Hapi goes in the crate.
We also have a mean 'watch' game. I've also learned not to talk to him at all. I wait for him to pay attention and then I click and treat. I never give him his name. He must be paying attention in order to get his command, and thus treat. I am not going to beg him.
The problem with being chattery with your dog is he doesn't know when you are giving him something he needs to pay attention to. I talk to my dogs all the time when we're in the house. But in the ring, they ONLY get commands and subsequently praise. 'Virginia, mommy would really like it if you would sit. Come on pretty girl sit, thats a sit good sit, mommy likes it when you sit.' Isn't as precise as Gin SIT. Its a command and is presented in a way she understands. They don't field out all the crap well, so I don't offer that. Give it a go. I bet he'll respond to just commands and limited praise. Gin I don't use much food for, just a 'Yes'.
I wouldn't catter to his inattentiveness. If he doesn't want to pay attention, put him in a crate, and play with Peanut.
Last edited by Luvmydog2much; 03-11-2009 at 10:22 PM.
'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
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I'd suggest having a drink beforehand, but if it's AKC, maybe not.... LOL.
I bet if he's soft, YOU are the one who needs to be calmer and more upbeat. Can you just imagine it being training class? I bet it'd help Baloo to take a bit of edge off if so. Anne
I think Melissa's advice is spot on. Structure things so that it's in his interest to pay attention to you. But then you have to be SUPER rewarding when he does pay attention.
Last edited by theoconbrio; 03-11-2009 at 11:32 PM.
Melissa - I compete. BUT, only because the only other option is to leave the ring, and I don't want him thinking that pulling that stunt gets him out of work all the time (as he ONLY checks out in the ring, nowhere else). "Ho hum... I'll just stare off at random nothingness and eventually she'll give up.." Know what I mean?
I don't use commands in my chatter, it's mostly to try and get his attention. It's actually rarely ever real words.
OK. So, 1) cut chatter. 2) have toys/rewards, 3) imagine we're at training.
I have three runs over two days to try different things. I KNOW if I have treats/toys I'll have attention, so maybe I'll start there and work up... hmm... must think more on this...