We had a good class last night. The instructor finally started working with some good distractions, which is what Emilu needs. After doing some heeling things, she asked us if anybody had any questions or were having any particular problems. No one raised their hands. 'Oh - everybody's perfect?" So I said that I was having a bad time with Emilu really lagging on the off-leash heel. (which is ALL of Rally Excellent) So she called Emilu (she was standing across the building) Emilu got excited, then looked at me and I told it was OK to go over. She tore over to the instructor, who then had her heel beside her. Well, Miss Emilu heeled so smartly, proudly, in perfect position and with wonderful attention that you'd have thought she was on OTCH dog. A smart about face and back to where they were started. Everybody started to grin a little. Emilu ran back to me and I said to the instructor - "Did you have treats in your hand?" Yes, she did, but she said she was responding to her voice (Like yeah! Emilu heels wonderfully with me too, if I have treats in my hand :P) So she called her again - and again Emilu waited for me to tell her it was OK (which I thought was sweet and good), then tore over to her, and again heeled absolutely perfectly, without treats. Mrs. Instructor - could you pleas show my dog for me? At least I know Emilu can look good
Most of us train new behavior with treats/food but then the trick is finding out what will motivate you dog other than food. Voice. "Roughing up." Spins. A smile. Most of those things that you can take into the ring. Also if you are heeling with speed and confidence that makes a huge difference too. So much of our part is handling--how to walk with our dog, do about turns, speed that motivates out dog. You'll get there!
Susan UCDX GRCH Dunn's Marsh Caleb of Waltona UDX3, OM3, RAE Canadian UD, RE FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN
Don't feel bad. Dogs love new things and heeling with your instructor is new to Emmy. My training buddies and I are always taking each other's dog and doing different exercises with them. They all perform flawlessly with a different handler and we constantly tease each other about taking showing one another's dogs. I don't know if the excitement would continue if that handler trained that dog day in and day out. I'm sure the newness would wear off eventually.
Originally Posted by Yellow Boys Mom
So much of our part is handling--how to walk with our dog, do about turns, speed that motivates out dog.
Yep...obedience is a team sport. We tend to forget that WE are a major part of that team. Footwork & body language are big parts of cuing the dog.
I'm struggling with that fact with my daughter and Essy. Essy needs lots of praise and positive body language (smiles, peppy steps, pats/shoves, asking for Essy to jump up, etc) or she shuts down. Meghan wears her emotions on her sleeve so if they mess up on something you immediately see a change in her facial expression and body language which shuts Essy down almost immediately. Her agility instructor was completely amazed at how quickly Essy can switch on/off just by Meghan's body language. She didn't believe me when I described it to her until she saw it in person.