Author Topic: Seminar group on the forum  (Read 1177 times)

Sharon Nelson

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Seminar group on the forum
« on: October 27, 2012, 07:11:56 PM »

Some people have asked about joining the seminar group here on the forum.  There is a $200 fee to join that group as a new member.  Since someone asked about a "sample", here is a post and a video from one of our discussions yesterday. It might refer to other posts, but the bulk of it is there!  I do have to get on a couple of the dogs in the group that were showing a lack if impulse control!

I will remark that this is a small part of a training series we are doing right now. So we do address several other topics in this video. One is in regards to one of the dogs present that has been showing some aggression due to her own insecurity with being in a new environment. We are currently working five different dogs in this series right now from an 11 1/2 week old puppy to Busi, who is five years old and just won her SuperStakes division in her first ever Championships and just completed her NATCH! So we have a wide range of dogs in the videos!
For anyone else considering it... we don't have videos like "here is how to teach a down" or "here is contact training"..... we just train dogs and many times I bring a dog out with no clue what will be happening is that session.... we just come out and see what happens and generally the dog shows what they want or need to work on that day. It is not a week to week "agility obstacle" training... much of it is life training and how agility fits into that.
I don't want anyone to join and be disappointed!

As you watch the video we work through the boxes and do lots of moves around them.... Busi is eager to get the food out of the boxes and she has a very hard time by-passing the boxes if she thinks there might be food in them.
This has always been one of Busi's "issues".... if she sees something that motivates her... then she starts to lose her focus on me.....

When I put food in the boxes, she starts to fall apart when I ask her to turn her back on the boxes with food.
To me, this is typical of the person who has a "perfect" start line stay at home, but when the environment changes, they lose the fine details of what they "know"....
So to get her past her mental anxiety I have to really "up" the power of my praise and help her past her mental frustrations............ this is NOT a time to use any type of negative when she can't do a "get back"... I use some verbal negative if she tries to go for the food in the box without a command.. but one doesn't want to use any negative to work through her inability to follow commands when the "environment" is putting pressure on her.
For me, it is a big difference between her trying to take the food without permission versus her showing any "precision" on a behavior that requires placement from her. She shows she can bolt and get the food, but she also restrains herself and comes back.... and gets lots of positive! That was a great decision.
But to put her into a position that has multiple levels of pressure..... to come to me, to do a "get back" behind me and to do that in a position that puts her back to the food that she wants in the box.......... that is a lot of pressure on the brain! So we need to work through the scenario without depressing the dog and slowly remove all of the pressure of the situation until the original command becomes easy! I do that by asking for the "get back" while facing the food... goood.... then a get back with her back to the food but a distance away.......... good...... and then we work closer and closer and as the "food distraction" increases and part of her wants to go to that food, my positive also increases so she feels more and more comfort "with" me............ until she can easily follow my commands and ignore the food.... well ignore it to a point right now.
As a dog has stress or pressure (or whatever word you want to put on it) their heart rate increases and their fine motor skills deteriorate. If I were to put pressure on her for not being "precise" then she would want to be away from me, not "with" me....

I do teach "commands"............. come means come, stay means stay, etc..... but to put "precision" on those commands requires a dog in thinking mode and with the ability to perform those task without feeling pressure while doing them. When there is no pressure, they take care of their body, they take care of their partner and they progress at great speeds! That was my main issue with Busi... EVERYTHING was pressure to her... every piece of equipment, every toy, any other dog or person.... she didn't shrink from them, she WANTED them.... and she always wanted everything she saw and her brain went right out the door.... she had to play with every dog, she had to say "hi" to every person and take every piece of equipment she sees and every piece of equipment is better than the one she just did. To watch her check in this year and eagerly take commands and easily turn away from equipment for the joy of following a command was so thrilling..!!! And, as those close to me will verify, she didn't learn any of that teamwork around equipment.............. it was all the type of work we are doing right now..... playing with the interaction between dog and person. The games we play continue to mix many different commands together and we will continue to change the environment where they work... every though it is the same room, we can add lots of distractions!!