Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Competition is good for you and good for your pup

Ah competition is my nemesis! I don't do competition therefore despite being a very good swimmer and swimming competitively as a child I never really cared about winning. There are occasions when I want to beat an individual( tonight I really wanted to beat a person but that is a WHOLE different story hehe) but rarely to win a competition.

Where is this going? Well to my eternal shame I have barely trained Flute, ok I have trained a lot but not in a formal lets sit down and train Flute kind of way. Then I get a lovely email from Flute breeder telling me all the things she has been training Rowley, Salley and Ghostie to do....Now I can't have Flutes brothers and sisters showing Tutey up now can I?

So I sat down and thought what I had been working on so far. Teaching his name, getting him to settle on his own, to travel in the car/ van. Mix with dogs. Recall, recall with distraction. We do a teeny weeny bit of recall. Mix with the horses. Ignore sheep and cattle. For an all terrain dog he can go pretty much anywhere he is happy to walk on most surfaces. Walk on leader. Sit, down and wait for his food. Leave.

Needless to say all these things are a working progress. Tonight we had a game then focused on the leave command so I can teach him to not pick up my knickers, socks and Bruce's slippers rather than have to swap them for something which is what we are currently having to do. Then we had a play at what he would offer me if I showed him a treat( called free offering). Well he sits then paws really high, next he lifts both paws up really high so I rewarded that, doesn't matter that is isn't really that useful, it's just cute. We had another go at targetting which is interesting when he is more of a snatch and run kind of boy. His down is hilarious....I am still luring him so I get him to sit( on a word command now) then lure him to a down which makes him throw both front legs high in the air then thumps down into a down wagging his tail furiously.

By now I have Buck doing his repertoire which is getting less and less as he forgets more but you can't knock an old lad for trying now can you? So this makes Flute more competitive which makes him more demonstrative so legs are flying all over the place and his dreaded gob starts. Then you hear a thump, thump, thump. Not it is Shys turn to make his presence known, thump thump hump his tail goes so he is rewarded for staying put and not butting in.

Soon after all the food and tickles have run out Buck is running in his sleep, Shy is cuddled up and Flute is sleeping taking all the new information in that he is learning. I love a tired puppy and lets hope if Lizzi keeps feeding me snippets of her good work with her pups I will have a well trained pup too!

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