Sunday, November 6, 2011

Laddie frustration drill, Lumi tracking

Rolling Ridge. Blue skies, high 50s, light wind.

Today I alternated tracking with Lumi (five courses) with water handling drills for Laddie (three series).

For the tracking, I did not try to resume Schutzhund style, which Lumi and I trained in years ago. Instead we did our best approximation of AKC style, though I've forgotten most of what I used to know, which wasn't much.

Lumi kept her head down and did well on straight legs, but for the first four tracks, she missed all six turns, a total of six, and I used the line as a restraint till she found the next leg.

Since I wasn't sure I was using the line correctly anyway, I decided to have her wear her harness, but no line, for the fifth course. She rewarded me by taking her first turn of the day without help. She did over-run the second turn, so I called her back onto to the second leg and cued "find it".  This time she quickly found the third leg and followed it to the glove.

Each glove was rewarded with several high-value treats, and she also got to carry the glove back to the van, which she seemed to enjoy.

For Laddie's water drills, I would throw one or two 2" red bumpers way out into the pond, then two or three 3" white bumpers, which I can't throw quite as far, all of them in the same general direction. I would send Laddie to pick up the last WB as a freebie (no handling). Then I'd send him back out, headed for another WB. When he got close, I'd blow a whistle sit, then handle him past the WBs to one of the RBs. We alternated freebie WBs with handling RBs until they were all picked up.

Although this drill is hopefully beneficial in helping Laddie learn to deal with frustration when handling in water, it's easy enough that he can do it all day without vocalizing. I hope to evolve it to handling across points without vocalizing at some point, but it seems higher priority just to have him face any kind of frustration in water handling without vocalizing right now.

Lumi spent the time while Laddie was training, running long water retrieves to 2" WBs. Laddie spent the time while Lumi was tracking in his crate in the van.


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