Monday, June 28, 2010

Obedience Match

Here is what didn't completely suck of our Utility run-through at the GSD obedience match this weekend. I suppose he did pretty well for it being something like 99* outside and only just seriously starting Utility work at the end of March.

I broke Rugby's heeling the other day. I was hoping it wasn't so, but he let me know Sunday that is indeed broken. I did this simply by drilling the figure 8 with him. I have never drilled any heeling exercises (at least since before novice) with him before simply because "if it aint broke.... don't fix it." However I was doing the exercise with a couple other dogs and figured it wouldn't hurt if Rugby joined it to. We worked the drill for only 4 minutes, and he did it perfectly. Since then however.... our heeling is slipping away from us. Maybe he has an attitude about being drilled? Maybe 4 minutes was too long for him to work one exercise? Maybe the exericise is irrelevant to the broken heeling? Maybe they aren't entirely broken and it was just too hot outside? Who knows. Doesn't matter since we still had to do our signals on lead.

Articles - We actually added two more to his pile but didn't work that many for the match since he was A) some place new and B) in a ring setting. He worked the 5 beautifully though, so he will start back up with the 7 again tomorrow. I can't tell you why he was doing that silly stuff on his fronts, my best guess is because we were in the sun since as soon as I released him he went into the shade.

Directed Retrieve - great! His actual directed retrieve isn't that great, but as far as AKC Utility directed retrieving is concerned I think he is ok. Of course we won't set our standards that low so we will keep working untill he has a directed retrieve that I consider good. Working pivots some more probably won't hurt us.

Moving Stand- He is standing when the judge says "stand your dog." Why he anticipates the moving stand and not the signals I have no idea. We need to work on this. Once we get through the actual stand when **I** say so , and not the judge it is fine (but not at full distance yet).

Directed Jumping
--Go Outs- I had to send him for a target the first time, after that our only problem was that he was wanting to stop a little short of the baby gate. I let him get away with it today since that will be a very simply thing to fix. It wasn't entirely bad.
--Directed Jumping- still lacking that practice since we haven't been doing them at full distance. I had to tap each jump before he would go.
I left this out of the video since it was just training in the ring and it is still in lots of pieces.


  1. I'd say he was a champ to work period in that kind of heat - even if his finishes looked more like Brutus! A Frenchie would have totally melted! It looked like Rugby was peeking while his article was being placed LOL!


  2. I doubt you broke his heeling with the figure 8.:-)
    it was very hot outside and he was sleeping under your chair for 3 hours prior to going in the ring, I'd blame that first.:-)

  3. Very cute! He really is a very good little worker. Not sure how often you do jackpots, but 4 minutes of heeling might be a perfect jackpot suprise. That way if he felt like "why am I doing this for so long?"...something a hound will ask often... you surprise him with a big jackpot so it keeps them wanting to push on in the future.

  4. Rugby is a cheater thats why, LOL!

    It was broken last thursday night too, but you just couldn't tell since he was wearing a prong collar (specifically for that problem).

    And, we don't use food to train at all. It just doesn't serve our purpose since I am looking for a different kind of working style with a little more reliability and a dog that is responsible for his decisions and intrinsically motivated to succeed. We are more or less using the Koehler method.

  5. Why do you think food creates an unreliable dog? To me, promise of payment creates reliability. I wouldn't show up to work if I wasn't paid... so I apply the same concept to my greyhounds. I love their happy, animated attitudes. In obedience competition, I have never had a lagging, unhappy working dog. They always worked quickly and smartly. Never refused to do anything even though food is not allowed in ring. I may have been sloppy, but that was my fault for not setting that expectation and not because I used food. Very facinating subject. I'll be curious to see if you change over the years as you train other dogs.

    And just to clarify, I am not permissive even though I clicker train. I will correct if I get ignored. I am definitely not 100% positive, but just cannot imagine a greyhound (hounds in general) that is intrinsically motivated to succeed :-). An unpaid greyhound would definitely be unreliable.

    Again, interesting stuff! :-)

  6. you should look up Paula mcCollumn and her dog Jeb ( on youtube she posts under: paulaxan). Jeb is a blue tick coonhound she put OTCH on him, he is her SAR dog and also cadaver dog. From what I know she doesn't use food to train and he has a wonderful attitude:-)

  7. I definitely will look up Jeb. Sounds very interesting. Thanks!

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