I am absolutely the first to admit that I have slacked off on Rio’s obedience skills. He doesn’t really have a solid “front,” he doesn’t have a good stay, he bounces up on his downs semi-regularly, he doesn’t have a stand, and I never did any footwork with him to help cue him on whether to heel with me or to stay. Well… no more excuses. I have registered for APDT Rally with both dogs and I’m going to be trying to motivate myself to work more on obedience type things.
There is no real rhyme or reason for the desire to have better obedience skills. I mean, life goes on even if he pops up on downs sometimes, or if he doesn’t have a “front,” or if he doesn’t stand. I normally tell my students that training is really up to them… if they can live without having a perfect heel, that’s fine… if they are okay that their dog doesn’t have the best down-stay…. that’s okay. Training should be functional for the family… not everyone needs their dogs to be able to take off their socks or to turn on the lights. For many people, having a dog who doesn’t jump, will sit when asked, come when called, lay down, feel comfortable in a crate, and follow some simply house-rules is all that they need/want from their dogs.
Well, I would really like to stop being a lazy trainer so, having myself registered to do APDT trials will hopefully keep me busy/focused. We’ll see how it goes… Shayne and Rio like Rally in as much as they get to work with me and have fun but both are just busting with drive that it’s challenging to keep them in check with a slower speed activity. I have fun with them but I do think it will be a challenge for us.
We will also be registering for CPE agility to keep us on our toes for that but we’ll get to that later… and we have our annual Arctic Air Games frisbee competition coming up January 7th.
So, we begin our Rally-O work. Here’s a video of where we started…
This is a APDT level 1 course. I’m working on not feeding too much, but I am not worried about when I am rewarding (so not just after stationary exercises). Rio had just learned the ‘front’ and the 90 degree pivot recently and Shayne was just introduced to the 90 degree pivot. We ran this course after practicing agility so both dogs were a little tired….