Thursday, 20 November 2008

Some flyball training today and general trick training..

Today, my sister and I arranged to do some flyball training whilst she had a box loaned from our flyball club. I'm often made to work on Sundays so I can have trouble attending the club training and when I do have sunday free, the weather decides it's going to be atrocious so training gets cancelled. The forecast for this weekend isn't good either.
Today, it was dry, if a little windy, and we got some decent training done. Sleet is coming along well. She was a little fairy like on the box at first but after she was shown how to really treat a box, she's well away and developing a nice swimmers turn.
Wren has a few little issues to iron out. At our club training, she has the problem of not actually going down to the box for the ball straight away and just turning to look at me. If my sister box loads, she doesn't seem to do that so maybe she just needs somebody she knows to boxload until she gets more into it. We didn't have any of that today as my sister was boxloading.
I used a tuggy to encourage her back quicker and it sister mentioned that she was the only dog she knew that went back ten times faster than she went down but she has the issue of spitting the ball sometimes on her way back or not bringing it back at all. Of course, no ball, no tuggy and she goes back to get the ball when told. As Sleet never allowed her to get a ball that was thrown for them, she hasn't developed quite the ball drive that sleet has. It took some clicker training and encouragement just to get her to want to pick a ball up after chasing it and then bring it back and she's come along quite well considering.
She now has some drive but it just needs developing that bit she needs to improve her catching skills. She jumps onto the box and always misses the ball which falls to the ground and she has to fumble about trying to grab it before she can come back.
She's still only young though at 8.5 months so there's plenty of time before she can even compete in starters, nevermind sanctioned tournaments.
She's enthusiastic about the whole experience which is the most important thing.

On the trick training front, I've generally been teaching them in the evening using their suppers as the food rewards. The sessions last as long as their supper does.
They've both learnt quite a lot already and have been learning several new things at a time.
They are both currently learning the quite difficult trick of walking on their front legs. Sleet is coming along well with this and took her first few steps forward on her front legs last night. Being light and skinny, she doesn't find it as hard holding herself upright like this. Wren being that bit bigger and heavier needs a little more practise keeping her back end off the floor a little bit longer but she knows how to lift it up fine and do a quick handstand.
Sleet has also been learning the limp the last couple of nights and took her first steps last night with one leg lifted and without physical aid from me so I was dead pleased with that.

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