Week 3: And there’s the hitch

This was the week that no one wanted to cooperate.

Seriously. All of the dogs were twitchy, irritable, and uncooperative. While they  perked up when they got to play with their favoritest thing EVAR, (the buja board) they immediately de-perked when it was taken away. Quick’s continued love affair with the board is amusing. He goes up onto his back legs and pounces the board, his tail tippy wagging and his ears all perked.

Quick barked in his crate when his bestest friend Phoebe was out. (She is his herding buddy.) I had to give him Mr. Squeaky to keep him quiet (best two dollars I ever spent!) and gave him treats for lying down and being quiet.  I do not want a cage barker! I’m saving up for another collapsible cage, since they managed to find where it was stored and chewed a hole in it.  Evil dogs!

He committed unforgivable sins during restrained recalls. Quick has a sensitive neck on the best of days, and long fur is easily pulled in the hunt for his collar. He snapped at the trainer, ran away, and pooped in the corner of the ring! Oh yes, humiliation, thy name is me. I really have to work with him on that. I have no idea how to start desensitizing him to people grabbing his fur, though! I believe I’ll just clip a leash tab to his collar at all times when he’s out and about. Poor guy’s going to have so much going on! Leash tab, halti, collar, leash…

I found out his release word is not as strong as I thought. We’re going to be practicing with breakfast for a while! The trainer thinks ‘okay’ is a word we use too much for it to be a very good release word, but I personally have never had problems with it. Any thoughts?

On the plus side, he did fantastic on shadow handling around objects! We set up some jump standards and went through and around and by, using hands to direct the dogs away from us. He was a little dream for that, as usual! He loves to work off-leash, in any setting.

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8 Comments on “Week 3: And there’s the hitch

  1. I am just a beginner myself, with a puppy. I finally got her to stay in front of a jump before we started a run–then she wouldn’t move at all. I finally realized that the most natural command for both of us is “Let’s go! Over!” It gets her excited and she really is ready to go.

  2. I’ve had problems with “okay” so I gave it up years ago. I didn’t know enough about proofing then to proof others using it or me using it in casual conversation.

    I use “free” as my usual release, but I’ve been trying to switch to “k,go” (which is already being shortened to “ko”) for contacts as it seems to trip more easily off my tongue. We’ll see how it works in the real world as we’ve got our first trial in a few short weeks!! 🙂

    • That’s the best not-okay release I’ve heard! ‘free’ and ‘release!’ are so unnatural to me that I never use them in pinch. k-go is something I would absolutely say!

  3. I agree that “release” sounds really funky to me. I’m an OK girl all the way. We just completed our Novice JWW this weekend, and got our first Q in Open Standard. So far, no problems with OK.

  4. The only thing wrong with “OK” is that someone, not you, may shout it and the dog thinks it you. I’ve heard several people say “release”, but then again, its not too likely that someone would shout “release” they way they might say “OK” in the ring next door.

    • That’s a valid point, but I generally proof for that in obedience training. Dog only moves when it is The Momma! saying Okay, or their name first, Okay second.

      I feel silly admitting this, but I don’t even like the word ‘release’. I wouldn’t want to yell, “Release!” across an agility field. I’m not really sure why either. Just a personal thing, it’s such a mouthful… what do you use?