Monday, November 29, 2010

Practice on the Walk

Today it's brisk but sunny outside so I decided to load up on treats and do some Agility practice on our walk to take advantage of the nice weather. Our daily walks always consist of heeling (walking on my left) and 'with me' (walking on my right side) along with Side Changes. I also try to work on Gilda's stays and recalls on the walk to keep them sharp.
Today we used the parking curbs to practice walking on an Obstacle and her 2o2o skill. It was hit or miss. Gilda kept coming off of the curb to get her treat! I also took her to the playground and had her offer behaviors (which she does the minute she sees or hears the clicker!). My goal was to get her to climb onto a piece of equipment that she had never seen before and she did it in no time! Such a brave girl. Ah the wonders of clicker training...

{Playground equipment is good practice}

{Or how about climbing onto an old log?}
During our last class, Jessica explained to me (yet again) how to correctly perform a Rear-Cross on the flat so we worked on those on both sides.
To do this, I start with Gilda on one side (let's use heel or left side). Using a treat in my right hand, I guide Gilda to turn away from me. As she makes this turn, I turn toward her and voila! she is now on my right side. It's a really neat maneuver that is new to both of us. Gilda does not seem comfortable turning away but knowing her, it will just click one day.
After a 4 mile walk and enough tricks to use up a pocket full of treats, I gave Gilda her favorite reward, an unleashed run in the field! I only wish video could capture her speed because it is truly awesome.
We first practice stays and recalls and then Gilda gets her 'Free' command which lets her know that she can run and be a dog until she hears a new command. In this video (sorry about the quality), she has been given the 'Free' command and is now responding to the 'Come' command:

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