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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any ideas or links for good, beyond the basics things I can teach my spoo at home?

Sometime in the last few weeks, Annie has transitioned back out of her "nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah! I can't hear you and you can't make me!" stage and back into being a lovely, eager to please puppy! She has even gotten some off leash privileges back. Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!! She is 8 months, so I know the other stage might come back, but I am loving this, and am ready to try new things rather than just maintaining and reinforcing.

I have been heavily using the training forum here, and am really grateful for a lot of useful advice on heeling, stay, breaking tasks up into portions, and games like it's Yer choice, etc. I suspect there are more hidden gems I haven't found yet.

Annie is more or less at the "well behaved companion dog" stage. She is good enough to get lots of compliments when she is on her best behaviour, with occasional wild child moments to keep me on my toes. Any new training now is for us to have fun and keep her mind busy. She has still never been to a formal training class and neither have I.

I had signed her up for scent classes 45 min away that were supposed to start 2 weeks ago and have now been postponed a month or more and won't fit my schedule. It looks like it might be November now before I can get her in real classes :(. She is well socialized, but I really want to give her more brain work and structure and also practice focusing with other dogs around.

She knows sit, down, hug, off, stand, come, both paws (sitting, standing and lying down), over an object, under an object, up on an object, two feet up, etc. And some other household vocabulary (go to bed, go for pee, sleepy time, wait, move, wrong way, this way, vacuum cleaner, etc, etc).

We are still working on heel, because we don't practice much (longer and longer heeling between rewards, and the sitting close by when we stop) and loose leash walking when she spots a friend she WANTS. Also calm greetings of people- she is great so long as people are calm, but if they are excited.... sigh. We are working on longer and longer stays with me out of sight, and , very hard, me walking behind her while she is at a stay. She loves hide and go seek.

So please.... I am running out of creativity! I would love suggestions or recommended links. I am especially interested in scent training and maybe training her to get items by name or putting things away.
 

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Have you taught Look at That (LAT)? It is good for things that worry or distract by teaching the dog is is okay to acknowledge but not get obsessed over such things. It is generally a good way to reinforce focused attention.


Have you worked on the items for CGC and/or tricks testing? Even if you don't do the tests the activities are great for relatively green dogs.


Also I am going to be a bit of a pilly person here. When most people talk about heeling most of you are talking about what I call loose leash walking. Heeling is something very different and specific and generally not needed outside of a performance ring. Lily and Javelin heel, but also understand polite leash manners as a separate thing.
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yes, we have worked on look at that, and i think it has helped (definitely has helped with behaviour in public or if i take her in stores). More practice is still necessary.

And yes, I am talking about more formal competition style (though probably not quality) heeling- with the idea of having 100% focus, dog close to the body, and watching you. My mom taught it to all my childhood dogs, and we dId "dog dancing" (heeling with changes in speed, direction,figure 8s, etc) as a fun game to get attention back/work brains. My childhood border collie cross loved it. I have just been kind of lazy about practicing. Your thread somewhere on here has been very useful!

Loose leash walking to me is just going for a walk, sometimes on a closely held 6' lead with her beside me, sometimes with a longer leash so she has more room, with the goal of her sniffing and getting exercise and me just holding the leash loosely with 2 fingers and not getting my arm jerked, or any pressure on my fingers. She gets lots of practice at that :).

I haven't looked at trick dog stuff, but have looked at CGC. Right now, I think she would fail for being overly exhuberant with other dogs and when being greeted. She has so far only managed one greeting of a person where she actually stayed sitting, and is still working on ignoring dogs on the opposite side of the steet.
 

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Got ya on the heeling thing! Some people don't necessarily know the difference and would be surprised to see what competitive heeling looks like. Most people don't need anything other than loose leash.


Since you mentioned the idea of using heeling for a sort of choreography maybe freestyle is in your future.
 

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If you go to the AKC website and look up tricks testing you can find a list of tricks to train for titles. I trained my dog myself, we didn’t have classes. My local club held a day for testing so we treated and earned all the trick dog titles including sending in a video with a story. It was fun to do. For some tricks I watched YouTube videos to get ideas on how to train my dog.

Do you have obedience classes you can take? It helps to train the CGC in a class so you’re dog gets practice loose leash walking near other dogs and the other items on the test.

Sounds like you are doing a great job.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
No obedience classes available, alas. I think the group interaction would be good for her focus.

I ended up having major health issues for a few months right after I got her, so didn't manage to get her into puppy classes, then the classes that were available were all during the day while I was at work, or had websites with a very different training style than mine (all 'be the alpha and show her who is boss' stuff). The local club doesn't run classes from May to September or October, and I am moving in September! The private trainers that run group classes in the evenings only seem to do intro stuff (sit, stay, down) which isn't what I am looking for. I am pretty much at the "Poodles are versatile, I will try anything' stage for getting a class. The club where i am moving doesnt seem to hold classes, so she may end up in drop in Sunday morning sheep herding once I move!

I will look for the trick stuff, that could be fun!
 
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