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Discussion Starter #401
I went to my club this morning to do article training with the young man. I have a friend who is there on Mondays for ring rental time offered by the club to anyone. I like using this time in the summer since she can help if needed and since she taught her dog around the clock too I don't need to explain anything along the way.


He once again did a great job with just one tiny mistake that he recovered from super fast. He went through all eleven of the week one retrieves and was wagging a happy happy tail at the end. He needed no help in finding or taking the right article save the one minor mistake (more mine than his). I also did some novice recalls and afterwards stayed and chatted with my friend until the next person came. I asked her if she thought it was reasonable to move to week two and she thought it was. I want to make sure he doesn't chew or roll the leather article since he will ruin it so I gave him a leather and told him to hold it. He held it nicely until I told him to give it to me. I will start working week 2 tomorrow. It is essentially exactly the same as week one except the dog is looking for a leather rather than a wood or metal article.
 

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Discussion Starter #402
I made myself get out the door early with Javelin to start the week 2 protocol for the around the clock article training. This week is very much like week one with 11 "retrieves" in that same pattern as week one except that the dog is going to find a leather article not wood (or metal) and it begins with adding leather articles to the pile then wood. You still do the same warm ups and you still scent and put cheese on the now leather article you are working with. I think I was too stingy with the cheese, but was still trying not to have him get too involved with licking, but once I had about 6 articles out he got lost and popped out of the pile. I picked up the correct article rescented it and added a tiny bit more cheese. I set him back up and sent him to the same place and that did the trick. He didn't seem super happy/confident but that could have been because of the rain pounding on the roof (really really pouring) as much as it was about having changed the picture a bit. I think I will make a point of going back to the club tomorrow morning (there will be no one there) and working on it again.


I stayed after I finished to take a beginner novice match run. I treated it as much like a trial as I could without letting him go too far into his up energy. I did my standard release to a "hug" (jump up) and quick set up to move to the next exercise. He was excellent all the way to the recall at which point he was obstinate about the sit and then did a fly by at the front instead of sitting in front. At that point he did a bit of his up-stress bouncing, but not nearly so much as he used to be inclined to. He would have qualified except for the set up issues for the recall. I had great head's up attention for our movement from exercise to exercise. I think we will enter in Binghamton in July to finish that title (hopefully). After that I will probably enter at my club's trials at the end of September for novice. We don't have rally at those shows so I can bring only Javelin and focus on him.
 

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Discussion Starter #403
We did week two of around the clock scent articles for the second time yesterday. My friend who assists with my classes helped us, but we also had distractions for the first time in the form of two different people who were sitting behind us where the gallery would typically be in a trial. They were quiet, but Javelin certainly knew they were there. He was a bit cuckoo for the warm up which uses two throws and then two placements of the article you are working with before you start scenting. This was a bit my fault because I threw it too far and he got into big prey drive over it. I settled him down and then made the warm up placements so close that he couldn't go too up. After that he settled in and did just brilliantly. It is interesting to watch him learn on this. When we are in the first half of the exercise he doesn't scent much but instead just goes to the correct article (which is fine because being right is super important at this point). I suspect he air scents at that point but doesn't show an indication that I can make out. Once we are in the second half and the correct article is being moved around the to of the clock he switches to checking for scent in the pattern of going from 10 to 12 to 2 and three. He really puts his nose down to identify the correct article and it is very clear that he is using his nose. I also think he has to some extent memorized the pattern in which the articles are put out. We will be leaving week two behind pretty quickly. Week three will be interesting since the pattern changes and you start alternating scented leather with scented wood (or metal).
 

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Discussion Starter #404
We have been concentrating on getting through the around the clock method for teaching scent articles (for utility). I cannot tell you adequately how fabulous this method is! If I had know to do it with Lily I could have avoided a whole bunch of problems. It is gret for teaching the dog how to move through the pile methodically and also how to get out of the pile with the right article the first time they find it and without kicking the articles all over the place.


I worked on week 2 through last Friday and found that Javelin had memorized the pattern of weeks one and two which are identical save for the type of article being sought (leather vs. metal vs. wood, we are doing wood and leather). For weeks 1 and 2 you do a warm up where you toss the article you are working twice as a short live retrieve and then place it twice for a dead retrieve. Javelin was getting very charged up over the live retrieves and entering full prey drive with a tendency to want to pounce on/kill the article. I want clean pick ups so I want to discourage the prey drive while still having a happy thinking dog.



Therefore on the advice of my private trainer I moved on to week three on Saturday. It was a little klutzy that day since I had to keep checking the directions for the pattern, but taking the warm up out was well worth it. I got a lot more thinking and a lot less killing behavior. We worked week three two times yesterday, once at my club with a helper and once with my private trainer as the helper. Deb gave me some pointers about how to support Javelin being correct on this the firt time for each part in the afternoon yesterday and that really helped me today. I went to my club with Javvy this morning and worked on focus and attention during my friend's novice class. He did great on this and since it was focus without a lot of physical work I think Javelin benefited from having a little energy scrubbed of through thinking, but not physical fatigue from heeling and such. Once the open people showed up I set up to do the articles with the distraction of dogs working in the ring near us by putting my clock on the floor just outside the end of the ring ina space that was relatively well defined without being confining. For week three you begin with an unscented article of each type on the clock before starting a series of nine "retrieves." There are eleven retrieves in weeks one and two. We had one false start where he indicated the right article and quickly went to pick up an unscented article. I reset for the start and repeated it successfully. we then got all the way to the eighth of the nine retrieves with no problems. At that point Javelin lost focus briefly because tow of my friends and one dog were pretty close behind us near the ring entrance. He decided he had to get in the face of the Cairn Terrier briefly but I got him back super fast and he did the last two retireves successfully. This was the heaviest amount of distraction he has had so far for the articles so I wads not happy he checked out, but was happy about how quickly he got his thinking cap back on to do the end of the exercise.


We have another private with my trainer tomorrow and then class with her on Thursday.


We are getting a lot done this summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #405
As I have noted above we are working very hard on the around the clock method of training utility scent articles. We took a bit over a week to do week one and then moved very quickly through week two where we had too much prey drive over the tossed articles. We moved on to week 3 which does not have the warm up tosses to calm things down. The first time we did this Javelin still brought a lot of retriever prey drive to the start of the process, but he did collect his head for it once he realized he had a new pattern to deal with.





We have stuck with week 3 since July 5th because Mr. Too Smart for all of this has already learned the pattern and doesn't actually work the pile until the scented article goes around to the back (position 9 and 10). He has just blown by the dead article at 6 and gone directly to the correct article at C or 8. My trainer suggested turning him around so he doesn't see the article being place. As you can see here though this didn't help much today. I think tomorrow when I do this exercise again I will place the articles on the clock in an anti-clockwise (reverse of the pattern he has memorized) direction.




We also worked on keeping heads up attention for the open command discrimination exercises Saturday...





and again today.





For the last thing I did that I caught video of we worked on recalls where Javelin has been tending to break the stay.






You can't see it on the video, but he is sitting on a platform made out of playroom matting. In the command discrimination work he is using a 2x4 with non skid material on one side and a thin carpet on the top. Both of these strange objects are incredibly valuable to Javelin since he gets lots of praise and rewards for sticking to them. He actually tries to knock both of them out of my hands while I put them out for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #406
We have been busy with training, trialing, traveling and teaching. I am happy to say that August 1st is the last night of my current summer class with humans. August will give me a more adaptable schedule for working with Javelin, including hopefully some practice in different locations than our usual. When we were in Binghamton this past weekend he showed me very clearly that a new and busy place was pretty mind blowing to him. In practice rings Friday and Saturday evenings I thought his head would fall off. He could not look at me for more than a second or two because he was so obsessed with watching dogs practicing open obedience on on side and rally on the other side in adjacent rings. It took a lot of work to settle him down and we didn't do too much other than that, but even that was worth if because it told me a lot and did give me a chance to remind him to stay connected when he feels over the top. I did not bring him in for his entries either Saturday or Sunday. I had a private with my trainer today and she said she thought I did the right thing for him and for our team connection.


If you are following Lily's rally thread you probably know that he barked all the way through her Master routine on Saturday morning. Lily found it very distracting and stressful. I was very unhappy with him for it. He normally is fine in his crate, but I almost yelled at him to shut up while I was trying to keep Lily with me. I had a friend stand next to his crate during excellent. She kept an ear on him during advanced too, but he had settled down by then and Lily shed her stress too.


On Monday I had to come to campus to get the exams that my friend administered for me on Thursday night and then I spent most of the day grading them, so our usual rental time at my club didn't happen. Yesterday I went to the club during my friend's novice class to do scent articles with a bit of distraction. We did week 3 in the anticlockwise direction and he did quite well, but I could see that he had memorized that pattern at that point.


I told my trainer when we were getting organized about his having memorized week 3. We both felt it was time to move on to week four which has four articles already placed at the start (as opposed to the two pre-placed articles used in week three). He did really nicely and scented for all of the trials in the new pattern. We both think he will get through week 4 quickly. After that we will do week 5 just enough times to make sure he will scent through the pile, commit to the correct article when he finds it and bring it back promptly and with no coaching. After that I will go off the clock and switch to the tie down mat. I will post a picture of how to arrange the tied down articles when we get there so you can see how to arrange things to make it an appropriate challenge without being so hard as to break the work already done.


We also worked on command discrimination for open and recalls today. We have our usual class tomorrow morning. Friday my friend will cover my classes at my club again so that Javelin and I can go to a well timed distracted dog training party at the facility I go to for class on Thursday. There will be six teams. Three dogs will start in their crates while their handlers serve as judges for the other three teams. The ring will be divided lengthwise into three working areas. Judges will stay in one place and teams will rotate through the three lanes two times, first with just an open floor and the second time with equipment like the broad jump and the utility jumps. Everyone will then switch. I am looking forward to this since he will get judge exposure, dog exposure and also have to take quiet time. Dealing with all of those things is essential to his long term success with me. For the most part his exercises are really very nice or coming along well. He has to stay connected (which has improved dramatically recently with low to moderate distractions, but went to hell in a hand basket with high distractions while we were away this weekend). Stick with me Javvy Pups!
 

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Sounds like you have a good handle on what Javelin needs to succeed and a plan to get him there. I hear what you're saying about high level distractions. Wanting to just go in the ring and watch dog tv is a huge temptation at trials.

I just enrolled Noelle in a distraction class. Liz put a sock monkey on the floor and Noelle didn't notice. Liz turned a switch on the toy. The toy started laughing and rolling on the floor back and forth. Well, that Noelle noticed and she completely lost her mind. Are we in the right class? If being humbled and embarrassed counts as being right, yes. Facepalm!
 

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Discussion Starter #408
I "broke" an OTCh dog in my open class one day with a little battery powered chihuahua that walks, barks and has flashing red eyes once. Those are heavy heavy distractions. Needless to say the friend whose dog couldn't ignore that little toy bought one for herself and fixed her dog.

My private trainer threw a distracted dog training party today. It was super awesome, just what Javelin needed. There were six teams us, Deb with her young pom, a mini poodle who is only a year old, a border terrier who has a novice title and two youngish goldens. There were three lanes and each team rotated through the lanes two times with three different judges. The first rotation you could do any flat work you wanted. For the second rotation one ring (middle) had no equipment and the two outside rings had jumps, broad in one and high in the other. The rules were that the judges had to do exactly what the handlers wanted and that the handlers had to do whatever was needed to keep their dog in the right lane.

Since the Pomeranian had a black GSD go after her a few months ago Javelin and I worked next to Deb and her little girl. Javelin was very attentive to me and ignored her movement and Deb's pom did what she was told to, even coming pretty close to the ring gate a few times with no distraction or fearfulness. He did do one reactive response to one of the goldens, but got a quick and heavy correction. Although he still was finding her attractive he left her pretty well alone the rest of the morning.

For our first lane we worked on focused attention for ring entries, exercise set ups, moving from one location to another with attention and did a tiny bit of heeling mostly working on not anticipating and making sure we got sits.

For our second lane we worked more on entrances and set ups, but specifically for recalls emphasizing holding the wait before the recall. We also did just a couple of short recalls with emphasis on nice fronts.

For our third lane we worked on keeping heads up attention on set ups for the command discrimination as well as the position changes required before you leave the dog. We also did drops and sits with some more distance than I have used during the time we are extinguishing Javelin's tendency to look away while he waits for the order. He needed a little bit of help but was generally quite good.

After all of that Javelin went in his crate while I was a judge. I had the penny bottle on top of his crate and also had told everyone that if they heard him bark the should say "do you want the pennies." After the barking last week that pulled Lily of working in rally last weekend I did also want to work on extinguishing his barking which virtually only happens when he hears me working with other dogs. Progress was made.

For our second round through the lanes we did set ups at the broad jump where Javelin has been anticipating the order to jump. I had my judge hold him loosely on a slip lead and gave the wait order and left, went back and rewarded good waits a few times before giving the jump order. He was pretty good, only giving Jane a tug once when he tried to leave. He then put himself back on his platform. We then hit the high jump ring where we did retrieves over the jump. I had not worked on this recently since Javelin had crashed the jump in class a few weeks ago. He did a good job there and showed no signs of worrying about the jump. Javelin showed signs of being tired near the end of that lane since he put himself on a down at one point. This means one of several things: tired, need a short break; worried about making a mistake; or too excited and need to take a break. This was pretty obviously about being tired. In our last ring (on the flat in the middle lane) I returned to working on the command discrimination since I had made progress on distance in our first round. I had been planning on retrieve on the flat, but since he was running out of steam I also thought it would be a better exercise for him at that point.

I think everyone found it to be a great way to work and Deb said she thinks she will try to do it twice a month, but on Saturdays. Since I usually rent at this place on Saturdays I did say that I would be happy to give up one or two of those private rental times in favor of this great distractions training.
 

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You have put so much work into Javelin and it shows. That distraction party sounded tough. Wish I could have come.
 

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Those distraction parties are a lot of fun. Great training.
 

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Discussion Starter #411
Click if you explain that distraction party to Liz, perhaps she could put together something similar. For all of us this session was at least as good as a match. In many ways the proofing was almost more rigorous than a match.
 

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Distractions can be brutal! we have not had the Wednesday class for several weeks due to the heat/humidity (no ac!) and last week Otter was crazy to see all his friends again. He DID finally do a sit/walk around with me going the whole ring perimeter but Lisa kept a foot on the lead. (He also started anticipating the 'come" which he has never done before (that anyone noticed) so-it is always something new!) Looks like there are now only 2-3 teams in my Sunday class,so that may or may not be helpful.

BTW I loved how Javvy pivoted on the 2x4 to get to heel position-Otter would get off and back on,I fear.
 

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Discussion Starter #413
Martha there are two things that I think Javelin loves even more than me! At some level it is sort of insulting, but at others it is an homage to his training that he adores that 2x4 and his sit/wait/stay platform above all else. Right now I am actually working on not letting him get on either of them unless I tell him to go to it since getting there makes him disconnect from me. He will actually try to knock both of them out of my hand so he can put "feets up."


I am sorry that the heat of summer has put a dent in your training time with Otter. It was brutal last weekend in Binghamton.
 

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Discussion Starter #414
I did some new sorts of distractions this week.

On Thursday this week there were only two of us for class (instead of the usual four). the other team was a very good handler and her English Cocker Spaniel who is very handler and exercise focused and therefore not a big time distraction for us since she is so involved in her work. We did articles side by side at the same time. She was doing some light proofing and Javelin and I did week 4 of around the clock. He did a very nice job and really stayed focused on doing the articles easily. He had never done articles with other working dogs so close before and not with a dog who was also doing articles. I was very pleased with how he did.

We are working on more utility exercises this month than we have been recently, but also reinforcing open exercises and adding some proofs in the form of having left the articles out on the floor while we did the broad jump this morning, plus a lot of chalk marks around the floor to resemble how judges often mark the floor at trials.. Today we also had the doors at the opposite ends of the training space open to the out of doors since it is a lovely day today (more like June than August). We had just gates between us and chirping birds, seeing birds, outdoor smells and sounds of things being blown by the breeze. All I can say is awesome sauce!
 

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Discussion Starter #415
I did aericles today at my club with a helper. We are in week 4 and I was feeling sort of stuck on fading out assistance orders like "good find" when Javelin indicated the correct article (which has been fine) and "get it" to break him out of looking to find more cheese and to pick up and return to me with the correct article. This has worked fine with the wood articles, but he was being very hesitant about taking the leather articles without the "get it." I thought he was less certain about the leather, but once he takes it he is fine. My friend noticed that he was only needing the help with leather. I put out just two leather, one unscented and one scented and scent him. He checked both and took the correct one with no extra words. I texted my private trainer to tell her about this issue and asked if she thought putting only leather out was a good idea. She suggested putting 4 or 5 leather a couple of times and then going back to the regular pattern. We will try this tomorrow and hopefully it will do the trick. I barely have 3 weeks before I have to seriously get ready for the fall semester. I would really like to get through week 5 and move onto the tie down mat before that happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #416
Well summer will be over before I know it. We have gotten a fair amount done and I made a couple of videos last week to memorialize where we are.


We worked on the broad jump last week, mostly to improve his stay to wait for the order to go and a bit to work on fronts.


 

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Discussion Starter #417
We are still working through the "weeks" of the around the clock method of teaching scent articles. Last Monday when I had rental time at my club my friend noticed that Javelin was relying on an extra order before picking up his leather articles. So we worked just leather articles in various lines, box and diamond patterns to boost his understanding and fade that extra order. I last did this last Saturday at my rental time and he did nicely.




So at the end of that rental time we went back to the full week 4 pattern and he had pretty good success as seen here.


 

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He's made really good progress. What I notice is he's more attentive to you. Javelin is only a few months older than Noelle, so it's fun to watch videos of him. They are so similar in their drive. How's his stay before retrieve on the flat? Noelle get so excited when she sees the dumbbell fly that she's launching herself after it. Stay? Why would I stay when my dumbbell is tumbling on the ground? I'm still at the, bend down, hold the dog by the chest, GO, stage.

She struggles with leather items, so thank you for showing me the video of Javelin with his articles. He's come a long way. You should be proud.
 

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He's made really good progress. What I notice is he's more attentive to you. Javelin is only a few months older than Noelle, so it's fun to watch videos of him. They are so similar in their drive. How's his stay before retrieve on the flat? Noelle get so excited when she sees the dumbbell fly that she's launching herself after it. Stay? Why would I stay when my dumbbell is tumbling on the ground? I'm still at the, bend down, hold the dog by the chest, GO, stage.

She struggles with leather items, so thank you for showing me the video of Javelin with his articles. He's come a long way. You should be proud.
Click, what I found worked is to have Babykins sit, then after I throw the dumbbell she has to turn her head and look at me for the command to “take”. For a long time and still randomly I treat her for that turning her head focus on me. I found when she learned a treat came quickly with that returning focus, I didn’t have to have a hand on her collar anymore to remind her to stay.

I was so slow ordering scent articles, they should come in a few weeks. Watching your wonderful progress is making me regret I waited so long. (I know you told me a long time ago and so did others so it’s my own fault) but I get the benefit of learning from your experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #420
If Javvy takes off for the dumbbell without orders I either put him on a flexi or a slip lead so that he gets stopped in his tracks before he gets to the dumbbell. You cannot allow the dog to self reward by killing the dumbbell on an anticipation of being sent. This will quickly deteriorate into a wild hot mess. I only do this on a flat buckle collar and I also do articles on a flat buckle collar. Although he wears his pinch collar all the while we are training I only use if during heeling (and not always then). I have worked very hard on his attention. If you notice he has to set up properly at heel even for articles, so while learning one thing (articles) we reinforce the very essential skill of heads up attention.
 
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