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I think I'll stop throwing the dumbbell all together for a while, and just work on the send and pick up. I don't think she's ready for the excitement of watching it fly. I like the reinforce the attention and sit. I hadn't thought of that. And the leash, too. Once we add the throw back into the picture, I will always have Noelle on a leash so she can't go get the darn thing.

Scent articles are a blast for Noelle. Putting the hot one on a shelf above the pile really made finding it exciting. I brought them to the club and did a formal send yesterday. Kevin even put the hot one in the pile with his notebook. She took off, found the hot one, and flew back. On Thursday, Liz scented all the other ones very deliberately, trying to fool Noelle. Nope.

There are many ways to teach the scent articles. You need to know your dog and which one will work best for your dog. I knew if I put cheese on the article I wanted her to find, Noelle would learn this is a hunt the treat game, not a hunt the scent game. I taught her articles as a match to sample game.

A single drop of vanilla extract on my palms, rub my hands until the vanilla was gone. Rub one brand new scent article with my vanilla scented hands. I offered her vanilla on a paper towel, and sent her off to find that smell somewhere else. There was only one dumbbell on the floor. It smelled like me and vanilla. Success, because there was only one choice, the right choice. After a few repeats, I added two dumbbells. One that smelled like vanilla and my hands, and one that did not. Find the right one. Success! I added more choices. The right choice is as obvious to Noelle's nose as a stoplight is to my eyes. I only put vanilla on my hands once, months ago. This is where we are now.


I learned about this method at https://clickertraining.com/node/1121

It's only one way, and may not be the best way for every dog. It worked for Noelle. Might completely backfire for a different dog. Best to try the game with a non-dumbbell item to see if the dog likes the match the scent game, because if it doesn't like the game, you haven't poisoned your articles.
 

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Click, when I started training the dumbbell I didn’t throw it, rather I placed it on the floor and slowly added distance placing it farther and farther away. I did this for two reasons, 1 that’s how it’s done in WCRL rally where it’s out on the floor and you heel around until it’s the sign for retrieve. But a more important second reason was Babykins was too exciting by the toss, I needed to lower that threshold in early training. She still has a tendency to pounce so I’m still putting it on top of things or in a box and sending her.

In my favorite proofing class we do a lot of dumbbell throws, all kinds of ways including into piles of toys. Since we sit in a U shape all the dogs hear and see the dumbbell which helps get them used to seeing and hearing tosses that they are not allowed to retrieve. I think that helps.

Click thanks for that link. I may use the vanilla aid if my scent alone isn’t enough. I did train in Handler Discrimination for nose work so I’m hoping she understands the concept and knows my scent. But I can’t assume she will generalize to scent articles and looking for the freshest scent. In nose work it’s finding THE SCENT and not the freshest so I may have my work cut out for me.

We’ve been working on go outs. My trainer likes to stick cheese on the gating to start. But my dog can’t eat cheese so I had her run to the gate and I followed to treat her near the gate but not on it.I think that worked better because now we’re working on her turning around to sit without touching the gating. Some of the other dogs are still looking for their cheese on the gate. For that reason I don’t think I put food on the scent article. I think vanilla is a better choice. Smells good too.

Edited to add, I loved watching Noelle bring the scent article dumbbell back to you. What a beautiful job she did.
 

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Discussion Starter #423
Whether it is just your scent or you plus vanilla or you plus a dab of squeeze cheese doesn't matter at all. I never used anything more than the tiniest blob of squeeze cheese to reduce the interest in the cheese and to instead rely on it as an assist to find the correct article. Now I use no cheese on wood articles most of the time and just a film of cheese on the leather since I still need to support taking those. What the dog is really doing is finding the one that is different, not specifically your scent. Although that will be the default thing to identify.


I personally would be very cautious about making articles overly exciting with too many games. Poodles are pretty natural retrievers and you don't want to turn this into a wild game of go grab something out of the pile and come running at a tilt. A very experienced poodle handler friend of mine struggled with articles for a long time because her dog had decided it was a retrieve and was doing no work in the pile. I certainly recognize that there are different methods of teaching this exercise but I like around the clock best and know more great dogs who have learned it this way than any other. The core of it is to teach the dog to scent the whole pile in a methodical pattern than to go running out to grab something. You can see in that video of the full week 4 that there is no running through the pile. That is the goal.
 

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I've been really worried about how articles can go wrong. I'm glad what we've done is working so far. And from your video, I can see Javelin is getting it, too. I have to admit, I was a little worried seeing Liz rub her hands vigorously over the wrong choices. I thought Noelle would get confused. We both laughed when Noelle ran to the pile, got the right one, and came back to me in under a second.

Directed retrieve with the three gloves makes me very nervous. I have no idea where to even start. We haven't started the go out, either. Does Javelin do those things? Do you have any newbie suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #425
Javelin knows all of the parts of directed jumping, but for some reason does not want to do full distance goes outs at the moment. Distance generally is a concern of his at the moment. He has rudimentary knowledge on gloves as well (take and hold as well as moving with the glove). I don't send him to take gloves right now since I am currently working on getting beautiful heads up pivots. Heads up attention is essential for directed retrieves. If you look back to posts in this thread from last summer I think there is a fair bit there on how to teach go out. One key is to start close and make sure the dog understands where to go before adding distance. Also don't couple the sit too soon or they will decide to sit automatically when they aren't supposed to sit until you give an order to do so. Don't teach them to go right to a stanchion either. The order to go out should mean go away from me briskly and in a straight line until I tell you to do something else.
 

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Thanks for helping me! You're right, they shouldn't be trained to seek a stanchion. I have seen judges send dogs in between stanchions for this reason. We'll work on go outs in small pieces. And we'll also work on the turn around sit completely separately. Noelle has pieces of these behaviors from the rally sign go to cone and sit. Perhaps I can build on those.

So many pieces to the obedience puzzle. We'll build it one piece at a time.
 

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We’ve worked on gloves and she does well in a trail like setting when the gloves are far apart. We can pivot, mark and send. However in our proofing class they have been putting out 8 or more gloves about a foot away from each other in a line and we’re not doing so well with that. I haven’t practiced gloves so close at home. We’ve done this twice in class and I had to go close to each glove and cheerlead a return so she wouldn’t run to pick up nearby gloves. I bought some extra gloves to work on this home. One lab Was so excited he ran out and picked up several gloves before his owner could stop him. I know in trials some dogs do this.

As for go outs, we’re just doing it from a few feet away now. I’m sending her to walls and kitchen cabinets as well as to the stanchions on folding gates which is what we are likely to see locally in a trial as well as the fancier heavy PVC Gates my other club uses.
 

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Discussion Starter #428
Late last night I got a text from my trainer to let me know she had a cancellation late this afternoon for a private hour. I was happy to get it since my chances to say yes will shrink significantly once classes start on September 3rd. Since I knew I might not see her other than for our Thursday morning class after today I told her I wanted to do a beginner novice routine and to work on some things I have worked on with mixed results and that I needed an observer to clarify how to fix. Well wow did we work hard for that hour. Javelin is out cold and I might go to bed very soon too. I got a lot of good insight about how to make my criteria much clearer to him and Deb is very certain that if I apply the correction criteria we used today that Javelin will be much less confused about what he is supposed to do and have many fewer uncertain moments and be successful the first time every time in just a couple of weeks. We made substantial progress on fixing his go outs among other things. We will be entering to finish beginner novice at the end of September.
 

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Discussion Starter #429
Here is one more video from last Saturday. OMG I have to walk straight since you can see we end up with him wide or crowding or some other out of position. I still struggle with giving him good cues for about truns too, but today in class we did a much better job on a regular heel pattern and the figure 8 with other sorts of distractions. It is the hard work of yesterday already paying off. Maybe I will make some more video of similar things tomorrow to show what yesterday did for us.


 

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I love his heeling. He's come a long way, hasn't he?
 

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I had my club pretty much to myself this morning. There are obedience and rally trials this weekend (we aren't entered, stewarding instead) and lots of people don't usually work their dogs the day before trials, hence the quiet. Therefore I did a fair amount with Javelin and made a couple of videos.


Here is some noodling for heeling. The main focus was to have him keep his head up, read my cues and particularly to keep his head up on the about turn.


I also worked on recalls where my shake up on stays/waits the other day has improved things nicely. The front is still rocky, but at least he isn't taking me out at the knees anymore.


Unfortunately most of the article pile is out of the frame here, but you can still see most of how he is working.

 

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Discussion Starter #433
Javelin and I went out at about 8:00 this morning for an hour and a half ring rental time where we take our classes and private lessons. There was a passage of a nice strong cold front yesterday so I opened the doors at both ends of our working space for fresh air and the distraction of outdoor noises (as opposed to AC drone). We worked on a number of different things under our new regime of there are no optional exercises. We accomplished some good stuff along with me discovering I don't like the shoes I wore today. Here are the videos in evidence.










 

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Discussion Starter #434
After we did our September workshop I did some regrouping with Javelin especially regarding distractions and review of fundamentals. I realize while he has great exercises and knows nearly all exercises for novice, open and utility he was having a hard time with getting through a routine. That bit us pretty hard at a trial at my own club in the last weekend of September when he up-stressed getting set up for the beginner novice sit for exam to the point that I asked to be excused.


I have decided I am not going to waste time on beginner novice training or trialing at the moment, but instead to focus on ring entries and exits along with exercise to exercise moments with judge pressure when I have someone to work with. This is challenging since I mostly train alone and when I have Javelin with me and there are people present they mostly wouldn't understand how to help with one or two exceptions.


I did teach him these fundamentals ages ago, but haven't kept up with training and refreshing them. Now that we are doing a lot of those "non-exercise" exercises Javelin is showing me that he really remembers them and I think being clearer on criteria for these things actually has made his actual exercises much better.


I have several rally trials coming up in the remainder of the year with Lily. We should finish off her 20 triple Qs. That is my immediate focus. Then I will polish up Javelin's novice and go back to trials with him in early 2020.
 

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Oh and I forgot to mention we finished the around the clock for articles. This is our 2nd week using the mat. It took a couple of rounds for him to figure that out, but we are making good progress now.


Martha I PM'd you about our November plans.
 

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Discussion Starter #437
In October and November I did a lot of work with Lily getting triple Qs out of the way for rally. We got 5 of the 20 triples at trials between mid October and early December and as a result Javelin had a little holiday from intense training other than our Thursday class, Fridays at my club and some Saturday ring rentals. Sadly after that I had some horrible weird illness around Thanksgiving that knocked me out of the world for about a week and which has still left me with some level of intermittent vertigo that has shot the heck out of my part of heeling. Honestly we've only had about 2 or 3 good training sessions since turkey day.

We went to a match at a very nice place in New Jersey on Saturday. I took three ten minute sessions in each of the three rings that were set up. I mostly focused on ring entrances, dealings with distractions and staying connected as well as two rounds of heeling that weren't great because I was off balance and not holding my lines well. Javelin did a lot of work to adjust to my issues and did a nice job off leash. I also did some about turn work near the ring gate to another ring with a working dog for attention. We did articles and retrieve on the flat and novice recalls too. We will actually be at the same place next Sunday for a 10 team limit training party which should be very good for focus and ignoring distractions. We will also match at this same place at the end of each of the next several months to prepare for a poodle specialty (obedience and rally) in the same place the first weekend in April. If anyone here is interested in watching or entering it is Poodle Obedience Training Club of Greater New York on April 4th for AM/PM trials at Up Front Farm Dog Center near Allentown, NJ.

Tosay I got a private with my trainer and worked on gloves (utility) and pivots along with a little heeling so Deb could see what my footwork issues are like. I will be doing some relearning how to walk in straight lines and do turn footwork with no dogs for a while until I can get my balance back. Javvy was very excited to be out working in the last couple of days.
 

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Oh, I bet he was glad to be back! I'm sorry you're feeling off balance. Yes, practice the heeling pattern without your dog until you get how it feels. I often have to adjust my gait depending on how disability is throwing me off. Noelle does seem to do a good job of hanging in there. Glad to hear Javvy did such a good job of adjusting.
Not that I'm surprised. He's a good boy with strong working drive.

I checked out the trial. Wish I lived closer. It sounds like fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #439
Click that trial is fun. I get it that it would be a hike for you though. I will have to look to see if there is something close by to Up Front for that Sunday that might entice you to think it is worth the trip.

Javelin did a great job, but I don't want to introduce issues into heeling since it is a good exercise with just a couple of things to tweak, so until I can walk straight lines and get my part of doing turns back in order I will heel alone.
 

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Sorry to read that you are still suffering from your illness. Being dizzy and feeling off balance is not good. Is this going to put a damper on Rally with Lily?

I had a hamstring injury this fall and had to go for physical therapy. The physical therapist gave me some exercises for balance because I told her how I get dizzy sometimes in Rally (I think most people do when there’s too much circling). They were helpful. Basically I was training my brain to accept more head movement. Do you think something like this would help you?

Sadly our local poodle club only does conformation. Wish they had rally and obedience. What fun to trail surrounded by poodles. i hope you are back to feeling normal well before this trial.
 
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