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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Asher and I went to an obedience practice match today and it was surprisingly not terrible. In fact, pretty good for us. Still working on the best ‘warm up’ for him but I did some things which I think helped and have something else to try to add for next time to see if that helps. The main thing I did was I got there early and pretty much let him drag me all around the building to look at everything and anything. He get so excited to be in the show venues that he actually tired himself out just walking around being excited. I had treats with me and as he started to tire and calm down he would give me glimpses of attention which were rewarded. Slowly he gave me more and more attention. Worked s short touch on moving attention before putting him in his kennel to rest. Got him out a bit ahead of our turn and work mostly on attention as we ‘settled’ by the ring.
His first heel was his weakest. It takes him a touch to settle into the ring/heel it seems. Next time I will add a touch of heel to our warmup just before going into the ring
Asher did a beautiful stand for exam (shockingly beautiful) and I ruined it by rewarding out front instead of waiting till I got back around so he stepped a couple steps forward after the exam.
He started out a touch distracted on the figure eight then mostly settled in. The tightest figure eight I think we have done.
Our off leash heel was actually quite good. I stopped to abuprtly for the first halt but the rest was pretty darn good. That was our first offleash heeling in a match/class we have ever done.
His comes are great. His fronts from comes aren’t perfect so I used my hands briefly as he came in to help remind him of where to go. Finishes are a work in progress too but I was happy that he tried.
Overall pretty happy and feeling a light at the end of the tunnel towards competition. The ‘judge’ commented after that he was ‘such a nice working dog’

https://youtu.be/nE7Lt2XwMpo

For reference this was ‘the good parts’ from out last match in September
https://youtu.be/_vPnlG5mKV8

And this atrocity was our first pre novice class (the only competition we have done which we were sorely not ready for and that I should not have done ) from May
https://youtu.be/LmUmLlBq_UI
 

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very nice. I like how he is always watching you! I get some of that when we take our walks. "ok now whatcha want me to dec mom?"
 

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There is a lot there that is very much better! Off leash heeling and figure 8s are often better than on leash heeling because the dog has to pay better attention to the handler to know what is coming. I would suggest one or two things related to heeling. First for on leash think about your leash handling. In AKC obedience (and I assume CKC is very similar) your right arm must hang and move naturally at your side while your left hand can be at your side or on your wist in front of you. What you do with your left hand really depends on you and the dog you are handling. Lily is just enough shorter that I heel her with my left hand down, but if I did that with Javelin I would be hitting him in the head and therefore sending him wide. Get your excess leash out of your right hand and leave it at your side. You could use a much lighter leash or even a four foot leash instead of a longer leash. I do on leash heeling practice on a tiny two foot braided lead with no loop. In matches/trials I use a fine braided 6' leash since that is what is needed for beginner novice sit for exam and the novice group stays. I fold the excess length of the 6' leash and hold all of it in my left hand. The other thing is for you to give consistent and "trial legal" cues for starts and halts. Also work on making sure you are consistent in what is your "normal" pace. I saw that after one of your halts you went slower on the next leg of the pattern than when you started. My trainer is always on my case about me going normal, halt forward at almost normal speed. There is a lot of good discussion on these things in this thread. https://www.poodleforum.com/24-performance-agility-obedience-hunting/265469-how-get-beautiful-heeling.html

Since I think it looks like Asher wants to go to finish on his own that you should not do finishes most of the time but instead just work your fronts. I have pretty finishes so I don't practice them unless I've had good fronts.

I am really glad to see that you haven't let being disappointed in your first trial outings stomp on wanting to do obedience with him. Asher is a smart boy and clearly eager to please you. He will collect it all and you two will continue to show the world what a great versatile dog he is.
 

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Wow, great improvement and good focus.
 

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High praise from the judge! Keep up the progress as Team Asher in between finishing your living room floor!
 
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