January 04, 2009

His first obed. show n go

Dazzle did GREAT during his two runs in the show n go this morning! For those that don't know, a show n go is a "practice" show. You are allowed to train and reward the dog in the ring as someone (acting as a judge would) puts you through the same exercises you would be asked to do in a real show. The photos are all from our second try in the ring because I forgot to ask someone to take photos during the first run. No idea why I didn't think to bring the video camera! Doh!
Start of the heel on leash exercise:
A bit distracted by the folks outside the ring in front of us, but he stayed in position:
You can see the ball in a holder on my hip that I was using as a reward :-)
His figure 8 was really nice!
He was having trouble remembering to sit when I stopped. I think his brain was too focused on the ball and being ready to get it when I tossed it. He often sits like this when I use a toy as a reward, but I think it will fade the more practice he gets with working for such a high value reward.
He did a fantastic stand for exam during the first try, but moved a foot on the second try. Still, not bad! Especially for only 5 months old :-)
Heeling pattern off-leash (no idea what I'm doing with my left elbow!):
His focus was really nice, better than most of the other dogs I saw go in novice (though I didn't see them all.)
He had some problems with his recall to front. He wanted to recall directly into heel position even though I haven't worked on that with him. When I did get a "front" it was crooked, but we'll work on that. I think he was just trying to get close to the ball :-)
Sit stay was ok, but he laid down just as the "judge" said to return to the dogs. The white Pyr kept getting up, which is what he/she was in the process of doing in this photo even though it looks like he/she is leaving a present in the ring. :-)
Dazzle did a lot of looking around but seemed very comfortable with being there, just looking to see what he could see. He really wanted to go sniff and meet the little fuzzy dog but restrained himself.
He did get bored during the long down exercise and got up three times. Once I was able to re-cue him from where I was (on the other side of the ring) and he laid down again, the other times I had to go back to him to get him back in position. He needs more "meat" on his elbows because even during practice he shifts around like his elbows are sore on the hard surface. I wonder if laying flat on his side would count? :-)
Overall I was thrilled with how well he did! If he can do as well at the shows next month (without a ball on my hip) we'll have some nice scores!
I brought in his new lightweight crate, but he wasn't interested in staying in it. We'll need more work before he loves it enough to stay in it while I walk away. He did stay quietly in a crate in a side room for a bit though while I went in every few minutes to reward him. I didn't want to push my luck though! I had other things I needed to do today, so after the group stay, I headed out.