'/> The PR Gang: April 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


We've resurrected the Halti from the bottom drawer of my desk and I'm happy to say we're having some success. The Halti looks like a halter for a horse and is designed for the handler to be able to redirect the dogs head, hence reestablishing focus on the handler.
PhotobucketYou can read about the Halti here:Halti info It's a UK site but gives an in depth explanation. You can purchase them in many pet shops.
Anyway, I bought it ages ago and never really worked much with it. She did actually get used to it by wearing it around the house for a few days. Acclimating the dog to the Halti is important, otherwise you'll spend the majority of your training session trying to stop the dog from rubbing it off. Roxy hated it at first!
We're dealing with some leash aggression and I'm always needing to get Roxy's attention when another dog is approaching. She tends to tune me out and either stand stock still scoping out the other dog OR wanting to haul me over there. NOT acceptable.
My inspiration came from watching some podcasts HERE I was directed to by a fellow Dane lover. Now these podcasts seem like a plug for the Gentle Leader to me, but overlook that and look at the method and how the handler redirects the dog.
I'm very excited by Roxy's progress. Of course we're going through treats like there's no tomorrow but we'll start phasing those out when the reaction is more consistent.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

We won!

It was not in the Advanced Class!

It was NOT pretty!

The second day of the Tropical Treat Cluster went better than the first but again I had to pull her out of the Advanced class. Half way through, the brain shut off. The frustration of repeating a command while Roxy was looking to see what that Whippet over there was doing proved too much for me. I hate to watch people dragging their dogs around any class and I certainly didn't want to be one of those people you see who's voice escalates with each wrong move by the dog. Back to work we go!!
We won the Novice B class but it was NOT a pretty round. We had one retry and she never really was totally focused on me until the end of the course. She scored an 84 which is a qualifying score but I know she can, and has done better.
I've realized we need a lot more ring time AND it's definitely a handler error in the ring. Outside the ring, and I mean right next to the ring she did everything perfectly. Sam is my witness and even he couldn't believe it. Back to work in class and around town with all sorts of distractions.
Since I always believe in finishing on a positive note, even while blogging, I'll just let you know that we have also started agility training. This is proving to be fun for both of us and also gives us another venue to practice with lots of dogs and people around. I think this will give both of us some more confidence and help us in the long run.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Rally Advanced


Yesterday was the start of the Tropical Treat Cluster sponsored by the Caribbean Kennel Club and the Ponce Kennel Club. It's a four day show with conformation, obedience and rally.
I have Roxy entered in Rally classes Advanced A and Novice B. Advanced is the second level of Rally and all stations are performed off leash. I've also entered her in Novice B(for dogs or handlers with previous titles)for some more show experience. If you'll recall, we were having some problems with distractions and the whole show experience being totally overwhelming for her.
Well, yesterday was still quite overwhelming. I ended up pulling her out of the Advanced class only 4 stations into the course. Being off leash wasn't necessarily the problem, it was just that there are so many other very interesting things to see that I was having to ask her to do things like 3 times. Rather than start a bad habit of ignoring me, I decided to retire.
Novice B is on leash. She did an OK job, not brilliant by any means but not awful. I know she was fed up by then since we'd already been at the show for close to 3 hours. I have learned in the past that it's not good to over work her or practice too much and that she doesn't like to hang around. She kind of shuts down.
Today we are back to the show this afternoon and entered in the same classes. I plan on getting there quite late!
On a positive note, I did notice that she was much more relaxed during the show. I might not have had her full attention but she was not nervous or freaking as she was at the first show. Slooooooow progress.
Next week, we'll be back in class and back to work.