“A” Grade students…or Class clowns??!!!

8 Jan

For the past couple of days I have concentrated on quality walks rather than quantity. We have walked locally around Winchcombe and Sudeley Castle and incorporated lots of simple training . We usually start the walk with Rudy and Rio off the lead in the field so they can do what comes naturally!!! When they have had about 20 minutes free running and covering the ground like their lives depend on it, I rein them in a bit and calm them down enough to be able to concentrate!!!

Fun time

Fun time

We did lots of heel work off lead sometimes with one dog either side of me and sometimes with them both on one side. They are surprisingly good at this..I say surprisingly,  as regular readers will know what terrors they can be for pulling while ON the lead!!!

Rudy was positively angelic tip toeing along practically against my leg while Rio took advantage of being on the outside and managed to sneak ahead by a couple of paces!!! I’m sure passers by would think I had tourettes as I hiss, click my fingers, tut, growl and mutter at the dogs to keep them sharp and listening to me!!! I figure if I keep nagging them vocally it will become “white noise” and they will become immune to it so I try to vary things and it does actually seem to work.

I see their ears twitch when I hiss and they slow down and come back into line with each other and me. Every time I stop I ask them to sit. This always starts in the same vein…I stop. They stop. I say “sit”. They stay standing. I say “sit” again. They remain standing. I hiss/ tut/growl/stamp my wellie etc and finally the penny drops and they sit, albeit begrudgingly!!!

After a while this process speeds up and usually one or other will get really quick and sit as soon as asked while the other will take the view that they are safe for an extra nano second to stand and look longingly into the vast empty field next to us!!!

When we have done enough of the heel work Rudy and Rio get to charge about like mad things again interspersed with whistle recall work which they love!!! They can be running full tilt along the track side by side seeing who can run fastest ( Rudy!!) and I give 2 blows of the whistle and they turn together, in synch as if attached at the hip and come running back  towards me at the same speed, waiting to see if I am going to ask them to stop or send them past me.

A couple of sessions of this and we resume some heel work or some sit and waits.  Depending how much time we have after doing the sit and waits together  I try to get them to use their brain even more by asking them to both sit and wait then calling them to me separately. This can be fairly hit and miss!!! Usually they both still come together so I have to take them both back and sit them and not go as far away before telling one to wait and calling the other to me.

You have to see the funny side as I call Rudy who is vacantly looking around and Rio who is hovering just above the ground desperate for the command to come!! I call Rudy and Rio comes and vice versa!!! Eventually if we get one right we celebrate… me with a woop woop and them with a bark!!!

I really enjoy trying to teach them new things but have learnt little and often is the best approach and if you don’t expect too much you won’t be disappointed!!!!

All that training's hard work!!

All that training’s hard work!!

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5 Responses to ““A” Grade students…or Class clowns??!!!”

  1. 2browndawgs January 9, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    I am not surprised Rudy and Rio heel better off lead. Often when we go to hunt tests our dogs heel better off lead. On lead they are too excited and pull. Unfortunately one kind of test we do, the dogs have to come up on lead so we practice, practice, practice. 🙂 I think walking two dogs together is exciting for them and can cause them to pull.

    • Jane Parry January 9, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      I think you are right!! It’s the excitement that does it and Rio always feels the need to be slightly ahead of Rudy!!! Having said that they both walked beautifully on the lead last night!!!!!

  2. Jodi January 9, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    I work Sampson and Delilah a lot on our walks. Mostly with recalls but sometimes I do little heal work as well. I correct them with an “ack” or an intake of breath, sometimes I just say no. 🙂 But I find they really do listen fairly well, because if I say “Good Job” they turn around and run up for a treat.

    • Jane Parry January 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

      And they really do enjoy it don’t they? Which I guess is understandable cos they get loads of praise..usually!!

  3. premium wordpress theme January 12, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    Thanks for finally talking about >A Grade studentsor Class clowns?
    ?!!! mydailytail <Liked it!

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