Saturday, 24 April 2010

still practising what Richard Curtis taught us

Okay, maybe everyone's tired of my enthusiasm for what I learned from Richard Curtis last weekend, but sorry, I just want to show you one more thing...

We've had a big success!!

I was taken aback to realise that dogs can't be too focused on our hand movements, because that limits what the human can do in the routine, so I made one resolution - to at least get Penny doing a counter-clockwise spin on a verbal command alone. (He calls it 'twist' but we already had the word 'spin'.)

After days and days of practising 'spin', we tried it in the park yesterday. First I lured, to get her remembering the move, then shifted the treat to my non-signalling hand, and, finally, tried it with no hand movements. Penny was simply confused, so I went back to a hand signal so she could end on a successful note.



(By the way, we're keeping an eye out for that little coughs she gives - I think it was just a treat going down the wrong way, but we're not sure.)

So, more practice last night to earn her dinner.

And, today, ta dah! Success!
Here we are in the garden, taking note of Richard's advice to practise in different locations:



I thought it was particularly interesting that she stopped herself from turning clockwise.
(And yes, we did notice that sneezing. We might have to go to the vet to see what it is.)

2 comments:

Honey the Great Dane said...

Well done!! Yes, we've been practising no-hand-signals too...I find with Honey that she can do them fine with just verbal cues during trainig when she is focused on me but once in a competition/public performance and under stress, she often still needs the hand signal...guess we'll have to keep working on it!

I also find that often dogs seem to "not get it" at all at one session - and then at the next session, they suddenly 'click' and do it! Do you find that? It's almost like they need time to digest things...

Hsin-Yi

parlance said...

Yes, Hsin-Yi, I agree. Suddenly they will get it. The other thing I've notice is that a long break from something often has that effect also. We dropped out of canine freestyle for six months and when we went back she was so much better at it.