Saturday, March 04, 2006

Day 226

The first Saturday in March, the beginning of a new season and it turned out to be a killer. First lesson at 8 a.m. A Doberman getting ready for the spring obedience trials and starting to learn the working retrieve. Sanity was great. She helped me show how to teach a good sit in front and a crisp, sharp, straight sit in heel position. Her week one and week two retrieve demos were wonderful including her opening her mouth on the fetch command and ever so carefully taking my hand in her mouth and holding it with only the lightest of gentle pressure.

Second class was mostly done outside and Sanity got to stay inside cause it is so windy and cold outside and I knew I would be unable to give her instructions while instructing the new student. This was a first week on the ecollar and the dog an over-reactive Australian Shepherd who has had nine, that's right, nine years to practice using teeth to enforce dog law on all the surrounding humans.

Third class and Sanity hopped right up on the table and let me demonstrate the hold correction without so much as batting an eye.

Fourth class. This one Sanity and I are students rather than teachers. We started a Doga class today. Diane, who has much experience in teaching Yoga has put together a Doga class. For right now we are doing the pilot run. Once the kinks have been worked out we plan on offering it as one of our regular classes. It was so neat. I am way too stiff and my knees are much too damaged for me to be able to do the "floor" work, but I was still able to sit in a chair and follow along with a big chunk. Totally cool. I could just feel the tension draining right out. For this first lesson, the dogs just worked on meditating in the down except when we did the Mountain Pose. They joined us in that pose. As we all gain more experience the dogs will get to do more and more of the special dog poses. It was great.

Fifth class. Sanity demonstrated just how the remote sit really works. The best part was how she made it so clear that she wasn't completely sure of what she was supposed to do and how the ecollar helped her work it out. It was without a doubt the most difficult class to teach since the owner believes ecollars are cruel and is only doing this because food doesn't give a reliable recall. Good thing I had taken the Doga class first.

After lunch, we worked on articles and she chose the wrong article at 1 o'clock. I corrected her, the article was replaced in the same spot. She got it right. Then we worked the 3 o'clock position and she had no trouble at all.

If I can manage to find the energy we are going to work on some flat retrieves later.

No comments:

Post a Comment