In our training, treats are a major motivator. Dobby is mostly food motivated when we're in training classes(at home he is usually toy motivated because there are far less distractions), so good quality treats are very important. I try to use a variety of treats in an attempt to keep him interested.
We were introduced to using cheese in our first training classes. Often dogs have lactose issues, so be sure to monitor your dog if you're going to try cheese. I also make sure to keep treating to a minimum when using cheese to avoid digestive issues.
I use a variety of Zuke's products in our training. We go trough the Mini Naturals like nobody's business. They're the perfect size for training and are easily swallowed because they are soft. Dobby loves the salmon and chicken flavors.
I also use the Power Bones which are square soft treats in our agility training. These treats are soft and you can easily tear one square into four or five pieces for training.
-Halo's Liv-A-Little Chicken treats
These treats are great for home training but I don't suggest them for on the go training. The treat is basically freeze dried chicken which with travel turns to dust. Dobby goes crazy when I break out the Liv-A-Little box! I like that the are easily visible in the grass because they are a light white color.
When we go to agility trials, we can often be found wearing dog themed shirts. For our April trial I decided to design t-shirts for our group. With that The Sock CRRu was born! The Sock part of our name comes from our dogs "socks", all three dogs have white tips on their feet which look like socks. The CRRu part comes from our names Claire, Rachel and Rachel.
Aren't we cute?
But the most important part of our team is our dogs! Late this week I'll post a tutorial on how to make shirts similar to these. Then you can make a cool, new shirt for your next event!
If you ever see us a trial or other dog event, feel free to say hello. I promise we won't bite!
What other better topic for R than rescues! With Dobby being a rescue, they hold a special place in my heart. Many of the dogs in our dog club are rescues and they speak magnitudes about the amount of love and knowledge rescues have. Given the time and patience of a loving family a rescue can blossom into the best kind of dogs.
But the sad truth is that many of these dogs don't have homes and are living at shelters across the country. Some of those dogs are located at the Lexington Humane Society:
Dobby loves to play which means he has WAY too many toys for his own good! It's not rare that when we go to bed, there is a toy under the covers. He especially loves toys that have a squeaker in them. He will lay on the couch and squeak a squeaky toy for a good twenty minutes. He even likes the ones with broken squeakers and will pop them just as he would if it did squeak.
The first thing Dobby does when he gets to girlfriend's house-go for the toy box
The Kong has been a huge hit and it doesn't make any noise!
Notice not only two squeaky toys in the crate but a chew toy too.
Right now in our agility training we're working towards getting "outs" or having Dobby go away from me to go over an obstacle. This skill is really important in agility classes like NADAC's Chances, a class where there is line on the ground that the handler cannot cross but the dog must in order to complete the obstacles.
Pam's Dog Training Out method
Dobby and I attempted our first round of chances at the last trial and he almost got the out jump but pulled away before he made it. We've been working this skill with the jumps we have in the backyard.
This is another great way to teach "out" with gates.
This skill is one that takes a lot of practice and repetition as we've found. Have you taught you dog using these methods or do you have another method that worked even better?
*Sorry I got behind in the posting of letters N-Q. Over the last few days life kind of got in the way of blogging*
I never thought in the beginning of our training that Dobby would go as far as he has. During our first obedience class he wouldn't down on command and was afraid of one of the trainers. Then in our first rounds of agility training, he went crazy on the equipment and wouldn't listen.
Notice the princess sitting on his towel during a down stay
Now I look at how far we've come and all I can do is smile. He now performs a down stay on that same floor every week! Our agility performance is slowing improving with every trial we attend. I think it goes to show that any dog with proper training can compete in a dog sport. It doesn't matter if the dog is a purebred or an All-American, if you take the time to work with the dog even for just a few minutes a day they can blossom.