Well the plan was not to swim, none of the dogs was supposed to do that, but compared to lay down on a greasy snowy obedience field, it made the field seem quite cosy...
We arrived a bit early to be able to run of some steam. There's a fenced area that I thought would be excellent for that purpose, but when the geese started to circulate over the field behind us, I had to reevaluate my decision. Yes there were fences on three sides, and a creek on the fourth, the one towards the geese... I'm so thankful that there were way too much bushes go Iza to actually see the geese, and that she gladly swims in any condition, but I can assure you that I will not try that again 😅
The class? Oh it was excellent! Both instructors compete in the highest class and has been on both Swedish championships and the national team. We are just 6 dogs so it is extremely giving and intense. And what was supposed to be 2 hours easily became 2,5!
We started off with passive contact, which in this class meant:
have the dog sitting in front of you, show your hands and if the dog looks at your hands, close them. As soon as it is making eye contact, spit a treat. When that works you put a treat in one hand, and when the dog want the treat you close your fingers over it, when making eye contact you give it a treat from the other hand. . The goal is to be able to make the dog focus on you by showing it a treat or toy. So as soon it is unfocused, you show an open hand and it will focus on you instead. Next step is to do it while sitting next to you, in start position, show a treat with your left hand and reward from your right hand when focusing. The do it in both lay and stand position as well.
The next thing was making "a frozen dog" we started from laying in front, and pulled the leash a bit, and rewarded the dogs if they didn't move. Pulling in different directions, pushing with your hands, trying to lift a feet and so on. First in lay down, then in sitting and for those who knew the command also while standing. All to make the command frozen and steady.
Tgen we went on to "active-contact" learning how to start up and switch off our dogs. We could have a command for starting and one for switching off. To switch on we could use toys, treats, voice and our body. If toys is a halfhearted interest of Iza at home, they were pointless here. But that passive contact thing worked quite well if I moved backwards at the same time. Switching of is she actually quite good at, so we will work a lot on the focusing while getting distracted.
Finally we did what I knew would be the hardest part, sitting still in a group for one minute. No we didn't manage to do that, I split it up in half and started over again, but she did great the second half.
So, after almost 3 hours she should be quite tired and relaxed, shouldn't she? Nope she came asking for more! So we did a repetition of the first two parts, the passive contact, and she actually managed to keep focused while standing and having me pushing. That was the most needed for us, as she sometimes takes a step extra while going from sit to stand if I am close by.
Up on these different moments mentioned above we are supposed to work on how to use a clicker as well, so I have to buy one of those, and a bunch of liver or smoked salmon to have as an extra appreciated treat.
Now we have 14 days of practice, and a show before next lesson. The next time we will focus on following, calling and fence jumping. And now all of a sudden we have a bunch of new tools to work with, that feels great!
And yes, she actually seems satisfied with her work, it will be interesting if this results in more or less workload, I am afraid it might become the latter 😂🤣😅
Well all of us write here, both humans and dogs ;) At least that was the plan but it seems it´s mostly me Robyn who´s attached to the keyboard...