Monday, November 21, 2011

Fun at Sch and random other dog-ness

Schutzhund yesterday was interesting.  We had a chance to watch dogs from all levels work - from those getting ready for their IPO to a 5 month old still on a rag.  The training methods are from one end of the spectrum to the other, but I was especially tickled to watch the helper clicker train his Obed portion on his GSD.  :)

Have I mentioned how much I hate having intact bitches around when I'm training to show or train my dog?  Any chance of success almost goes straight down the crapper.  I will say, though, that Rocket did better with the helper the second time around, and he was only one dog behind the bitch in heat that was all over the ring.

Anyhow, he did a good job for his first time ever.  The helper was really nice and knew what he was talking about - and didn't give a rip that my dog had never done this.  We're starting with some burlap on a line - tossing it around, dragging it on the ground, etc.  Rocket had a few moments where he went up and at it, which is good!  He was complimented on his grip - when he wasn't trying to bat the thing out of the air with  his feet.

All in all it was a lot of fun!  It's definitely an all day event, though.  I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of progress we make.  It's great to spend time with other dog people and talk drive, motivation, and goals.

The food saga continues.  The Pro Plan made Rocket extremely oily, so when I went to Theisen's I had planned on trying California Natural.  Low and behold, there was Canidae on the shelf for the same price as Pro Plan - I completely forgot about it!  Better ingredients, good amount of calories, but not grain free - which is what I was going for.  I also got him started on probiotics again, and will introduce fish oil when I'm sure his stomach is good with the Canidae switch.  So far, so good - he's hoovering it, no upset stomach, no gas, nothing.  Which is good, because we've got a show in two weeks.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Trying something new and exciting!

Leah found a new local Schutzhund club that wasn't put off by Dobermans.  WIN!  To become a member, you have to attend three training sessions to see what they are working on and what kind of people they are.  We've gone to one already, and it was really nice - everyone helps each other, and no one cares if your dog isn't able to participate in all three phases of the training.  They are pretty knowledgeable too - intent on using motivation to get the spirit of the dog in the sport.  It's RAD!  We get to head out there again on Sunday and test Rocket and Jayne on the protection portion to see if they can be started.

The club put on a ATTS test a few weeks ago.  It was interesting to see how different breeds respond to the same stimuli.  The judge was the former director of the ATTS and hilarious to boot.  He had a really good understanding of dogs' purpose and how it would relate to their reaction to specific stimuli.  He expected that Dobermans, based on their purpose, would remain between their handler and any strangers that approached.  Rocket passed the evaluation with average scores on everything - the main goal!  He thought, though, that he could stop the aggressive stranger in his tracks by showing him his ass instead of his mouth.  So smart.....

My goal of showing Rocket and Kaylee at Doberman Nationals is still in effect.  They are both so smart and willing to work.  Our main issue is distractions - I have to teach them to ignore what is going on around them - and that's against their nature. 

I'm still using a clicker for almost all of their behaviors.  When they get a 100% understanding of what a command means, I may move them to prong collars to help reinforce what I'm asking - simply to avoid the "blow off" - which is something Kaylee likes to do.  ;)

So far, so good!