Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Whisper came along and spoiled me to expect attention while heeling. I love a dog that looks at my face rather than at my feet while working. Whisper came by it naturally so I never had to teach this behavior. I decided my next dog would have attention training and learn to work with their head up and a bounce in their step.
It started early with Echo. As a puppy I would hold a treat in front of her and move it out to the side. Of course a dog naturally follows the food but she wouldn't get the treat until she looked at me. Over time she learned to hold her look longer to get the reward. We progressed to moving(with food in my mouth) for longer and longer periods of time. The result-a dog who heels with their head up and happy.
We also worked on teaching heel position from all different angles. If the dog gets out of heel position they need to know how to find it again. In Echo's video her first halt on leash is slightly ahead of me and she moves back into heel position to sit. She gets distracted in the offleash heeling by the noise of an exhibitor dropping items on the floor but quickly catches up and gets herself back into heel position.
She earned her CD in three straight shows with a 198(1st place), a 197.5(first place) and a 197(third place). This was the second day of a two day trial for her CD. I am proud of her and her work ethic.
She is now Ch Aragon Black Ice VCD1 RE. A VCD1 title is CD+TD+NA+NAJ