Thursday, March 18, 2010

Obedience Lesson

Dare got to have an obedience lesson on Monday. I had every intention of posting about it before now, but I haven't had a chance. I wanted to get in writing what we were working on though, before I forget.

We worked on her heeling and guess what? I've been rewarding her for being in a forged position. LOL That paired up with the fact that she'd like to push me to "go faster mom, faster!" is really going to end up getting us in trouble. So, we worked on getting me used to what it looks like when she is actually in heel position standing in place, with a mirror so I could actually see what the whole picture looks like. Then we started heeling, really, really slow. Fortunately Dare is a quick learner and she's adjusting to the new position much more quickly than I am.

We also showed her how our retrieving games are coming along. She pointed out something interesting to me. She said that the Shelties have a tendency to really make a wide loop when they retrieve, so to clean that up a bit for obedience she had me throw the toy out and watch which way Dare turned to pick up the toy to run back. Then, I am to turn the opposite direction, so that instead of looping wide, it makes it like a tight figure eight when she returns. The only hard part is me figuring out which direction to turn. LOL

We also showed her our recall work. Dare did a great job on her "wait" and she is running in with really nice speed and enthusiasm. From that recall though, we got to looking at her sits. The best way I can describe it is like she's slouching. It's not really like a rock sit and it's not like it's off to one side or the other, but it's slouchy. (I think it's something you'd have to see, because I can't describe it very well). Anyway, she wants us to work on having her sit up straight and rewarding her up higher. Sounds simple, right? Well, that took a good portion of our lesson. :-P We've worked on it the last couple days though, and Dare is getting it figured out. Now I think I just need to work on building duration. She sits nicely and gets her treat, then it's like she relaxes back into her slouchy position again. LOL So, yesterday, I tried to focus on her being able to hold her position for a little longer. We are still just at a few seconds at this point, but I think it's probably like for me. If I have to sit up straight, it's using different muscles than I'm used to using and it's easier to just go back to the comfortable position again, until you build up the new muscles.

Anyway, that's a review of what we worked on in our lesson. Dare got to come along with Twist and Layla this weekend for Twist's obedience trial. If we do anything fun, I'll try to get pictures or video and post those.


  1. It's amazing some of the things that we don't initially see until someone points them out to us! Sounds like you're having fun though. And what a pretty girl!!

  2. Sounds like you got a lot of useful information from your obedience lesson! I don't think we have the patience to get good at obedience - learning the basics was fun but perfecting it is not so much for us! LOL!

  3. Wow, that was a really interesting lesson! Especially the forging heel (Katie is the same way) and the looping retrieval (Katie is the same!) I am having the hardest time getting Katie into the correct heel position, and I'm sure it's all me. We've been to years of obedience classes, but I probably need a private lesson. And Dare's slumping sit? So funny, though I'm sure it's frustrating for both of you!