This is the final week of our, Shaping a Competition Retrieve, class through the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Even though we have been working through the lessons regularly over the past six weeks, we still have a ways to go. I am glad we’ll have access to the course materials for at least a year.
Rogue has progressed from spitting out any object I give her, to calmly holding an obedience dumbbell for at least three seconds.
I will continue extending the amount of time before I mark the behaviour, while also beginning to apply a bit of pressure. By gently pulling on the dumbbell, gradually increasing the pressure, Rogue will learn to hold it firmly until I ask her to release.
Arizona has been retrieving a number of objects for over a year now, but her ’hold’ has greatly improved. She drops things less often and she’s begun to wait for the cue before releasing.
She is also learning some patience and problem solving skills. Shaping is a fun way to train because the dog has to think and you really get to see how their brain works.
Canyon can retrieve some objects, specifically toys, but he is not great about holding or releasing. He has not progressed as far as the girls in this class, but I think it’s partly because he’s not a great ‘shaping’ dog. If he can’t figure out what I want easily, then he gets frustrated and just lies down to wait for further directions.
I really have to think outside of the box with him.
The next session of Fenzi courses begins on February 1st. This time we are going to sign up for two classes: Gun Dog Foundations 1 and Sensational Stays.
Gun Dog Foundations will help us in field. I have always stood firm on wanting to use only positive methods, so this class is exactly what I have been looking for.
Sensational Stays will not only help us in obedience, but also in field because the dogs will learn that stays are fun, or at least I hope they will 🙂
I hope everyone is having a good 2017 so far.