Obedience Training

Let’s get you up-to-date!

Thursday, June 28th, 2012 | Indigo, Obedience Training, Ozzy | Comments Off

While I’ve been slacking off, there’s been a bit going on. It might be nice if I got you up to date on a couple of things…

First thing – Ozzy got his neuter and gastropexy back in November. The super-excessive marking and annoying dominant tendencies have stopped for the most part since then, but he’s still a teenager. His recovery wasn’t as smooth as I’d hoped, but there was nothing major. He was hard to keep quiet, and he popped a stitch or two. And there was a wee bit of infection, but it seemed to be only on the exterior incision. I remember Indy’s going so much better (as far as healing is concerned), but then she had a 13 year old basset hound as a housemate, not another young-ish Swissy. Seven months later and all is well.

I enrolled Ozzy in a few classes at our favorite dog training facility starting in February (I think). First, he took his CGC class. It was a 6 week course, and at the end (week 7) we took the test. I was very pleased that Ozzy passed on the first try. After that, we rolled right into another 6 week course for his Therapy Dog certification. It was about this time that Ozzy started becoming a teenage punk again, so while he did pretty well in the class, I don’t think we’re ready for the certification yet. Plus, we need to pick an organization for certification…

After those classes finished, I started Ozzy in his “ring ready obedience” class again, hoping to get him back on track to get his CD or RN title. Or both. However, Ozzy got very stressed during the first class, so I opted to give him some time off, with training at home only for a little while. Heck, he went for 3 months – he deserves a break.

Last Saturday, I took Indy to the RRO class. She still doesn’t want to be touched by strangers, so I will avoid that at all costs. However, the Rally Novice title could work well for her since it doesn’t involve a stand for exam. She did pretty well in the class, so I’m going to continue down that path with her, and teach her the rally commands. And the automatic sit, which she doesn’t do too frequently. :)

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading!

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We’re getting close to that time again!

Friday, August 26th, 2011 | Dogs, Indigo, Obedience Training, Ozzy, Random Stuff | 6 Comments

Yup, we’re almost 3 years old! Which means there will be some give away. I just haven’t decided exactly what yet. Although I do have one thing already.

I’ve been thinking about the last year of blogging recently. It’s definitely become harder to keep up the pace, especially since I haven’t really been doing much in the way of dog events. I hate to say it, but there are a few things that have happened in the Swissy community since a little before we got Ozzy that have kind of put me off of being involved. So we’ve been hanging on our own, doing stuff with friends and not clubs. I’m not sure if that will change or not.

One of the great things that has happened in the last year (other than Ozzy in general) is finding an obedience school (Wiggles-n-Wags) that we can call home. I’ve taken Ozzy through 3 separate classes there, and Indy has 1 week left of her first class. It’s been difficult over the last several years trying to find a place that I was comfortable. Someplace that didn’t use methods I wasn’t comfy with (correction only), and with trainers that could actually teach me something. And it’s nice not to feel judged for my choices or my shy dog. It’s such a great thing for all of us.

So there you have it – my babblings for the day. Please check back next week for the announcement about our anniversary giveaway!

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The Secret to Swissy Obedience

Thursday, August 11th, 2011 | Dogs, Indigo, Obedience Training, Ozzy, Training | 1 Comment

This could make me thousands, possibly millions of dollars! For this week, I have learned the secret to getting your Swissy to be obedient.

Are you ready for it? Maybe I shouldn’t put it here. Hmm…

OK, I’ll tell you.

This requires that you have at least two Swissies in your household. One should be older, and it should already have gone through obedience and know the basic commands, even if they have no desire to demonstrate that for you. You’ll need to take the younger one to class after class, watching him get good at many things, but being a holdout on one major thing. Like a down.

Next, you should decide that the younger Swissy, in this case it’s Ozzy, should take a little bit of a break for a while because the human (me) thinks he might do a little bit better after he has his parts snipped off. Since the older Swissy, in this case Indy, has been getting increasingly better with obedience while you’ve been training the younger one (Ozzy), you need to take them to a round of classes. (Indy started her Tricks class at WnW training this week.)

So now you are doing your “homework” with the older Swissy in the evenings. Or whenever you can. You separate yourself from the younger dog so that you can work with the older dog without interference. (Other than whining from the hall or the other room.) After about 5-10 minutes of work with the older dog, you switch and work with the younger dog. Otherwise, he’ll get all pouty, and we can’t have that. (There’s nothing right about a teenage Swissy throwing a hissy fit.)

You start running through your puppy pushups – sit, stay, stand and the ever elusive down. If you’re household is like mine, down has been the holdout for every Swissy we ever have. They will only do it with food (or a correction in the old days) until you hit that magic point.

All of the sudden, it happens. It’s crazy! The younger dog goes into a down with a verbal command! Is it a fluke? You don’t have food in your hands at all. There may not even be food in the room. So you praise him like crazy and try again. And shazaam! It happens again. And again, and again!

At this point, I think it’s best to end the current obedience session with your Swissy. End on a positive note, then try again a few hours later, or maybe the next day. Oh, and it does work with the ages reversed as well. Young Swissy getting continuous work is definite motivation for the older Swissy.

It may even work with other breeds. And husbands. (Wait, I think I only have one of those.)

So what do you think – will I make millions?

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Rally Time!

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 | Obedience Training, Ozzy | Comments Off

After a successful “Puppy 2″ class at Wiggles-n-Wags, I decided to enroll Ozzy in an Intro to Rally class. We started last Friday, and so far so good. The class will touch of the very basics of Rally Obedience. We’ll continuously work on the heel position in addition to ready, fast, about turn, etc.

It’s interesting doing this with a puppy. Ozzy does really well with most obedience, but his age definitely shows through. We haven’t been at this facility in about a month, and even getting there 15 minutes early to let Ozzy sniff around and get used to it wasn’t quite enough. For the first half of the class, I could not get him to focus for more than 2 seconds. There is another pup the same age, and he was focusing quite well. Granted, his handler has a ton of rally experience, but…whatever. I’m not sure if it was the use of the Stella and Chewy’s food that worked, or if he just finally remembered he likes to work, but we finally hit a groove around half way through, and it was great!

Yes, I know he’s a puppy and I know this is likely to continue. That’s ok.

We’re looking forward to our next class!

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