Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hana's first visit to the schutzhund club

Well, the club is only a hundred feet from my door, technically, but for a puppy it is still quite an adventure!  It means loading up in her crate and riding up to the training building.  It means entering a new building where there are new sights and the sound of scary dogs barking on the other side of the wall, and oh, so many things to pay attention to!  I had taken Hana to the building yesterday when Eric was here for his lesson.  She was highly distracted and not at all interested in taking food. I walked her around inside for a moment to let her see it was okay, and the we went right back out since she wasn't "into me".
This morning I brought her inside again, and again she was distracted.  I explained to the club members there that I did not want to leave her hanging on her own, and ignore her nor cause her to run to me for protection.  I am her leader and her safety but I have to use that wisely.  I picked her up and carried her back outside.  Yes, baby, I'm here for you.  But no stroking or "it's okay" signals.  Just a very matter of fact, nothing-to-see-here,folks attitude.  After working a few dogs, it was Hana's turn again. 
This time she was ready.  She knew I was on her team, and that there was nothing to worry about inside, and I was able to work with her with food.  Today's tasty treat (and a new one for her) were slices of chicken hotdogs.  Yum! As I always recommend in a new situation, we reviewed what she already knows and rewarded her for her attention in that novel situation.  We worked on forward and back motions, learning that she has a rear end and that it can move in different directions.

  Once she is moving easily backwards I can teach a stand.  Until then, I shape movements without naming them.  Baby spins in both directions, following the food.  Learn how to bend by following the food and weaving tightly between my legs.
 Move backwards and into the fold-back down if the food is held low. Lifting the food into the head position I will want for heeling.  Hana has no idea that this stuff is work.  To her, it is great fun!  Debbie is happy and I get to eat! We ended with a puppy recall and she ran as fast as her little legs would carry her.
It was a great day for Hana.