Sunday, January 11, 2009

Show & Obedience Training

As I mentioned last Friday, Jay and I attended a couple of classes today - show handling and obedience. We ended up in the group which was set to begin with show handling. Unfortunately, Jay was sort of in his own world during the first part. We kept getting compliments for him moving and standing well but I could “feel” that he was not with me. He was worked up and would have preferred to play with all the cool dogs instead of having to work. I am not really surprised though considering the Weight Pull Club has had a holiday break and we haven’t been to the Dog Club for any obedience training in a long time either. So Jay has not been around a lot of dogs in a while, and he almost needs a daily dose of that… well, maybe not daily but he has a high need of being around other dogs. Jay says: “it’s so exciting and so much fun with lots of dogs!” :) It was the same deal at the Weight Pull training yesterday. He worked himself up over seeing all the dogs again, however, he settled once we got moving. All we did yesterday was drag weight training ... went for a nice long walk. I need to get some more chains for James though 'cause the chain he has is not heavy enough anymore. He barley breaks a sweat. ;)

Anyhow, back to the activites of today. After about an hour I could tell James started settling down and I could feel him connecting more with me. But all of a sudden he was limping on the right front leg. We stopped and he immediately wanted to lick the paw. He seemed to be fine after that but after a while it was the left front leg. I think what happened was that the gravel we were running on kept getting stuck in between his pads… poor little man.

The structure we were in was not heated which allowed a raw cold air to circulate throughout the building. It was almost colder inside than outside. And just like me, Jay easily gets cold, so towards the end of the show training I ended up having to put on his cover. The baby was shivering when we were standing still. Precious little man.

After a short break it was time for obedience. They split up the obedience group in two – competition obedience and general/every-day obedience. James and I, along with Gabbi & Vilma, chose the competition group since we have aspirations to one day compete. I thought he did great despite the fact that there were dogs all over.

We worked on heel (linförighet), moving stand (stående under gång), moving down (läggande under gång) where I got some great pointers by the way, down stay in group (läggande i grupp) and recall (inkallning). When we did recall we all lined up on 2 sides opposite each other and in-between these two sides another person did recall with his/her dog. Great distraction training… and all the dogs did excellent. When it was time for Jay's recall, he was so focused and alert that when he took off towards me, the gravel was squirting around him. lol.

This obedience session got both me and Gabbi extremely motivated. It’s time for some serious obedience training so we can begin competing at some point. As long as James is being rewarded with his tug-of-war-toy he’s willing to do just about anything. He LOVES it which means it’s really rewarding for me too.

I brought my camera but unfortunately no pics were taken.. sorry!

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