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Discussion Starter #1
Tomorrow night, Clyde (my rottweiler) & I will be starting an 8 week novice obedience course with a local dog training club. I am kind of nervous because we haven't been in a formal obedience class in forever!

A couple of weeks ago, I sat in on a novice class. Holy crap, do those dogs know a lot. Some of them were not so well behaved, but overall it seemed like a good group.

I signed us up for this because I hope to compete in advanced obedience with Clyde someday; I'd also like to do tracking & maybe carting (?). I don't know if we'll be all that great at it, or if we'll have the $$ to compete (I just checked my student loan balance and almost passed out at the amount), but it's worth a shot. If nothing else, my dog will be a little bit better behaved.

Keep us in your thoughts on Wednesdays at 8:15 p.m. EST for the next 8 weeks please! :p
 

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Good for you! While you'll get alot of new stuff thrown at you the meat and potatoes at this level is attention...how to get it and how to keep it....whether you're standing still or on the move. You're going to have some fun and you'll learn alot!
 

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We did okay. Actually better than okay, I think. :)

There's a lot of stuff to learn but I think we'll do alright. I have to work diligently on Clyde's heeling, and I have never done any "finish"es with him, so that is something else to work on.

Also, we needed to do "stands". I am having a hard time training that one, but I'm working on it. Clyde did, however, stay in one place while standing. That was nice. :)

It's a long road, but I have no doubt we can do it. :D

Thanks for asking. I'll try to update this thread as the class goes on.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Back from week 2!

Our original class was split in half; my class is now about 10 people instead of 20. That was nice.

I got chastised a little for rewarding a crooked sit, with the thought that it's easier to train a correct behavior than retrain what's wrong. I do understand that, although I am just happy that my boy is "getting it" at all!

We did about turns, which went well. I have to work on keeping Clyde in a little closer.

I have been working on finishes. It's kind of difficult with a 100# dog, but we're managing. I'm having him come around my back, then go to heel. I just don't know if we have enough room otherwise.

We did not do any work on standing today, but it's my understanding that we'll work on that next week. I've been practicing and we've got about a 30-40% success rate so far. Maybe less than that; I'm not a statistician! ;)

I have a homework sheet, too. I just graduated college not even two weeks ago and I'm already doing homework again! :p

Overall I am pretty happy with our progress. I was looking at the AKC's obedience page the other day, and I think that we can master the novice stuff. I hope so, anyway.

More in one week!
 

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Monica that is great news that Clyde is doing so well. I wouldn't have expected anything less from that boy. ;) lol
I think it is good to remember that it is the journey that is fun and important not the final goal. Have a lot of fun along the way and keep it fun for Clyde as well. Next stop freestyle dance? lol
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
My week 4 update (week 3 was skipped because of work)

I had last week's homework emailed to me. I am sorry to say that I have not hardly worked with Clyde at all since then.

HOWEVER.

Clyde is still amazing! We worked on a variety of exercises tonight. We did recalls, down/sit stays, heeling, "Choose to Heel", stationary heeling, long down/sit stays with distractions and musical sit.

-Recall could be straighter at the end; I need to work on that. I also learned never to practice a finish when I'm practicing recalls.
-Need to work more on heeling (on & off leash). His sits are crooked and sometimes he's too far forward/behind.
-DEFINITELY need to work on sitting at a "halt" (we were the first team thrown out of musical sit tonight because of this!)
-Recalls with distraction seem to be our forte (at least for tonight)! Clyde and the rest of the class (~6-8 other dogs?) were in sit/stays with the handlers about 15' away. The instructor threw a squeaky toy right down the middle, and although a couple of dogs got up, CLYDE STAYED! He repeated this during a down/stay, so I know it wasn't a fluke. I was STOKED and oh-so-proud!
-He also did well during "choose to heel", which is where we start off in a heel, then toss a treat for distraction. Once the dog returns on its own accord, your mark the behavior and treat. Again, Clyde did fantastic! This is an off leash exercise, so I was kind of nervous on how he'd do.
-Stationary heeling we did really well on (doing 1/4 turns to the right and having the dog heel with each turn). I practice this at home regularly, so we were able to demonstrate that to the class.

Overall I am very happy with how he is coming along. I would love to have someone record a class, but I have no camera nor camera person. I am excited and ready to learn more. I cannot wait until he's ready to compete!

Another update next Wednesday. :D:D:D:D

*PS: mods, this maybe should be moved to the training section; I am sorry*
 

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Sounds like it's going well and more importantly y'all are having FUN.

Yep, remember if you want to go on to compete, NEVER settle for less than perfect. Insist that all fronts, finishes, sits at heel, etc be straight and fast.

You might want to make a chute and use that for his fronts after his recall.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sounds like it's going well and more importantly y'all are having FUN.

Yep, remember if you want to go on to compete, NEVER settle for less than perfect. Insist that all fronts, finishes, sits at heel, etc be straight and fast.

You might want to make a chute and use that for his fronts after his recall.
We are definitely having a good time. I was incredibly frustrated with him at the beginning of the first class, but I realized that would get us nowhere. It's fun and even if he never titles in obedience, he's the best daggum dog ever to me. :D

Can you please elaborate on the what a chute is (and what creating one entails) and how I'd use it? I am VERY new to obedience stuff (four lessons new, to be exact ;)) and this is a new concept to me.
 

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Do you have a broad jump yet?

You can make a chute out of two broad jump jumps, PVC, two good sized pieces of wood, etc.

Basically you set the chute up with one end a little wider than the other end, and call the dog through it - you stand at the opening of the narrow end. Because it's a barrier on both sides, it gives the dog little choice but to sit straight in front. Muscle memory. I'm not explaining it well, but I will dig our more info for you tomorrow.
 

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Do you have a broad jump yet?

You can make a chute out of two broad jump jumps, PVC, two good sized pieces of wood, etc.

Basically you set the chute up with one end a little wider than the other end, and call the dog through it - you stand at the opening of the narrow end. Because it's a barrier on both sides, it gives the dog little choice but to sit straight in front. Muscle memory. I'm not explaining it well, but I will dig our more info for you tomorrow.
No broad jumps for us yet. In fact, I am pretty sure that those are not introduced until Advanced Obedience, which is by invitation only. I will ask the training director (who is my instructor) about that though.

So basically the chute is like an agility tunnel? I have been looking at a 5 piece "agility kit" on eBay but have not made the purchase because I do not know if Clyde will fit in the tunnel. :rolleyes:
 

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I'm glad you are having fun in Obed.!!!

I start a Rally class tonight with Jett. My daughter has no interest in Rally, it is something I would like to learn so I get to take him tonight!!
 

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Here are some photos of chutes used where I take my dogs. But, they are used in the agility classes, not the obedience. So, I don't know if it's what you are talking about.
Hopefully you can see the chute ok:




 

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If you need more information, be sure to let me know. I'll help the best I can.,

A book I think you'd enjoy is "Competition Obedience: A Balancing Act", it is one of the, if not the most complete and best obedience book out there.
 
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