K9 Bakery: Honey-Cranberry Oat Cookies

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On occasion, I love to bake little treats for my dogs.  It takes a some time, but I enjoy it and I know that they appreciate it.  Sure, they also like to eat deer poop and paper towels, but I like to think that somewhere inside of their brains (or mouths), they register my home baked cookies as slightly more delicious than those things.

This time around I decided to make Honey and Cranberry Oat Cookies for them.  The recipe is modified from the “Honey Dog Cookie” recipe in Cooking with Your Dog by Ingeborg Pils.

You will need:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oats
2 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 eggs
2/5 cups milk
1/4 cups dried cranberries
Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix flour, oats and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.

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Add two tablespoons of honey
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Allow your dog(s) to clean the honey measuring spoon.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!

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Add butter (I melted mine because that’s just easier.), eggs and milk!
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(Optional) Add splash of Apple Cider Vinegar.
ACV has plenty of doggie health benefits, my favorite of which is that it is a natural parasite repellent when added to the coat or ingested.   In my opinion, we can’t have enough ACV so into the cookies it goes!

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Mix in dried cranberries
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Don’t look now, you are probably being stared at.
IMG_3368This batter is very sticky!  You can ball it up and make round shaped cookies or shape them with a cookie cutter.  What worked best for me was to get a large glob of the batter and plop it directly onto the cookie sheet and then work the cutter into the batter and remove the excess.
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Bake cookies in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes

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During that time, clean up your kitchen!  Get your spoon clean!
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Get your bowl clean!  Aren’t you glad you have a dog to do all of your cleaning for you?

IMG_3395Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool thoroughly before feeding to your poor, starving and likely grateful dog.   No judgement if you give one a taste, too!  After all, they do smell amazing.  Enjoy!
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Turn in your homework!

Quick programming note: We’re wrapping up our summer homework results post (the followup to this post) and we want to include as many results as possible from the people who said they wanted to participate. So if you played along with us this summer, we’d love it if you’d write up a brief synopsis (3-4 sentences) about what you did and how it worked out for you and your dog. If you met your goal, that is awesome! If something went a little south, we’d still love to hear about it! You can either submit your writeup via Facebook message to the TU Facebook group or via email (teamunrulyblog at gmail dot com). Thanks so much!

The Power of ‘No’ [This Post Is Not What You Think It Is]

When I’m training my dogs, I think it’s fair to say that I spend most of my time in the positive-reinforcement quadrant of the operant conditioning spectrum.  Lucy was my first dog, and when I initially got her, I was less “here is my cogent and systematic training philosophy, which I will strive to implement fairly every day” and more “watch me flail my arms helplessly, in the manner of a Muppet”. That said, I discovered positive reinforcement

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“‘No, Nellie, don’t get on the table!’, you say? I’m sorry, that’s not a phrase I understand.”

training with Lucy’s help, and she’s the one who taught me how well it works and how much more fun it was for me than, well, basically anything else. I experimented with the clicker with Lucy, and when I got Nellie, I decided that she would be my first exclusively clicker-trained dog.  She’s also the first dog I ever really tried shaping with; it was in the course of learning how cool shaping can be that I decided that I was going to excise the word ‘no’ from my vocabulary when it came to my dogs.

This is not to say that I think that anyone who uses the word ‘no’ is a dog abuser–that opinion may be out there, but I don’t hold it.  This is also not to say that I don’t enforce any boundaries with my dogs, because I sure do.  But I realized a couple of things about ‘no’ that made me decide to stop using it.  First, it is very difficult to teach the absence of something: this is why it’s easier to teach a dog to bark than to teach them to stop barking, because “that thing you are doing needs to not happen anymore” is a pretty abstract concept.  I’m not a pro trainer by any means, but the fact that I have a lot of dogs and enjoy training them means that within a certain circle (that circle is called ‘my grandmother’s friends’), I am That Girl Who Knows A Lot About Dogs and am often called in to help with whatever problem Fifi happens to be having.  95% of the time, the problem is that the owner wants Fifi to stop doing something (usually something that Fifi likes doing) and the owner hasn’t thought through what they’d like to have Fifi do instead.

“She just won’t stop barking at strange men!”

“Well, what would you like her to do when she meets strange men?”

“….not bark at them?”

But after we talk for a while, the owner decides that what she really wants is for Fifi to go up and approach strange men in a friendly way.  THAT gives us something to work on! If Fifi’s not actually scared of strange men, the first thing I’ll do is teach a hand target (go up and boop the person’s hand with your nose). Then we’ll have a party for all of the owner’s Strange Man Friends: when Fifi approaches them, they drop a treat near her, and after a few rounds of that, they offer their hand for her to boop. After a while, Fifi starts thinking of strange men as exciting treat-dispensing monkeys rather than “Those Scary Things That Must Be Barked At”.

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The Hua’s secret code name is ‘Fifi’. Shhh, don’t tell my grandmother.

The effect that the owner wanted–the cessation of the barking–happened, AND we got Fifi to the point where she didn’t want to bark, she wanted to be doing something else instead.  The opposite approach–just yelling, “No, Fifi, no barking!” a. would probably have just confused poor Fifi, b. would likely have gotten her even more worked up about strange men, because they cause mom to yell, and c. probably would not have worked consistently: suppressing behaviors is rarely absolute, and often you’ll get some ‘breakthrough’ episodes.

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Sorry, the only thing I heard was ‘jump!’

Besides the fact that it’s often confusing for the dog, and besides the fact that saying ‘no’ is a lazy way for the owner to avoid training the behavior they actually want, there’s also the fact that ‘no’–on the occasion that it actually does works to suppress behavior–is a blunt instrument.  Sure, you don’t want your dog to jump up on you when you’re wearing your nice work clothes, or to jump over the fence. But there are situations where you DO want your dog to jump: at agility class, say, or when you want them to pose on a big rock so you can take scenic hiking pictures of them. You may not want your dog to alert bark at the mail carrier when she comes to the door, but you might really appreciate your dog barking when there’s somebody sketchy in your front yard (or in my case, when there are giant wild pigs attempting to eat your garden.) Suppressing the behavior completely means that you may not be able to call on it when you want it.

Del Close, Closet Dog Training Guru

The other side of this is a little more philosophical: right when I was beginning to teach Nellie about shaping, I also happened to be reading a lot of books about theatrical improvisation (just for fun: I was on a kick.)  The big, kind of uber-rule in improv is that when you’re in a scene, you never say no to anything your partner offers: if they begin with “Well, here we are in France!”, you don’t say, “This isn’t France!” What you say (and this is the kicker) is “yes! and…”: you agree with something that your partner says and then you add onto it so the scene can continue (“Yes, I never thought I’d be in France….with Frankenstein!” [sorry, that is a terrible example of a scene. NEVER DO THAT.]) Tina Fey, by the way, gives a great rundown of “Yes, and…” and its relationship to life in her book Bossypants: it’s reprinted here and is a fun read. Anyway, I had kind of a breakthrough when I was reading all this improv theory and also playing 101 Things To Do With A Box with Nellie:  it’s basically kind of a doggie improv game, and I realized when I was playing with her that shaping was really about having a ‘Yes, and…’ relationship with your dog.  They throw something out there, you build on it, they build on it,

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AND???

and at the end of the process, you’ve got a cool behavior. In the same way that it’s easier to teach a dog to do something rather than not to do something, a dog who feels confident trying out new things has a much easier time building the behaviors you’re looking for than a dog whose attempts at trying out new behaviors are constantly shut down.

Of course, there are times when I don’t want my dogs to do something (usually in a specific context), and when that happens, I am a big fan of using Leslie McDevitt’s idea of ‘availability’ training, which is to say that you teach your dog the concept that [x] is not available to them (either at that moment or forever) but [y] is.  In practice, this looks like, “My sandwich is not available to you right now because I’m hungry and I want it, but your antler is available to you if you want something to chew on”. This is not to say that the sandwich will never be available–I give my dogs random bits of crust or whatever all the time–but only that it is not available now, and I try to teach my dogs to be polite and accepting about that fact.

So, taking ‘no’ out of my repertoire meant increased clarity for the dogs, made me actually train positive behaviors rather than just trying to suppress negative ones, and helped me create a relationship with my dogs where they are happy and eager to try new stuff out for me.  Now I’m going to tell you why I’ve reintroduced the word ‘no’ with my puppy, Widget. TWIST!

I know, I’m as surprised as you are. I have a secret, though: I am not using ‘no’ in the way that people generally tend to use it.  Often, when you see ‘no’ employed, it’s being bellowed at some poor hapless dog who is busy doing one of any number of fun things.  The human bellows, the dog thinks, “Ugh, whatever, stop yelling” and wanders off to do something else.  What I wanted to do was to make ‘no’ a meaningful word for Widget: I wanted it to be something that cued a specific behavior.  I wanted it to be a word that was meaningful to her, in the same way that ‘sit’ is meaningful; it’s asking for a concrete behavior, rather than just being deployed as a suppressive catch-all for a million potential behaviors.

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Intense? Me? Surely you jest.

“But why reintroduce it at all?”, you might be wondering.  “What about ‘Yes, and…’?”  Here’s the thing about that: Widget is a puppy, which means that her impulse control and manners are both a work in progress.  She also happens to be a very intense puppy who is prone to weird herdy trances when confronted with motion. And she uses her teeth a lot. She’s got good bite inhibition, and we’ve been working hard on cementing the idea that Humans Don’t Like Teeth Near Their Skin, but she’s been mouthy since the day I brought her home and it’s been very hard to unlearn the Teeth As Coping Strategy thing that she apparently developed in her life before me.

Widget also gets out a lot. I take her with me everywhere I possibly can: she comes to work, she comes to every dog-friendly and dog-neutral store, we go to trials and events and classes, and she meets a ton of people, both Dog People and non-Dog People. One thing I’ve always noticed about non-Dog People interacting with dogs is that there’s generally a moment where the person is tentatively trying to figure out if they can ‘steer’: they’ll ask for a sit, and then if the dog barks or something, they’ll default to either a ‘down!’ or a ‘no!’  If the dog sits when asks and eventually stops barking, the person relaxes, because they know they can communicate with the dog. Because Widget is a baby and occasionally does dumb baby stuff (we’re working on it!) and also occasionally attempts to nom the hands of strangers, it quickly became clear to me that people other than me were going to be telling her ‘no’ a lot.  And because ‘no’ was something I’d never taught her, Widge was just not clear what people were asking of her; thus a lot of her early encounters involved people backing away because they were worried they couldn’t communicate with her, and that was sad for everyone.

I don’t use ‘no’ much/at all in my own training, but I WANT my dogs to take cues from and communicate with other people; I like people to feel comfortable around them even though they are crazy medium-to-large terriers, I want to know that they’ll work for a friend or for my mom or for a trainer, and I want them to be able to listen to strangers if there’s ever an emergency.  And like it or not, one of the ways strangers communicate with unfamiliar dogs is with ‘no!’.  Heck, I worked hard to eradicate ‘no’ from my training lingo, and still, when Lucy got out the side gate this morning and decided to take herself for a stroll, as I chased her down the street, I forgot all my useful words–like, for example, ‘here!’–and the thing that came out of my mouth was “Nononononono, c’mere, you monkey, NO!”

So that’s why I decided that with Widget, I was going to turn ‘no’ into a cued behavior.  After all, if she’s going to hear it from other people (and from me when I’m flustered), it might as well be a meaningful thing for her.  And in the spirit of Fifi the Strange Men Barker, I wanted to make sure that ‘no’ cued a specific behavior that I wanted.  The behavior I decided that I wanted was for Widget to stop moving and to give me eye contact: that seemed like it would be appropriate in any situation where somebody is saying ‘no’ to her, since it would halt whatever behavior they saw as objectionable while giving her something else concrete to do.

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Note to self: Try this the next time the puppy starts unloading the dishwasher.

I taught it pretty much the same way I taught ‘off’: we started by playing tug with a tennis ball, then I said ‘no!’ (lightly and calmly) and pretty much stopped all motion. She let go of the ball and looked at me, I threw the ball for her. Then I started trying it with other behaviors–when she was just walking around, say–and then started working on it in more distracting situations–for example, when she was wrestling with Nellie.  I’m now practicing using it when she jumps on my mom (left to my own devices, I use ‘paws down’, but having two cues that mean the same thing is not a terrible.)  Next up, I’m going to try it with lots of different tones of voice, since people are not generally saying ‘no’ in a nice calm voice, though I will make sure to always reward heavily and keep it fun.  I have no desire for ‘no’ to ever become a punisher for Widget, and I don’t want to use it to suppress behavior; I don’t want it to mean anything to her other than ‘Hey, here’s a trick I’d like you to do!’

Anyway, that’s the story of how ‘no’ re-entered my vocabulary: through a sneaky back channel that really meant ‘yes’!  Hopefully, people will feel less compelled to use it as the puppy matures a little bit and I’ll be able to phase it out, but until then, I am glad to keep it in the toolbox.

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The Unsuppressible Sisters.

K9DIY: Make a hard core, square-braid tug

Project difficulty level: Medium (requires some attention to detail, especially at first)

I’ve got three dogs, and they’re all in sports.  They’re all big on toys, and they all like to tug.  And they’re terriers. You can imagine that a good, strong, tug-friendly toy that actually lasts is worth its weight in gold around here.

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Ol’ red eyes right there is why we can’t have nice things.

I bought my first square-braid tug from Katie at Red Dog Tugs and was sold immediately.  Tugs made this way are STRONG: my first ones that I bought from Katie are more than two years old and still going strong with three maniac dogs (and several crazy fosters) in the house. The very first one I got from her, in fact, still rides around with me in Widget’s puppy bag and is her go-to tug. They’re also washable, and if you throw a stretched-out tug in the dryer for a few minutes, it shrinks back up. I started dinking around trying to figure out how to make them myself about a year ago; I got pretty good at them and have been selling them locally at the farmer’s market and giving them to my dog friends.  I’m sure I’ve made at least 100 by this point.  Here’s the thing, though: when I want a really tough tug for my dogs, I still buy them from Katie, and here’s why: much like the first couple of scarves you make when you’re just learning to knit, there’s a learning curve with these tugs, and you get better at them the more you make. Katie’s been doing this for a while; her tugs are better than mine. And the ones I’m making now are certainly better than the ones I made when I started, even though it’s the same fairly simple process to make them; it just gets in your hands better the more you make.  But if you want to try making one for yourself, here’s what to do!

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Ten Reasons Why Your Next Sport Dog Should Be A Rescue

group post by Kelsey, Michelle, Rebecca and Sarah

This is a post directed at sport people: we’re talking people who tried out dog sports at some point for fun, got bitten by the bug and are now thinking about their next dog(s) with sports in mind (we’re talking to you because we are you: please see our most recent puppy post for confirmation!) This is also a post where we’re going to encourage you to consider adopting a rescue* to be your next sport dog. But before we get to the post, we want to make sure a few things are clear:

*When we say ‘rescue’, we’re using it as a catch-all term for dogs who are adopted from a shelter or private rescue, dogs who are found stray and some dogs who are privately rehomed [i.e. you got your dog from the mean, dog-hating guy who lives down the street]. We’re NOT talking about the  “I Consider Him A Rescue” types, who annoy us.

1) We’re not anti-breeder or anti-purebred/purpose-bred dogs here. One of our members is a fantastic AmStaff breeder (Merissa, of Gekko Staffs), another member has breeding ambitions down the road, and several of our members do conformation and are involved heavily in the world of their breed.  Our own dogs are both purpose-bred and rescued: some of us have both. We know that there are tons of cool things about getting a dog who has been carefully and deliberately bred, and this post is not here to knock those dogs or the people producing them. This is simply to remind you that there are also tons of cool things about rescue dogs, and to make a case that they should be considered with the same seriousness as a purpose-bred puppy.

2) We’re not going to spend a lot of time dwelling on the sad plight of shelter dogs in this post, because you’re a smart person and you already know that.  Yes, we wish that every dog had a home. No, we’re not going to tell you you should adopt a dog because you feel guilty about the situation of shelter dogs. No SPCA/Sarah McLaughlin/sad pictures here. We want you to adopt a rescue dog because you think that dog is amazing and can go head to head with any dog you could buy.

3) We are big competitive jerks pragmatists who enjoy winning, too. We’re not making a ‘The Best Q Is a Res-Q’ claim here. We like ribbons, we’re ambitious, we want to play at a high level. We think you can do that with a rescue dog (just ask TU’s Katie, whose dog Luce (aka ARCHX Siren’s Eleusinian Mystery CD CD-H RA RL3 RLV RL2X RL1X CGC TT) was the first American Pit Bull Terrier to ever be ranked nationally in APDT Rally.  Just ask Wallace.)

So bearing all that in mind, here are ten reasons why we think your next sport dog should be a rescue.

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Friday the 13th: The Dog Edition

Superstitions have been a part of the human experience for as long as we can remember. I’m sure many of us could recite without even thinking if asked.

Walking under a ladder brings you bad luck.
Breaking a mirror will cause you to have 7 years of bad luck.
A black cat crossing your path brings bad luck
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Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.

But they’re not all about bad luck (or injuring our mothers), though it seems the most prevalent are. Some of you may have heard the following:

Find a penny, pick it up…all day long you’ll have good luck. (Ok who admits to still picking up pennies with this in mind?)
Knocking on wood wards off bad luck. (I think we all still do this!)

Cats are not the only animals who have superstitions surrounding them, however. So Team Unruly has put together our 13 favorite dog superstitions.

1. Black dogs are generally considered unlucky, especially if they cross a traveler’s path or follow someone and refuse to be driven away.

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Watch out David! You’re being followed by a rather persistent black dog!

2. A strange dog coming to the house means a new friendship.

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Nellie comes to the Kelsey household for the first time. Peggy Sue drops by to meet David.

3. Meeting a dog means you’ll have good luck. This is especially true if you meet a Dalmatian!

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You don’t get much luckier than this!

4. To meet a spotted or black and white dog on your way to a business appointment is lucky.

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Nellie is both black and white AND spotted and she’s here to make your day!

5. Three white dogs seen together are considered lucky.

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Does this mean I’m 2/3 lucky?

6. When a dog is staring intently at nothing for no apparent reason, look between the dog’s ears and you’ll see a ghost.

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I wonder what Mariposa has spotted. Anyone see a ghost out there?

7. Howling dogs mean the wind god has summoned death, and the spirits of the dead will be taken. (This one may just be my favorite!)

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Widget says “Death is on his way! Beware!!”

8. If you have your newborn baby licked by a dog, your baby will be a quick healer.

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Jax says “Taking care of this!” This child ought to heal REALLY quickly considering how many licks she got as a baby!

9. If a dog lies on its back, it is a sign of rain.

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We here at Team Unruly would like to apologize for all the rain we have caused.

11. A dog eating grass means it’s going to rain.

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Ein would also like to apologize.

12. A dog sitting with crossed fore-paws indicates rain.

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It must be raining cats and…well…dogs…where Danielle lives!

12. If the inside of a dog’s mouth is black, it is a sign he is well-bred.

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Dahlia finds this superstition very amusing.

13. Fishermen traditionally regard dogs as unlucky and will not take one out in a boat, or mention the word ‘dog’ while at sea.

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This may have looked like a good day to head out on the boat, but then they brought Cherry. She’ll make sure this little boat ride is doomed for sure!

So do you have any favorite dog superstitions?  Share them with us!

Sign 57 – Getting Mr. Ein over our Biggest Training Challenge

Warning: This post may only be interesting to lovers of Rally Obedience!

Bane of my Existence.

Bane of my Existence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Cynosport Rally Obedience Sign 57.  I underestimated you.  Big time.
“This exercise requires two signs. The team halts at the first exercise sign, at a spot 10-15 feet away from the jump and 4-6 feet offset to either side of the jump upright. The handler leaves the dog in a Sit and walks to the second exercise sign, at a spot 10-15 feet to the other side of the jump upright and directly facing the dog.  At this sign, the handler cues the dog to jump. Points will be deducted if the handler steps towards the jump while cuing the dog. The dog must come over the jump. As the dog is jumping, the handler may turn slightly so that the dog can come to front position but does not move forward towards the dog. The handler then cues the dog to Finish or Forward either Right or Left.”

My dog sport fever all began with my little corgi, Ein, in an agility class in January 2012.  Straight from the beginning we learned jumping.  Ein is okay with jumping.  Right?  RIGHT?  It was the teeter and weave poles that really freaked him out and sapped his enthusiasm for agility.  But jumps?  He’s got that.  Sure.  Sure he does.

Ein and I started trialing in AKC Rally Obedience and (then) APDT Rally Obedience in August 2012.  What a fun year we have had, with plenty of ups and downs, as a green handler and anxious dog.  We have collected up to the Rally Excellent title (AKC) and the ARCH title (WC Rally).  But not the elusive Rally Level 3 title.  And why?  You guessed it.  Sign 57.  (I was mostly worried about the heeling backwards required in the Moving Backup sign.  It has not been an issue.  Not once.)

Due to my inexperience, I never imagined that Sign 57 would be a problem.  It’s a jump, my dog was taught to jump.  Therefore he will jump when I point.  Simple!  Not simple.  (The errors in my thought process are clear to me now.  Not so much back then.)
Two things I failed to consider: This sign is a variation on a Utility Level Obedience exercise.  So: not easy-peasy!  Also, this sign requires more independent work than any other rally sign ( in my opinion.)    Approximately 30 feet of independent work.
Ignorance is bliss: I attempted three Level 3 entries with Ein and received Non-Qualifying scores for every single one. What can I say, I am a “learn from mistakes” type of person.
Ein is great at holding a stay.  He is so splendid that when I left him in a stay and sent him to the jump, he continued to stay.  And stared at me.  Because, much to my naive surprise, he had absolutely no idea what I wanted him to do.  I was shocked and ashamed of myself that I had asked Too Much of my little red dog.

Well, it had to be fixed!  My initial attempt at “training” this was to simulate the exact same set up and ask Ein over and over again to take the jump.  Ridiculous, I know.  It didn’t work.  The next logical step was to get Ein and I closer to one another.  I would leave him half a foot offset from the jump, and position myself – facing him – on the opposite side, about 2 feet from one another.  That worked, but unreliably – yet it has still been my favorite method.  Next attempt was to put a target (we use a can cover) in front of the jump and send him to target that.  That worked okay.  I moved the target to the other side of the jump and Ein would: walk around the jump to target, stare at me, or rarely actually go over the jump for the target.  Everything was Not Working.  We have been struggling with this for months with little to no resolve.

A few weeks ago, Ein performed this sign two different times in a rally-o class.  I was ecstatic.  But then the next week, we were back to square one.  I think about this sign so much.  And the more I think, the more I realize that I would find our solution only by breaking the sign down to its basic fundamentals.

IMG_2659Part 1 – Leave the Dog in a Sit.
You must heel up to the sign.  Your dog must sit.  You leave the dog and the dog must stay.  It seems very simple, but in order to help Ein understand what is being asked of him, something had to change.
Our instructor suggested that instead of saying “Stay” I might say “Wait”, or something different so that Ein knows what is coming.  I like this a lot.  This helps me communicate to Ein “I want you to stay, but you will be asked to jump soon.” versus our normal “Stay.”  Ein has a very reliable “Recall Over Jump” when I leave him directly opposite of me, so telling him “Get Ready.” before asking him to jump in that situation, and only in that situation, should help him learn his new cue word.  “Get Ready” will be exclusive to “Staying Until Jumping.”

einlPart 2 – The Handler Cues the Dog…
Dogs need clear direction when they are being asked to do something.  It only makes sense to consider my own body language and cue Ein in a way that communicates most clearly with him, and takes his personality into consideration.
Without listing everything that I have done wrong, I know that I need to: Say his name.  Say our new cue word loudly and clearly.  Point to the jump in a grand sweeping motion with open hand (or two hands!) and keep my arm(s) raised.  Look at the jump during all of this, not at Ein.

Part 3 – The Dog Must Come Over The Jump. That jump needs to be a Really Good Thing for Ein.  And previously?  It really was not.  Again, a new cue word (bar”) and more concentrated emphasis on the bare bones concept of the jump. (starting at a low jump height is ideal for teaching the basics of a jump, and for building confidence.)
When I taught Ein agility jumps, I was told to wait for him to make the decision to jump, and then throw the reward out in front of him after he took the jump.  So, we revisited: I sat by the jump standard with a bag of yummy treats.  Ein got a treat thrown opposite the jump for: looking at the jump, for taking the jump.  He would initially stare at me.  It did not take him long to realize that that would get him nowhere fast.  Soon he began some glances at the jump.  Jackpot!  I threw the treat opposite the jump with a verbal praise-marker (Ein is afraid of the clicker sound.)  Since I started off sitting by the jump standard, Ein didn’t have the option of running around the jump.

It wasn’t long before Ein realized that he was Getting Food and Being Right and I soon had a corgi who actually wanted to jump.  I had succeeded in making jumps fun again!  We repeated this process with my moving one foot, three feet, and so on away from the jump standard.  Same process with me sitting in back of or in front of the jump.  It took some time, but now I can actually stand rather than sit and tell Ein “Bar!” and he scampers over that jump and smiles at me.   Mission accomplished.

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Part 4 – Front and Finish.
Though I have obviously had issues with underestimating the above three parts of this exercise, I feel confident that this will be our strong area!  Ein is always happy to return to the safety of Me, and by now a Front and Finish are non-issues.  At eight years old and obsessed with Me, Ein is not prone to a zoomie run following the fun of taking a jump.  But hey, I don’t want to jinx us – especially not if we survive the sign to this point!

Sign 57?  You are going DOWN.  

So how about you?  Have you ever had a training challenge that baffled you and your dog?  What did you do about it?  Still working on it?  Please share!