Title: Lack of focus
Description: First obedience comp didn't go well
s.padam - July 23, 2010 05:55 PM (GMT)
Oh dear what a disaster!
I know at the end of the day that you always take the best dog home, and I shouldn't have expected to do well first time out but...
We entered the “Elementary Obedience”, basically an obedience comp for dogs that had never won anything before. I had managed to practice some heal work in the field before our class began, and Duke was quiet attentive.
This was virtually midday in the full heat of the sun, in a middle of a field with no shade. We, stupidly, volunteered to go first. The “No treats in the ring” didn’t help us. The heal work was pretty good I think (although not like what we later saw some other Collie’s producing!) and I set him up for the recall with no issue, turned and walked away and when she said “call your dog”, I really thought that he was going to come straight to me…. until he veered off at the last moment and charged to the other end of the field, where eventually I pulled him out of some one’s van!
We had to wait until the end of the class to do the times stayed, which took a couple of hours. To be honest Duke wasn’t the only dog not to recall, but no-one else did it quite so spectacularly! He got up from both of his stays, the sit at 29 seconds – he only had to do 30, but it was so hot that I am not surprised. They told me to keep the lead on … can’t imagine why!
So my question is, how do I train in some of the perfect "focus on mum" that so many other Collie's seem to have? Duke is so easily distracted, have tried treats, a ball, etc but nothing seems to work!
walliecollie - July 23, 2010 08:40 PM (GMT)
I dont have any advise, but look forward to hearing some of the replies as I have a similar problem with Tizzy.
She works in the hall just fine and at home (unless next doors cat is sitting on the fence). Get her to a show and she is like a different dog.
She gets very wary of new places and other dogs, so her attention is keeping an eye on everyone else instead of me. She even gets wary of the Judge, who in her mind is a stranger following us. I am trying to train outside in different places, but they are never the same as at a busy show.
I am starting to take her to a comp ob trainer who for the summer is training outside, see if I can get any tips from there.
To make you feel better, Tizzy has run out of the ring doing a recall. She has also sat down in the middle of H/W to watch a plane go over.
maggie46 - July 23, 2010 11:27 PM (GMT)
oh no, sorry to hear it didnt go too well...i am not too surprised in that heat - maggie always plays up in really hot weather - she gets really restless...
Maggie used to be completely the same and i really dont think we did anything special to change it other than practice, practice, practice....and i dont spend hours on end or anything, but i do try and do a few short sessions every day...not necessarily just heelwork etc either, but focus work, impulse control, general recall etc and other pet obedience things in general...
plus, i have one strict rule, I MUST make everything a game - so it never becomes a chore for her to do - everything is a big game with massive fun and rewards and toys etc when we are first learning it and then intermitently to practice once they know.
i have just found that the more i do with her, the better everything gets and it just builds and you practice more and more...sometimes i have a few days break and find that she is much better and more attentive when we restart a few days later too, so dont overdo it...
PS: something to help with responding in new places is that you HAVE to make sure you practice in all sorts of places, and not on the day of the comp itself. so i do everything at home, in the garden, in the training hall, outside in their training garden area, in our local parks etc etc...and practice over and over on different days til she gets really good in each area and is used to the areas as places to train...until in the end, it gets easier to replicate in different locationns :)
s.padam - July 24, 2010 09:57 AM (GMT)
Thanks guys, makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one.
Katie can you give me an idea of what you mean by
I have tried to practice in other places (he is brilliant in the training room and even the garden and the healwork we do outside at training), but I can't get his attention else where!
maggie46 - July 27, 2010 04:06 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (s.padam @ Jul 24 2010, 09:57 AM)|
| Katie can you give me an idea of what you mean by [QUOTE]focus work |
oh yes, so things like 'touch' where i get her focused with a 'touch' command before starting anything...where she has to touch my palm with her nose and i give her a treat. i keep 'touch' a really fun game for her so she always wants to do it, even when she is distracted.
I also use 'watch me' which is when I would like her to look at me and then once she is focused I then give her a command (much easier to get them to do what you want once they are looking at you :) ). i have taught this over the months by first having a treat in my fingers and lifting to my face and asking her to watch me, then clicking and treating the second her eyes came into contact with mine...i then gradually got rid of the treat and the hand movement...plus then once she got good i started moving a treat or toy in one hand away from me and as soon as she looked at my eyes i would click and treat...so she starts learning that eye contact gets her what she wants and that she can do it even with moving distractions.
and another one i use is 'look' which is kind of similar to the above but i use it to mean 'look' at the thing that is distracting you, then look back at me for a treat. which snaps her out of her reactivity (as she sometimes goes rather nuts at agility when other dogs are running close by). now we have been playing this for quite a while if i say look, she will 'offer' a look as a trick almost - so a head tilt or quick glance towards the thing that would normally really distract her and send her nutty - and then she looks back at me for a treat :)
so by doing all these things regularly and in combination i find it soooooo much easier to keep her attention or to get it back if she gets distracted.
s.padam - July 27, 2010 08:06 PM (GMT)
oooh! Thanks, will try these and see where we get to.
Duke (and my previous dogs) were all clicker trained, so he is used to that.
Will keep you posted!
mishflynn - July 29, 2010 03:18 PM (GMT)
How much talking did you do? For a novice dog this is how much talking I would do first time in the ring.
"right then, shall we dooooooo aaaaaa RECALL? oh yes recall, Sit then, oh good sit, look at that sit (move into side) can you do a sit wait? oh good sit wait, thats fantastic,(steward: command your dog) sit waitthats fantastic (steward : leave your dog) are you sitting sit wait (move off double up with hand signal, move off & turn your shoulder back)wow thats a good sit wait, fantastic, ;look at you, sit there thats brilliant, sit wait (about turn) you sit, waiting.ahhh thats soooo good, waiting, are you ready? waiting,(stwerd :call your dog) X come, oh brilliant, yey come, come on FANTASTIC ,sit, thats a brilliant sit,ready X close.good close ready...... (release & play)
in HW you need to teach a strong head position & focas on your left hand, our left hand then stays static & dogs head should not move!( Lol easier said than done!)
maggie46 - July 29, 2010 04:21 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (mishflynn @ Jul 29 2010, 03:18 PM)|
| How much talking did you do? For a novice dog this is how much talking I would do first time in the ring. |
lol, thats brill - thats how i train maggie and everyone says i am nuts and the poor dog will be confused from all the talking, but i find it keeps her attention on me, especially if all the above is said in a stupid voice!! lol :embarrased:
how do you teach the head position for the heelwork? i saw your vid with zola, but how did you start? how do you progress etc? sorry just being nosey and always looking for tips!
s.padam - July 29, 2010 07:16 PM (GMT)
|how do you teach the head position for the heelwork? i saw your vid with zola, but how did you start? how do you progress etc? sorry just being nosey and always looking for tips!|
I wouldn't find knowing too... all help gratefully received!
You are right that I probably didn't do enough talking. Have spent the last three evenings training Duke to focus on my left hand, and he seems to have picked it up really quickly, so healwork around the house and garden is looking good. Just have to see if it translates elsewhere!
mishflynn - July 29, 2010 08:31 PM (GMT)
Focas on hand moving, out of HW pos, Touch the hand for a treat etc. Extend he touch before the treat comes.
Then have the dog out in follow, again touching the hand, then when it is good move hand higher (dont let jumping set in) i use watch/ Touch/ Get it.
Then STATICALLY in HW position, again use touch, at this point introduce a "head command" i use "heady on" & you can start to Test the head, gently pull the lead to try to pull the head away & praise when it locks on etc
Then start moving!!!!
maggie46 - July 30, 2010 03:56 PM (GMT)