Lyra’s focus on dogs – part 2

Lyra is progressing well with her dog and movement fixation. Indeed, she’s doing much better than I would have expected, which means I have to be careful not to push too quickly or to be disappointed by setbacks. She can play tug with her ball while another dog...

Lyra’s Focus on Dogs and Movement

I’m happy with Lyra’s work at home.  She’s cute, engaged and learning well.  We’re at that fabulous point where I train her several times a day, simply because it’s so much fun for us.  As often as not, “training” is sitting...

Lyra learns to swim

All of the dogs who live here swim; I cannot imagine a dog that does not swim.  A typical scene in the summer is several dogs, adults and children all in the pool.  Family bonding!  Fun!  And then Lyra joins the family and wasn’t showing much interest in the...

Lyra – Beginning Ring Prep

A few people asked for more ideas for ring preparation. In this video, Lyra is working through some early steps of ring preparation – I’m beginning to take the toys off of my body. Prerequisite skills for this work include: 1) Your dog can work with...

Happy Birthday Lyra!

It’s Lyra’s birthday! In honor of Lyra, this is not a training blog; it is simply a training session to show where were at in terms of skills, play and drive when she trains at home. There are five videos here; they start as I take her out of the yard to...

Jumping

I write this blog with trepidation. Each sport comes with it’s own culture; beliefs, expectations and norms vary tremendously by sport.  What is common knowledge in one sport is frowned upon in a different sport. Ideas about jumping are no different.  Some...

Lyra – 11 months Retrieve over High Jump

Lyra likes her dumbbell and has a reasonable retrive on the flat.   She has a basic understanding of going over a jump when I indicate it, though she does make some mistakes (which you can see in the tape).  Now I’m introducing retrieve over high jump. Each dog...

Lyra – 10 months – Adding a Hand Target

Lyra is learning to sit automatically in heel position.  I’m also starting to teach her a left hand finish. In both cases, it’s helpful to have a hand taget; I ask Lyra to touch the side of her muzzle against the side of my hand.  In this way, I can place...

Lyra – 10 months – turning the corner

Nine months.  Or maybe ten months. That is the answer to the question, “When did Lyra start to love her work?” I’ve gone on faith that she would grow to love her work but it certainly wasn’t obvious to a casual observer.  Indeed, I’ve...

Lyra – 9.5 months – Increase Speed in Retrieve

Lyra was taught to retrieve a dumbbell as a very small puppy.  At that time, the emphasis was on taking it correctly; in the center and with a quiet grip.  I did not teach a “hold” or a front, and indeed, she still has neither of these things.  Her job is...

Lyra 9 months – Learning “for fun”

Not all learning requires cookies or toys; there is value in teaching your dog just for fun.  When dogs learn without classic rewards, they tend to operate in a calmer manner, because learning for learning’s sake does not generate drive.  It does, however, force...

Lyra – 9 months – Active Stay

Now that Lyra has some  nice drive to work with, I am teaching her an “active” stay. In my training there are two types of stays, and they are distinctly different. A “passive” stay is boring.  Nothing interesting is going to happen, so go...

Lyra – Nine Months – IPO obedience

I do not want Lyra to believe that the ONLY thing she does on the IPO field (or in the presence of the IPO helper) is protection work.  Dogs that associate the field with biting and not with obedience can end up with serious control problems later on; both in IPO...

Lyra – 8.5 months Heeling

As I worked Lyra’s heeling today, I was reminded of what a slow process it is to teach beautiful heeling.  Lyra has been heeling since she was ten weeks old, yet with six months of consistent training we still don’t work for more than ten or fifteen steps...

Lyra 8.5 months – leaving training

I haven’t talked about Lyra for awhile. She’s 8.5 months old.  She continues to be a delight on so many levels; friendly, calm, and very easy to manage.   She enjoys working, though she is not obsessive about it.  Her personal play skills are coming on...

Lyra – 7.5 months – Directed Jumping

A few weeks ago I introduced Lyra to basic jumping skills.  When she understood that finding a jump and taking it created a positive reaction from  me, I introduced a minor hand signal to indicate which jump I wanted.  I also began facing her to complete this concept,...

Lyra 7 months – Jumping

Lyra is becoming relatively fluent on her current skills, so it’s time to add something new to her repertoire.  This week I introduced some basic jumping skills. There are a thousand ways you can start this.  My goals for the next couple of weeks are threefold....

Lyra – 7 months

Have you ever had a training day where absolutely everything went right?  Where you wished every person who’d ever said an unkind thing about you could be there to watch?  Where you ended the work completely bubbling over inside with the excitement that comes...

Lyra – 7 months – “mark” vs. “attention”

Lyra is now seven months old. In addition to close in attention, I’d like to have an explosive send away as well.  This is useful for retrieves, go outs/send out, articles and any work that requires the dog to look out ahead. There are two components to a good...

Lyra – 6.5 months – Scent work and Distractions

A week ago I posted a video of Lyra working on heeling with significant distractions on the field.  I allow her to find the distractions and to discover for herself that working with me is endlessly more fun than self rewarding.  She worked, wandered, sniffed, and...

Lyra 6 months – distraction training

I do not consider distraction training to be a unique stage of training; it is part of the overall process.  Distraction training starts from the day I bring a puppy home, whether I wish to work on distractions or not. Regardless, there are periods in training where I...

Lyra – 6 months

Lyra is six months old now; a lot has happened in the four months that I’ve had her. I’m delighted to see that she appears to be through her “wierd puppy” stage.  She’s consistently social with people and confident in new situations...

Lyra 5.5 months – play as ????

Playing with a mouthy puppy is different than playing with an adult, and takes a fair amount of trial and error to figure out what works best. I don’t get upset with Lyra for biting when we play; I simply stop moving and wait for her to let go.  At this point,...