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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Open Obedience Exercises Update

I think that our Open Obedience exercises are coming along nicely, although we still have a long way to go before we are ready for the ring.

Since the heeling portion in Open is very short, I really want to have perfect heeling. I want prancy, heads-up, full attention heeling for the entire pattern. I also want nice drive (a pop-up) out of the sits and drivey about-turns. Bosley can be a gorgeous heeling dog and I want to take that into the ring. We practice bits of heeling every day working on his heeling focus.

Drop On Recall:
Bosley is still sometimes anticipating the drop (which is not a bad thing - it means he is trying to do what I am teaching him) so we do many more straight recalls than drops. His drops are getting faster with less creeping, which is nice to see. I am also starting to add some more distance.

Retrieve On Flat:
I am so pleased with Bosley's retrieve. I was battling him not going out on the first command, so I went back a fews steps in his training and did more restrained retrieves and short retrieves. Lots of fun and getting him excited. Bosley did not take to retrieving naturally, so I need to keep him loving the dumbbell. I am still working on getting straighter fronts when he has the dumbbell - sometimes they are great (when he slams the dumbbell into me :0) and sometimes they are kind of sloppy.

Retrieve Over High:
Bosley really drives out to the dumbbell over the jump. I am starting to practice making it more difficult for him by throwing the dumbbell well out to the sides of the jump so that it is easier for him to run straight to the dumbbell and back rather than take the jump. This is forcing him to make the right choice on this exercise. So far, so good on that - it helps that he likes to jump. I really need to work on rewarding his stays, as I can anticipate him taking off over the jump before I give the command.

Broad Jump:
I have taken away the training bar jump completely and he is clearing his full competition distance (44") without stepping on the boards (yay). I am still working on straight jumps over the broad jump and have not asked for a formal front and finish yet. I want to make sure that he really understands his job with the broad jump (going over without touching boards or cutting the corner) before I start to add the more formal components. I don't feel any rush to add the front/finish until I am 100% happy with the actual jumping.

Out Of Sight Stays:
Still need lots of practice with this - more so with the sits. 3 minutes is a long time. I am not worried about the out of sight part (I am quite sure Bosley won't come looking for me or cause a disturbance during an actual trial) but without me there staring at him, I worry he will forget that he is supposed to be sitting. We did a 1 minute sit-stay in class the other night with me out of sight and he was fine for that short period of time, so I guess it is just building up duration.
Amanda wants to start an Open/Utility Obedience class if there is enough interest. Too bad there isn't more interest in competition obedience in our city - it is hard to have classes when there are only a couple people who want to join. Hopefully the class will get going - I am really looking forward to it.

Photo credits go to Wendy


  1. i am super impressed with your progress, you guys will rock that open ring!!!!!!

  2. I am also impressed w/ everything your beautiful boy can do!! Berners are so gosh darn smart!