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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 08:58 AM
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Kudos to Archer. You both did a very nice job.


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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I think you both look awesome, Jen! i am not familiar with CARO rules, but your side step would have been fine in either AKC or WCRL. And, yes, your 350 was large (we are told to think of staying on a pie plate) it would NOT have been an NQ in either AKC (where it's likely that they wouldn't have even taken points off) or WCRL, where it might have been a point or two.
Looking at the rulebook afterwards, I am still really surprised to have been NQ'd for these moves. I should have lost points but not been NQ'd based on what it says there, but, I know different judges all have things they particularly look for, so we'll try again.

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Also, while I agree with you that it makes sense to have a different cue for "competition heeling" as opposed to loose leash walking, it looks like he's giving you really nice attention and a good heel already. Be careful with a shorter leash... In the US, especially in WCR, you can get dinged heavily ANY time the leash goes tight, and a short leash can make that happen on a turn, even without the dog getting out of position much. I like a very thin, very pliable 5' leash, where I can keep the extra just folded in my hand, with my thumb through the loop. That way, if I need to, I can play more out without losing points for a tight leash. Havanese are a funny size for leashes... I found that a 6' leash was too long in competition, and a 4' was too short. Here in the US, you actually have to special order 5' leashes, but that's what I do!
I found my 6 foot leash too long in the class before so I special ordered the 5 foot one I'm using in this video. The prob with the 6 foot was even with a knot to mark where I should be grasping it I was tending to keep it too tight. So I'm kind of thinking I want something where I can just hold the loop at my belly and have it be optimal, but yes it might not work for the turns. Maybe a thinner leash would help and be easier for me to fold up in my hand quickly.

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I like that you can use harnesses in Caro... In both AKC and WCRL, the dog MUST show in a collar. It looks like CARO is like WCRL, that you can treat after an exercise in the ring? i like that too!
In Novice CARO you can treat at the end of an exercise where the exercise ends with the dog stationary (a "Halt") as long as the dog stays in position. I use the harness because that is what he is used to walking on but I wonder if I should switch to collar for the actual runs because I think part of why my leash management needs a bit of help is I don't want it draping in his face as we are walking. If he were on a collar it might just drape below his neck instead. But yes you can use harnesses as long as they are just basic, not front clip, and don't tighten or do anything fancy.

Doing Rally-O is great because it improves our walks, and it is also improving my handling skills to help me be more polished and comfortable, which I think is important as I work towards becoming a certified professional dog trainer.

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 12:47 PM
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Looking at the rulebook afterwards, I am still really surprised to have been NQ'd for these moves. I should have lost points but not been NQ'd based on what it says there, but, I know different judges all have things they particularly look for, so we'll try again.



I found my 6 foot leash too long in the class before so I special ordered the 5 foot one I'm using in this video. The prob with the 6 foot was even with a knot to mark where I should be grasping it I was tending to keep it too tight. So I'm kind of thinking I want something where I can just hold the loop at my belly and have it be optimal, but yes it might not work for the turns. Maybe a thinner leash would help and be easier for me to fold up in my hand quickly.



In Novice CARO you can treat at the end of an exercise where the exercise ends with the dog stationary (a "Halt") as long as the dog stays in position. I use the harness because that is what he is used to walking on but I wonder if I should switch to collar for the actual runs because I think part of why my leash management needs a bit of help is I don't want it draping in his face as we are walking. If he were on a collar it might just drape below his neck instead. But yes you can use harnesses as long as they are just basic, not front clip, and don't tighten or do anything fancy.

Doing Rally-O is great because it improves our walks, and it is also improving my handling skills to help me be more polished and comfortable, which I think is important as I work towards becoming a certified professional dog trainer.
I think the two of you are doing AWESOME! I agree that you might find a plain collar easier than the harness at this point. He is clearly not needing the leash for "control", so you aren't going to damage his neck with it! I assume that as you go up the levels in CARO you'll be working off-leash, right? So at that point, you probably would be using a collar anyway.

Even with a collar, I found that occasionally, Kodi would get a foot over the leash. It's REALLY hard with such a small dog, to have the leash with a "J" loop in it, but at the same time, not low enough that they can step over it! In AKC and WCRL, you can stop at any point to get your dog's leg un-stuck without loss of points. I did try to do it mostly at stationary exercises anyway, though, just to prevent loss of flow. And as Kodi got older, her just figured out how to avoid stepping through it anyway. (Or I got better handling it! Not sure which! )

It's actually SO much easier once you're off leash. Now that I'm working with my second one, and know a lot more than I did with Kodi, I am doing almost no on-leash "work" with Pixel. Eventually we will, but she will already have a firm understanding of heel position before we work on leash. When we're outside in a casual setting, we now have the advantage of an older trained dog for an example. she just follows Kodi, so I can get her to go where I want without her even realizing that she's "on leash".


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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 11:50 AM
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GOOD JOB amigo Archer (Archer Momi two). The color blue looks real good on yu. Yu and Kodi are setting the bar awfully high for us little doggies who are following in your paw prints!

This thread is giving mi all kinds of good tips for beginning obedience. Mi Popi has been training mi with a 4 foot leash....and he insists that I keep it loose. Like maybe that is expecting a little two much! Lighten up Popi maybe a 5 foot leash is good enough!

All you competition doggies out there, keep these threads going. I have a lot to learn. I especially like the videos....a picture is worth a thousand ARFS!

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 04:22 PM
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I love seeing them too, even though I can't imagine competing. The pressure!

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 08:20 PM
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I love seeing them too, even though I can't imagine competing. The pressure!
It's only pressure if you pressure yourself! The nice thing about dog sports is that although there ARE "places", the important thing is "Q's". And getting a Q isn't based on competition, it's based on performing against the standard. So you just try to better your own performance!


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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Ok gang, our 2nd trial was just this weekend in Kelowna. It was WAY harder than the first one! Despite the fact that we finally had a breakthrough and have a lovely sidestep now, and that we've learned some much tighter 360's and 270's, Archer was disastrously distracted in almost all of his runs, especially on the first day. It was a big road trip, then a night of disturbed sleep for both of us due to the new place, and then we were trialing in a barn with a sand floor, which he has never worked on before and was apparently wonderfully and captivatingly scented. The barking dogs and airplanes overhead were just too much for him! It was tough, but we managed, with the help of the judges, who are very supportive, to get a couple of good exercises and end our runs on a high note. I have learned now that rather than keep trying and hoping we will magically recover, that it is better to go FEO and bring more food out to keep it a positive experience for both of us.

I really thought we would title in novice this weekend, with the chance to run 4 times and only needing 2 Q's. But it was not to be! Sure makes our first runs at TNT recently look much better in retrospect. However, we did get our first novice team Q, with Malcolm the boxer. 10 signs were about right for what Archer could manage, and, we strategized and I took the more stationary exercises where he is better able to focus and let Emma and Malcolm do the more extended heeling exercises, closer to the wall where Archer had mysteriously balked & frozen up a couple times before that (something about the wall... maybe that there were carfuls of barking dogs behind it the day before). I think it also helped to have him in the ring for a little while waiting for our turn to do the 2nd half, as I could feed him lots and reward small successes to help him stay focused before we went.

Here is a video of the run:

It also helped me to have one success as I needed some positive reinforcement because I was starting to get discouraged. I really wanted the judges to be able to see what Archer is capable of!
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File Type: jpg ArcherMalcolm.jpg (1.93 MB, 1 views)


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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 08:22 PM
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Oh, you were brave going to a venue with a sand floor... In honesty, I wouldn't dare doing that with Kodi with out lots and LOTS of oracticpce in that sort of setting. That's REALLY HARD!!! I don't show Kodi outdoors for the same reason. We practice almost exclusively indoors on rubber mats (except at home, where we do practice outdoors) so expecting him to work in a strange setting, either outdoors or in a building with a sand or dirt floor seems like too much for us!

You did just the right thing by choosing to go to a heavier reinforcement schedule when he was having trouble, whether it NQ'd you or not. The more fun you can make it, the more he'll want to "play" with you the next time. It looked like he was right with you in the team run! He looked great!

We don't have "team" classes in WCR, and they are only rarely offered in AKC. That looks like fun!


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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, you were brave going to a venue with a sand floor... In honesty, I wouldn't dare doing that with Kodi with out lots and LOTS of oracticpce in that sort of setting. That's REALLY HARD!!! I don't show Kodi outdoors for the same reason. We practice almost exclusively indoors on rubber mats (except at home, where we do practice outdoors) so expecting him to work in a strange setting, either outdoors or in a building with a sand or dirt floor seems like too much for us!

You did just the right thing by choosing to go to a heavier reinforcement schedule when he was having trouble, whether it NQ'd you or not. The more fun you can make it, the more he'll want to "play" with you the next time. It looked like he was right with you in the team run! He looked great!

We don't have "team" classes in WCR, and they are only rarely offered in AKC. That looks like fun!
Karen I'm not sure I would say I was brave- how about ignorant! I signed up for the trial because a couple of the other ladies from the class were going and we were making a fun weekend out of it. It was only when I looked closely at the forms that I noticed it said it was a compacted sand floor. I was definitely concerned but I didn't expect it to be as bad as it was!

That team run was a fluke of all of them; and I think had it been more than 10 signs we wouldn't have kept it together. I think we also got lucky that there was just a lull in the noise during it.

Archer wasn't the only dog to struggle with the floor- one of my teammate's dogs (her other boxer) was having a good old sniffathon too. We all struggled in that environment but their dogs are also older, and their heads are farther away from the ground!!

The team aspect is definitely fun; deciding which part each of you will do, and especially having an unusual team like ours. Only wish we could have team names entered. You can switch teams too, but we want to try and title our dogs in team with the same team each time.

I am not posting the video evidence of how hard the environment was for Archer and I In this day of carefully curated digital media you are only getting to see the good stuff, haha.


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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 01:32 PM
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I definitely understand what you went through. Oliver does agility and we started his first session in a horse arena with a dirt floor. You can imagine the smells and they were all new to him. The other thing was there were two classes going at once. Our beginner and a more advanced class at the other end of the arena. Very loud and lots of activity going on. Now he is in his second class in a different place, but it too is a horse arena with more than one class, in fact this one has three classes going. I am amazed Ollie doesn't take off for visits, but he has been very good about that. He can lose his concentration though and it is a constant battle to keep his focus on me. I have enclosed a video just to let you get an idea of the noise and to let you see what happens with another young dog, a lab, in our class that just couldn't be contained. The voice on the video is my son, he thinks it is funny, but of course he doesn't understand how frustrating it is for everyone involved. You can also see how Oliver gets distracted at times from smells and noise. This video was during his first beginner session, he is getting better, but I think it will always be an issue. Hopefully as time goes on he will become immune to it and it will help him in the long run.

https://youtu.be/JBpRg4xUnLM







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