Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Do-Land... Can I Become a Cookie?

Well life got busy and I got behind posting so this is a quick catch-up post on some of the funner, important stuff.

I've subscribed to Susan Garrett's blog for some time.  I think I own all her training DVDs and plan to read  her two books.  She lives in "do-land" and uses training techniques with no positive punishment (leash corrections, verbal corrections, etc).  Susan rewards the behavior she wants, encourages the dog to think, uses clickers, and lots of reinforcement from herself.  Susan encourages joy in the dog - the handler becomes the cookie.  See how a become a cookie video for another's viewpoint of Susan's method.

To balance Susan Garrett, I've been re-reading When Pigs Fly by Jane Killion, and watching the Control Unleashed Seminar 4 DVD series by Leslie McDevitt.  These trainers have very similar views on training dogs... they all are focused on helping the dog find joy in the activities they do with us.  However, as you would expect, their approaches are different.  Just this week I've signed up for Puppy Peaks from Susan Garrett... a program of weekly web material of Susan working with her puppy Swagger.  Why puppy training you ask?

I've been mulling over my next agility dog choice.  I've landed on a great kennel with wonderful personality dogs.  I'm smitten with a certain young lady in the current litter at Flagtree Kennels but I'm holding off for about ~6 months hoping to be down 1 dog (Pete back to Mom) and Mike finished with school and clinicals.  Tammy Flaga (Houston, TX area) breeds Miniature American Shepherds.  This breed in now recognized by AKC and will show in the herding group so the new smaller Aussies can compete in the same venues as their larger cousins.  The breed standard for the new breed isn't posted on the AKC website but I understand that bitches top out at 17" placing the bitches in the AKC agility 16" jump class.  It seems a better fit than than Grace at 18.25" having a standard AKC jump height of 20".

When cooking Sunday afternoon I had 4 sous chefs in the kitchen assisting me - it was TOO much help.  Bern now has his big red mat in the kitchen.  Grace has selected a spot next to Bern - no mat.  This is working much better.  However Pete and Teds are still wandering through my work area.

Since Pete is in the Pigs Fly (Impossible) dogs category I plan to follow Jane Killion's program with him.  We will start charging the clicker when I get back from Hattiesburg.  I also want to work on Susan Garrett's Crate Games with the dogs....I not sure who to start with though....

Tracey's knee suffered a soccer injury Tuesday night so I might be running a few additional dogs this weekend.  The MR pack wishes her a speedy recovery.