Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tracy Sklenar seminar

On Friday, Soleil and I attended a full day foundation seminar taught by Tracy Sklenar. It was a great seminar and Tracy is not only a very gifted and knowledgable trainer but a good presenter as well. I would love to bring her back to Colorado.

Tracy was very impressed with Soleil's tug drive. I thought Soleil did very well keeping her head together for over 7 hours of instruction (we had a 1-hour lunch break).

We spent a lot of time on impulse control games (which also build drive). It's your choice, Levels 1,2, 3. and crate games, and Mother-may-I.

Focus work such as Focus Forward. We would put the dog in a sit stay and walk about 5 feet ahead and drop their favorite toy on the ground in front of them (we would be standing even with the toy about 3 feet lateral to the side). When the dog stops looking at us and focuses forward on the toy, you release them to the toy and then play tug. You eventually replace this later with a jump. This translates to the dog learning to focus forward on their "work" not on you. This is good for complicated lead outs on course where you don't want the dog turning and looking at you but looking forward at their line.

We did flat work and worked on beginning to train directionals. Left and right. She does it differently than GD who teaches his dogs to spin. I don't use directional cues over jumps but I will want them for Soleil's running contacts.

The main thing I took away from the seminar was her philosophy of training and how she sets up and manages her training sessions. She begins each training session with a game of tug to get the dog in "drive" then she will quickly get out the treats and ask for behaviors. This goes into a shaping session and then another break with a game of tug. Then training again. It's done quickly with no down time and the dog is highly motivated the entire training session.

Saturday and Sunday we had an AKC trial. Summit won standard both days (by several seconds) but had a wrong course in both jumpers runs. The first run I'm not sure why he continued on his line when I was moving laterally and cueing the turn. Let me know if anyone sees anything.

On Sunday, the sun was shining through the windows at the top and as I turned off a pinwheel, I was blasted in the face by sunlight and was totally blind.

Here is Saturday's Jumpers run. He takes the wrong jump at the begining (second turn). Not sure why.

Saturday's Standard run - 1st place 37 seconds

Sunday's Standard run - 1st place 36 seconds

This week I took my teeter board off the frame and put it in the sunroom (along with the pause table minus it's legs). I shaped her getting onto the board, walking and turning around on it and end to end so it tips at each end. The movement didn't bother her but once she left the board and it continued to move and made a noise on the tile floor, she was bothered by this. So for now, I'll be building great value for the board and will incorporate playing tug games on the teeter board like we do on the table.

She is progressing very nicely in her understanding of lateral motion. She is performing front and rear crosses on the flat, and pushes and pulls. We continue to work on stays. Her sit stay is progressing nicely. The down stay not so much. She went on her first off-leash hike on Sunday afternoon and I was very pleased with her recall response. It was 100 percent with the distraction of running with three Border Collies - including her BFF Meg, who is 8 mos. old.


Diana said...

Wow, you can sure run fast. Beautiful runs. Its hard to tell why the off course on the jumpers run. I watched it multiple times. I looks like you could have been a little late turning your shoulders for the cross. But again its hard to really see on the video.

Its sounds like Soleil is doing really well with training. The seminar sounds like it was great too. She's an awesome puppy! Diana

Morganne said...

Thanks Diana. I think you are probably right, I was late.

Greg S said...

He's got to know that he's turning before he takes off for the 4th jump - looks like your shoulders were still supporting 4 for a tad too long, and at his speed, offcourse 5th jump was just a bounce away!

I think you have as much energy as a puppy yourself!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Beautiful runs as always!

The seminar sounded great - I don't know how Soleil made it through the whole day - what a good girl! I would love to know all the motivational exercises - I wish I had taught them to Ricky as a puppy.

Kathy said...

That is great info on puppy training, I figured that would be a great seminar, those guys are all so good at foundation!!! Soleil sounds so terrific, and you sound like you are having so much fun and doing such a good job!!!