Winter is officially here and I feel like Hibernating. Bear, on the other hand, has ideas of his own.
Lately he has been bringing me his toys, trying to entice me into playing with him. If I don’t respond he brings them to Sean who exclaimed earlier this week “will you DO something with this dog!” So I got up and sliced up some cheese then Bear and I did some ‘work’ until it was gone.
This is only the beginning of winter so I’m thinking that, for once, I should be proactive and come up with some plans for training I can do indoors in my living room that will also help me reach some if the performance titling goals I have in mind.
Here is my list of training projects with our larger goals attached.
- Back up in Heel Position – We had this down pat and then I went and screwed it up somehow. At our last CARO rally trial we NQd on our back up 3 steps (and rightfully so). I’d like to fix this so I don’t have to worry about it anymore.
- Scent Discrimination – This is a challenge coming to CARO Rally shortly with the Introduction of the Working Levels. It’s also a skill that qualifies as an Expert Trick Dog title with the Do More with Your Dog Association. I am also convinced that teaching Bear to solve scent “problems” will help our tracking training.
- Object Discrimination – This is another challenge coming to CARO Rally with the Introduction of the Working Levels.
- Retrieving – Retrieving has been the bane of our existence! I’m being rather dramatic – it’s not life or death – but if we want to earn a Working Level title in rally, we need a good retrieve and if ever we want to earn the Trick Dog Champion Title, we need a retrieve.
- NoseWork – This is essentially another scent discrimination game and I think it’ll be fun. This is also an Expert trick dog Exercise.
- Long Stand/Down – I have dreams of attempting a Draft Dog Test and in order to do this Bear needs to perform a long stand (on leash, alone) and a long down (off leash, in a ring with other dogs). I think I’d also like to attempt the excellent level in CKC Rally which involves an honour exercise so I think the long down work will transfer nicely.
- Kick-Back Stand – I would like to train this with a verbal cue only because I think it looks soooo good in Rally when a handler says “stand” and the dog pops up into a perfect stand. Call me vain but I want to look cool!
My plan is to train these as I go and report on how we are progressing and what methods we’ve used and what discoveries we’ve made so stay tuned!
What behaviours/exercises are on your winter training list? Are they related to titles or just things you’ve always wanted to teach your dog to show off to your friends?