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Old 11-29-2012, 08:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Looking for some insight..

Last week at our training session Zefra did something that kind of surprised me. I would love some insight to this from the more experienced - I have my own thoughts but feel as though I will not be able to translate them here coherently so will reserve them for now.

So, there were two people on the field plus our training director who is also our helper/decoy working our dogs. Our TD was going from the other person and their dog to myself and Zefra.

We were both working the dogs with their balls and doing some heel work and basic positioning stuff. Just a easy warm up lesson really. It was dark outside besides the minimal lights from the side of the field.

My TD wanted to show me something with Zefra as I was having a hard time grasping what he wanted me to do, so he took her ball and was playing around with her then brought her into position. She worked well for him and he also gave her a good correction for not getting into position correctly (if she is too drivy she has a tendency to "stop listening" and just throw behaviours at me until she gets it right - basically she stops listening to the command). She took the correction fine, got into basic position and they continued on for a few more seconds.

He did some line work for me and Zefra didn't even know he was there.

Okay, so.. here's the part where I start thinking.

When we were finished with obedience we decided to leave for the night since it was so dark. He had his bag, scratch pants, sleeve all sitting on this incline.

Zefra perked up the moment he went for the bag and to move the sleeve. She didn't bark but she did get quite intense.

I made her platz as we (the TD and myself) chatted about making plans for the following week, etc. Zefra remained in her down and settled but was still watchful.

As I turned around to leave I accidentally dropped her lead (yes, I know!) and she ran at our helper who now had the sleeve in his hands along with his bag. She RAN at him, stopped dead in her tracks, looked at him, sniffed him intently. He stopped moving, got real still and dropped the sleeve. He then said in a normal voice, "what?".

At this point I had called to her to "heir" and she came right back to me (this all happened in a matter of seconds) but was super watchful of him. She didn't really pay attention to the sleeve at all during this. She is not really a equipment type dog. She worked hidden equipment before (two sessions) with no issue.

Just curious as to her reaction - what your taken on it is? I think I know, but want to ensure my thoughts are correct.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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she thought the next training phase was beginning. You normally do obedience before protection, right?

As long as he wasn't presenting a threat(moving his body or running) she should have just done exactly what she did, deferred to your command and leave the perceived threat.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, we usually follow with protection.

I was actually quite pleased with her reaction after my inadequacies as a handler to hold a stupid lead! Gesh!

She can be quite intense and sometimes doesn't think before she reacts so when I saw this reaction from her, I was happy that she had a clear head and realized he was no threat and retreated when asked.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You gotta give the girl credit for self control. He was holding the sleeve, and she just ran to him and gave him focus. No threat behind her actions, not even over excitement. More like she was trying to find out if anything fun was happening next.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with the Onyx Girl... I am new to this formal training, but do have 10 years with two GSDs. It all seems OK to me. I would innocently interpret this to be an extended training sort of behavior... He was leaving with the sleeve. She thought She was doing her job.

I am just testing myself, see if I interpret this right... Regards, lone Ranger
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Where are you in your training? Does she do H&B in the blind/out in the open and do you do call outs?
If this would have happened with Karlo at her age, he would have gone right into a hold & bark, and when the sleeve was put in a neutral position, I would hope he'd deactivate...but immaturity doesn't always bode well!
When she returned to you, did you reward her?
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Wolf View Post
You gotta give the girl credit for self control. He was holding the sleeve, and she just ran to him and gave him focus. No threat behind her actions, not even over excitement. More like she was trying to find out if anything fun was happening next.
I definitely give her credit!

You of all people KNOW Zefra and for her name and 'self control' to go into the same sentence... well... I think someone is growing up!
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
Where are you in your training? Does she do H&B in the blind/out in the open and do you do call outs?
If this would have happened with Karlo at her age, he would have gone right into a hold & bark, and when the sleeve was put in a neutral position, I would hope he'd deactivate...but immaturity doesn't always bode well!
When she returned to you, did you reward her?
We are not far in protection. With Zefra, we have concentrated on her obedience because, like mentioned... self control is an issue with her. We have just started on H&B's - not in the blind yet, but will be transferring to the blind soon. We have an issue with outting which we have been working on. JUST started on the call outs - definitely NOT reliable yet at all.

Yes, I rewarded her big time!

I thought for sure she would of did her H&B but nope, intently sniffing, staring at him and then decided he wasn't a threat and returned to me.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That is exactly what I would expect to happen. If a dog gets loose and charges me I act like there is no dog and continue doing whatever it is I'm doing (depending on the dog).

Dark, guy walking around, so she was wary. When she approached and he had the equipment, she was probably a bit confused as to if this was training or if this was a stranger, or if this was something she'd never experienced before. The smell of the equipment but lack of response of the helper didn't fit into what she expected to happen, which is why she stalled and sniffed... she had to reassess what was happening.

The TD dropped the sleeve to show her they weren't training, or that she was wrong, or that he didn't intend on giving her a bite. When dogs get dirty on me in the blind, or blow off their handler, or get lose and get to me while I'm gathering my equipment or discussing what I want to do, I step out and drop the sleeve and walk away from it. A sleeve on the ground is pretty boring when you were hoping for to bite a sleeve on a helper.

FYI, hidden sleeves only fool the dog the first time or so. They learn every quickly that there is a sleeve under there somewhere.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Great insight Hunter - thank you.

With this being a young dog, I expected her to have more of a reaction with the sleeve present but she showed excellent decision making and control of herself. I was very happy with her response.
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