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Old 09-27-2014, 09:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey all,

So I am planning on going for the BH with my boy Nix in Dec. it has been YEARS since I have done this. So I am already nervous!! My last BH was with my first GSD, and we forgot half the pattern. Passed anyway!!

So just wondering if there were things you wished you had trained better? Parts of the traffic portion you wish you would have worked on? Hints? Suggestions?

My boys obedience is fine, we won't win anything, but it's passable. He gets tired and bored after 15 minutes, and his attention wanes. He does not break position, but it's not as pretty. He is not the highest drive dog, ball drive that is. But when he is ON, he is amazing.

I plan on introducing the ecollar this week, and then using it to proof the long down. He starts sniffing grass, then stretches to sniff, then gets up to sniff, yada yada. So I need to be able to proof this before the trial.

Also, he comes in fast for the recall, but always sits crooked. So I am going to be focusing on that as well.

Anyway, just looking for pointers from those that have done this a lot, or not a lot. But realize there are things they overlooked.

Thanks!!
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Old 09-27-2014, 10:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have him come into a 'chute' for the recall, so he can only come in straight. We use plastic stakes for this. I would not make too much conflict(corrections) in the down, it should be a good place. Praise him when he's doing it well, and reward often.
To keep him in a higher state of drive, reward him in key places during the pattern...so he anticipates that reward, when it doesn't come during the actual trial, he should go higher because it may come the next time.
My TD suggested to me to stalk the dog when I'm returning to him after the down, tease him up a bit, but then stop...move forward and slowly approach. Let him explode out of the down once you have released him(this is in case you are doing the down first, brings up the drive to do the routine) But that can backfire, so the dog really needs to be proofed on keeping the down until you are in heel position. My dog is not a happy happy joy joy heeler either, so I need to do what I can to keep his drive level up during obedience.
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Old 09-27-2014, 11:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't stress the small stuff. Smile, have fun.

If you are going to work on fronts don't do them as part of the recall. You don't want to mess up your recall in the process.

What I did with Donovan when he thought he should sniff is I had a long line on his pinch and when he started to sniff or think about sniffing the long line tightened. If he moved he was put back into position and we started over. I also did this for his getting a bit whiny when the other dog did the retrieve. Whining and/or sniffing are not part of the down. I have used the E a bit with Deja, nick, if I notice her neck getting a bit long during the recalls and/or retrieves or if she starts air scenting something in the bushes along side my field. She is very solid in the down, though, so this was brought in later mostly as a reminder to keep her attention on me in the blind and not other things. I have never used it to make the down solid. I prefer what I did with Donovan for that.

There really isn't any way to prepare for the traffic portion since the judges tend to vary what they do. Just make sure he is comfortable around other dogs, traffic, joggers and bicycles. Also, if he is chipped, make sure he will stand and allow someone else to scan him (sometimes the handler does it, but not always). If he has a tattoo, make sure he is comfortable with you showing it. Walk him around in a crowd. Make sure he will stay quietly tied out with you out of site. These are the things I see most commonly in BH.

I have done 7 BH. I hate them because IMO they are a waste of my time, but they are required. As long as your dog is fairly obedient and doesn't do anything majorly stupid you will be fine. In the ones I have done, Elena had down on the brain, Donovan forgot his front all together and thought he should do a send out on the build up for the down in motion, Deja did a gorgeous stand in motion instead of a sit, Vala about took me off of my feet on the recall, I fell between the fast and slow on both Nike's and Treue's heeling patterns and when I did Tara's I held my hand up in front of my stomach like we did in AKC and the judge asked if the dog thought I was hiding food. I have seen handlers turn into strange zombie creatures that their dogs don't recognize and they still manage to pass. You will be fine.

Who is the judge?
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Old 09-27-2014, 11:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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BTW, I don't train for the BH. I train for the 3. The BH is just an obstacle along the way.
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Old 09-27-2014, 11:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Lisa, yes. I train for higher levels, but the BH is waaaay longer than every other level in regards to obedience!!

Nix has a great down stay. One if his most solid things. He just redirects any anxiety into sniffing. It's not all the time, but I guarantee my stress is going to travel down the leash.

His other issue is other dogs. He gets Fanny stupid sometimes. So the " meet the judge" is going to be fun. He settles eventually. LOL.

Lots to work on. Going to keep it fun. If we don't pass, so be it. He is always under control. It's just not always picture perfect. Again, no designs on podium here!!

The traffic stuff, just need to expose him to. People crowding around, bikes, joggers. He is ok on walks, but hyped up during a trial with me about to piddle my pants, yeah. Who knows.
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Old 09-27-2014, 11:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One thing I have done with both Gryff and Keeta is to proof the long down in pouring rain.
With Keeta, I was home one day and we had a downpour. I ran outside with her and put her in a down while I sat in a lawn chair holding a golf umbrella and reading a magazine. Glad I'm rural and neighbours can't see my place at all, because they really would have thought I've lost my mind. Keeta did try to get up and move a couple of times (the expression on her face having to just lay there in the pounding rain!), but I reminded her to stay.

It really paid off - we had very unsettled weather for her OB1 and it was hailing for her sit out of motion, and part of her long down, but she held position - looked thoroughly miserable being pelted by hail - but she was solid.
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I failed to buy & wear the t shirt that says: My Dog Never Did That Before.

My good Kong nut WL male suddenly decided off leash heeling was an excellent time to leave the field & go visit one of our friends. I kid you not.

My bad. He wasn't as ready as I thought. I believed he was rock solid off lead but had never proofed him with people to whom he was very attached in the audience. Epic. fail.
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zetti View Post
I failed to buy & wear the t shirt that says: My Dog Never Did That Before.



My good Kong nut WL male suddenly decided off leash heeling was an excellent time to leave the field & go visit one of our friends. I kid you not.



My bad. He wasn't as ready as I thought. I believed he was rock solid off lead but had never proofed him with people to whom he was very attached in the audience. Epic. fail.

LOL- yeah. That would happen to me.
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If the sniffing during the long down is related to any stress or anxiety I would not use the E collar. Build the confidence in the long down so that even with your nerves on trial day he will know his job. I would just work using positive reinforcement (praise or going back with a treat and then leaving again) for staying while slowly building up the amount of distractions. Stay close and have a long line on him so if he does break or make a mistake he doesn't bother another dog and you can easily put him back where he should be. I, for the most part, don't use a lot of corrections for the down in a young dog. Those come later when I know the dog is solid and most of the time they have not been needed.
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
So I am planning on going for the BH with my boy Nix in Dec. it has been YEARS since I have done this. So I am already nervous!! My last BH was with my first GSD, and we forgot half the pattern. Passed anyway!!

So just wondering if there were things you wished you had trained better? Parts of the traffic portion you wish you would have worked on? Hints? Suggestions?
We have until the end of November to get everything solid! Plus, after todays training we know what we have to really work on..
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