Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Re: Basic time frame
Zisso, I am also training my first SchH dog and taking it slow. I work full time and do jobs from home on the side. I have three dogs, one that is an adult and trains and titles in many things sometimes pretty heavily (last spring we competed every weekend for about 1.5 months straight). Also, because of how my dogs live and what I expect from them I do require puppy class and CGC for manners (I do not let the healing and ob stuff interfere with the methods I'm using in other areas, but I DO require that my dogs be polite for petting, polite around other dogs, not freak out when I leave them tethered, etc). If that interferes with some SchH work or takes time away, then so be it, but bottom line is ALL of my dogs are house pets and travel with me and must be socialized and reliable with other people and dogs and that comes before anything competing they do on the weekends.
Nikon is 8 months and while he might be "behind" a lot of working dogs, he gets better every week at training. We go to SchH club once a week, Friday nights generally 7pm-midnight. We would like to work protection and have ob instruction twice a week and are trying to work that out with our trainer but it's difficult with money and we come 1.5 hours from the west, he comes 1.5 hours from the east.
I'm not too concerned with where Nikon is at compared to the other dogs. Even though I am a noob, I can tell when I haven't done the homework and I can tell when I've worked hard and it's made a difference.
Currently we track once a day. We *just* started tracking because we never had anyone to show us SchH tracking and then waited till after the Sieger Show b/c we wanted the dogs' heads UP. We're doing three scent pads at at time, or two and a short track.
I do nothing as far as protection at home, I leave all of that to the helper. We did some tug, backtying, and prey drive stuff with him as a puppy but he's past that now, on the sleeve so there's really nothing we can do at home that would help him, only cause him problems.
We do obedience but right now a lot of it is ball stuff. We first developed his ball drive and now that it's there, we are working on showing him how this "game" works. So our ob session will look like 15 minutes of ball play with maybe 2 minutes total of actual ob, lol. We use the ball for drive and speed (fast platz, sitz, eye contact) and we use food for precision (short heeling, sit in front and basic position, finish).
Right now we have no time frame. Each week I pick 2 things to really focus on at home that week (this week is getting Nikon to come into my belly b/c he wants to rock-back sit away from me, and working on building an aus behavior with our ball game).
Nikon's taking the CGC in mid-June (almost 10 months) and he did the puppy STAR in Dec. when he was 3 months.