Trial advice needed - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Trial advice needed

Does anyone have any advice on what you can do to motivate your dog before starting your heeling pattern if you are the first to do your long down during a trial?

I know how to handle this if you are doing the pattern first, but you don't have that luxury if you have to do the down first.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 04:02 PM
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Re: Trial advice needed

You are allowed to praise at the end of each exercise. The completion for the long down is when you collect your dog and give it the command to sit. I typically will do a good boy, a quick jump up, then fuss back to the judge.

Angela

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Trial advice needed

Good advice Angela...thanks! I think that would work good for us.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 04:17 PM
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Re: Trial advice needed

if you think about it, you go back to your dog, basic position, sit, the judge then signals you to come back and report in. Praise, heel to the judge.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 04:24 PM
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Re: Trial advice needed

In training, I have a cue phrase that I always use. A different one for every phase, and I say it to the dog as we're going out onto the field to work. This tells my dog what we're doing and helps her get into the correct mindset for that phase.

In training for obedience I use "wanna work?" I say it in an excited manner a few times, then pull out my toy and we proceed to play and train. It doesn't take long before classical conditioning (Pavlov's dogs) enters the picture, and just me saying that phrase sends the dog into drive, before the toy is even pulled out.

On trial day, if I draw the down first, I do the same thing. After I pick my dog up from the down, during that off-the-clock time as we walk to the starting position for our field exercises, I use my "wanna work?" cue phrase, and the dog shoots into drive and is ready for obedience, even without there being a toy anywhere around.


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Trial advice needed

Chris, I actually use a phrase like that but didn't realize I do it until just now. I can see how that would really work.

I will just be so happy if she holds the down, that she will also feed off of my energy from the relief.

Thanks for all the great advice! The down is what I fear the most and all the advice is making me feel a little less stressed.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 05:49 PM
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Re: Trial advice needed

For my BH and OB1, I was fortunate enough to be first on the field, long down second - but I trained for the possibility of us being first doing the long down.

I would drive to the club, my dog would be all excited at the promise of having some training fun and she gets all hyped up being around other dogs (rescue dog who had little early socializing). But as soon as she came out of the car, I would foos her across the parking lot, across the field, into the trial long-down spot, platz her and leave her for 20 minutes (oh course, by then I KNEW she could easily hold a platz for 20 min with me at a distance), but as many people do, we usually train OB first, THEN when the dog is tired, we do the long down - because we want our dogs to not break, and the chances of them breaking after they have been worked are less.

I was pretty confident she would hold her down if we drew the OB first, down second, but I wanted to work on her holding her down if we drew the long down first - so I trained for that.

By the way, I also made a specific point of going outside in pouring rain and getting her to do a long down - 20 minutes! I sat out there in my lawn chair, a magazine, and a golf umbrella and my watch, and timed it. When it started to REALLY pour, she sorta got up on her elbows and was looking at me with a "you gotta be kidding" expression - but a fresh DOWN command got her down again, and she held it until released. Turned out to have been very useful to have practiced this, because during our OB1, it was raining just a bit, but then started to hail just as we did the sit out of motion! And she held her sit! I turned around to look at her after my 30 paces, and she had her head down, looking like someone was beating on her, but she held position! I was pretty impressed.

And there was some hail in her long down too, and she held that also. Good luck, and hope that all goes well for you!

Lucia


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Trial advice needed

Lucia,

At training, I usually put my dog in a down both before and after OB so she should be used to that. I make it a point to show up at training if it is raining even though I might not feel like going (rain triggers my migraines).

It sounds like you worked very hard and were really prepared for your trials.

Thanks for the well wishes and all the good advice. This is for our BH (a first for both of us). There are two of us going for the BH so we have a 50% chance of doing the long down first.

Thanks again to everyone for all the help.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 12:54 PM
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Re: Trial advice needed

Michele, you're ready to trial?!!! That's awesome Can't wait to hear bout it!! When and where?

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Trial advice needed

Hi Jen,

Yes, we are ready. I feel I know the pattern really good as well as the rules. I just hope my nerves don't take over causing me to forget all that knowledge.

The trial is Sunday at Upper Bucks.
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