After trying to get into Croydon obedience club for ring obedience since before January, today we went up there to see if we could talk to anyone and check on how the feeler one of the club members who is in our tracking club was going to put out for us. She'd told us she'd ask if there was any way we could squeeze in. Long story short... the phone was busy when I called a few times, so we drove out which we'd intended to do anyhow. We got there too late to talk to the people we'd need to to check on the waiting list and as it happens the aforementioned tracking club member was there and told me she had asked and they said there was nothing for it - they're *still* chock full. Bugger! :-(
I know there are other obedience clubs and lots of them closer but this one trains with positive reinforcement and also has a nice agility and rally-o program. It's also where I'm hoping to get the puppy into if we end up getting it. Adding to that general grump, I'm also fighting off a bout of meniere's I think... very queasy and have this nasty pain in my left ear, lots of tinitus and just generally tired and blech.
Meanwhile I need to do some training with Doggy Zen for Sierra, which I meant to start at the beginning of the week but got sidetracked with teaching the central heeling thingie, which has turned into a cute little move if I do say so myself. (And I do... lol) Rear targeting is going interestingly. I'm having to break it down a lot more than I usually do, rewarding for little shifts in weight, as she was getting really frusterated and throwing off random behaviours one after another trying to figure out what the heck I was after. It's (rear foot targeting) a tricky concept it seems.
We're doing some cavaletti work as well but I need to find a horse person to pick their brain on strides and such and about teaching her to shorten her stride and collect a bit.
I'm trying to watch my hands as Sierra is very focused on hand-signals due to my training with them exclusively after I got her. (I'd just lost my hearing and was signing only, so sound still isn't a real attention grabber for her even though her hearing -is- fine.) My instructor noted that she was getting a bit frentic about it at times. After reading an interesting discussion on the stuff that was discussed at a recent Jesus Rosales Ruiz seminar (which is what set off my whine about needing to be rich a few days ago...) on the effects of delaying the reward by 5 seconds or doing click-click-treat v. click-treat in clicker-savy animals and also the location the reward was being delivered in (eg delivering in position v tossing it elsewhere).
And just because I'm a big sucker for punishment, I'm going to do a plan to teach a hotdog retrieve. (As in the dog retrieves a hotdog... without eatting it.) I'm saving that for a few more days of planning though!