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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Agility Fun Part VI

Agility Part VI
Training Fun!

In Case You Missed It!
Agility With Ziva

This past weekend we focused on training, it was my last weekend before heading back to school and once again hitting the books but at least it's my last term! Hooray!

The sweet smell of spring!

This weekend we had my boss come over with his Jack Russel named Cooper to teach him how to Shape Behaviors, we also worked with my neighbor and her Black Lab/Rottweiler mix girl named Bella.

I was super impressed at how quickly Bella took to the shaping, her mama already has trained her to do a number of tricks mostly through luring so she is used to learning new concepts.
Shaping takes luring to a different level because you are asking them to figure out what you want without really asking.  More on Shaping HERE.

Ziva's new trick we're shaping is a bow.
We started out with a flat cardboard box, she quickly learned that putting her feet on the box meant treats - and being highly treat motivated it only took a couple tries before she was doing it consistently. We then upped the ante by introducing her to a stool, the goal being for her to put her two front paws on it - again without any commands or luring. She caught on really quickly, within maybe ten minutes she was running up to the stool from a distance and putting her feet on it so that she would receive her payout.
Even when we were done training she insisted on standing on the stool, and when we ignored her because we hadn't asked for the behavior she began barking at us! It was really funny!

Cooper on the other hand was quite distracted by the new environment and more interested in smelling the sidewalk than training. But he too began to realize that the box meant treats.
In his case we needed a higher value of treat, and I was able to send my boss home with homework - his goal is to get Cooper more excited to train, and to find a higher value treat that makes Cooper want to work. I also was able to show off some of Ziva's skills.

Agility Practice Fun
Because of our bout with kennel cough our trainer allowed us to makeup our missed agility days by hitting the ring outside of class! So this past weekend we focused on doggy training, trying to hone some of our skills so that we can really impress when we go back to class this week.

Here is one of the courses hubby and I set up for some practice. We've been working hard on her "wait" command.
"Wait" for us is a command that is essentially a standing "stay". We use it for getting in/out of the car, entering/exiting doors, and waiting for me to release her to fetch her ball. I personally like it for agility because I think she moves quicker from a stand than a sit - we'll see this week if our trainer likes it.

*Editors Note - I forgot to mention, after the click, I reward Ziva by throwing her tennis ball low to the ground, this keeps her speed up and she loves her ball!

I also worked hard in the yard over the weekend, and sure enough it was a good plan because the rain is now upon us! But at least the yard is mowed, weeds pulled, and I tackled a nasty climbing rose that was out of control. As you can see, the dogs worked really hard...

Heart Like a Dog


  1. Great job! I bow all the time but Stanley pretends he can't hear the command.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

    1. Hahaha silly Stanley, doesn't he realize their are treats in it for him? :-) *wags!*

  2. Good little video and I love that you were able to help Bella.

    I guess maybe I should practice more with the clicker, but honestly Delilah is such a tool with treats it's discouraging to work with her. She is so rough when she takes the treat and then when you are treating on a walk she loses her stuff and starts jumping around like a lunatic. It's very tough.

    Thank you for joining the blog hop!!

    1. Ouch! Sounds like you definitely have your hands full. :-)

  3. Well, it's tough work supervising garden work...

    1. I know right? Someone has to make sure mom does it right. :-)

  4. Loved the video. Looks like Ziva is really coming along. Freighter is our only dog who wants to be right there "helping". I guess that is because he is still a puppy at heart, but sometimes he gets under foot. :) Thanks for joining the hop.

    1. Thanks! Dante tends to be my get underfoot dog. He likes to stick his nose in everything! :-)

  5. Ziva is doing awesome!! That is so exciting to see. I've been brushing up on Bain's regular obedience, Dogo's are so stubborn =)

    1. Thanks! And I can totally relate with dealing on stubborn. :-) Dante is very stubborn when it comes to new things.

  6. Good use of the clicker after the final jump. Wow that's a loud clicker! But what's the primary reinforcer after the final jump? Or doesn't she get one this time? "Good and click" are secondary reinforcers.

    1. Haha! I forget you can't see it in the video, her primary reinforcer is her tennis ball. After the click I throw the ball low to the ground and forward to keep her speed up, she loves her ball. :-) We try to incorporate the ball into as many obstacles as possible since she works harder for it and it keeps her drive up, treats aren't as rewarding for her so we use food treats when teaching her a new obstacle initially, then work in the ball once she "gets it".


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