Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Desperately seeking Tia...

Name: Tia
Hobby: Chasing Squirrels
Motivation: Food, Squirrels, Pheasants, Dead Things, Sheep Poo
One word to describe her: Exuberent

Today I have taught Tia to high five.... I watched the Pedigree training video, they were training a young border collie... well everyone knows Border Collies are very brainy and more importantly like to show off... Rottweilers on the other hand are quite brainy but don't give a toss!

That is a little unfair to Tia, in her puppy and bronze training classes she was a proper little brown-nose, but I think that was because she wanted to look down her superior nose at all the other puppies ..

she'd be like " look at me Mr Trainer, look what a little angel I am, look how I sit and stay, not like these silly little children who just want to play and don't do a thing they are told.. look I'm so good at lying down and staying I may go to sleep now... yawn..... "

I swear training classes taught her not only sit, down, stay, wait and come... but also how to roll her eyes!!

Anyway in my little trick teaching session today, I got Tia to high five me in probably the same amount of time as it took the border collie in the video.. and they had cut the outtakes... so I was reasonably impressed with my little bundle of fun..... of course she did do it with slightly less finesse and possibly a bit more force.. but she got there!

I then watched video number one which is on the recall... now Tia's recall in a training environment was really excellent, from the first go, you really would think I was the most interesting thing to her .. although I could see the look of insecurity on her face when sat outside in the middle of the class surrounded by lots of strangers and their dogs.... being abit of a wimpy Rotti I knew she was thinking mummy no, don't leave me!
oooh what's that over there

Her recall in reality isn't quite so good, out on walks its reasonably good with no distractions, although she does have selective deafness.. but a distraction to Tia can be an interesting smell on a blade of grass, a dragonfly... even a gnat!
Yes mummy, you have my undivided.....

The video says to train with whatever is their motivation.. well for Tia that would be food... or a squirrel, but I've yet to find a willing squirrel!  The key to training recall with distractions is to start with small distractions and get them to change their mind about going to investigate and come back to you instead... I'm fairly confident Tia is already at this point, in controlled environment she is always good..... the video doesn't cover what to do when they see a pheasant.. or even just smell one... when Tia is already thinking "mummy, who is mummy...mmm pheasant"

You know that actually does look quite interesting, what were you saying again.....?

"Tia, Come".. sorry non-comprende

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