I learned something new about my dogs this morning

 

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I learned something new about my dogs this morning re: sends through a slightly open serpentine.

When I stayed back and sent Jake ahead over the four jumps, it was clear that he saw the four jumps as a series of turns / switches.  He would only take the jumps vs. turn back to me with a ? above his head or run through one of the hoops to the left  if I said OVER RIGHT, OVER LEFT…. while also supporting each turn with motion that indicated a change of lead.   He ran a nice line but was definitely dependent on my communicating each turn / switch.   Had there been no off-course options, I suspect he would have taken the four  jumps with less support.

With Lil, when I said OVER RIGHT, OVER LEFT… she took the jumps but did not run particularly fast and her ears were floppy which is what happens when she is not 100% certain of what I’m asking of her.  So then I thought…hmmmm Maybe Lil does not see these jumps as a series of turns and rather as a straight line of crooked jumps.  So I brought her out for another short session and just said GO ON and she took the four jumps with full confidence and speed…. and her ears were up!

Of course I then had to try that with Jake and GO ON totally confused him.  Apparently Jake and Lil are different in how they SEE a slightly open serpentine.  However, earlier, I had placed a very tempting tunnel off to the right (not visible in the photo) and Jake was very receptive to me sending him ahead through the serpentine and not taking the off-course tunnel.  Lil, on the other hand, took the tunnel a few times…. so I’m not saying Lil is better than Jake… but rather that they are different (and I love that!)

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4 thoughts on “I learned something new about my dogs this morning

  1. Training has so much to do about how the dog perceives the information given, and how they see the line. It’s interesting how each of your dogs is different with this challenge. Thanks for your insight, Dev.

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