Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Emily, Nov 15, 2012.
I love that dog. Always so neat to watch!
First rally advanced leg with a 98 and HIC.
But they aren't 'supposed' to be in drive. There's nothing in the rules that state it is an exercise in drive, there are no points allocated to dogs that show drive and engagement etc, the dog just has to complete the exercise. I've seen dogs that plod along next to the handler score better than a more animated dog. Some judges may enjoy seeing a dog working in drive, but they can't score a team better for it and it's not a requirement.
It sucks and I think there should be points allocated for dogs and handlers that show awesome team work but the reality is that all the dog needs to do is complete the exercise.
I agree, it's the same here. If you went to a trial the majority of dogs aren't working in drive. I've seen plenty of flat UD and OC dogs who have been trained heavily with correction. We train dogs in drive because it gives a more reliable dog, more precision, a dog who is more durable around distractions, and therefore more likely to pass and score highly.
I just started training heelwork with the Mal pup, it's lots of fun. I shaped it a bit with food and now I'm using a magnetic ball as the primary reward.
Well actually, there is. The beginning of the rules states that the dog should show "willingness and enjoyment". So in an equally precise performance, the "up" dog should score higher than the plodder. Judging is subjective, so it may not always happen that way, but that is what the rules ask for. One problem is that it's harder to get precision when you're getting the up and flashy performance, so as much as the judge may enjoy it, if there's a crooked sit, they have to score that.
I don't know it's not that I don't think dogs work in drive that makes me a lot less keen to obedience and rally. I think I just like the exhilaration of running agility.
We've been doing some heel work in spare time. (Agility exercises come first.)
Mia's heel is very naturally flashy and awesome looking. She's got her head back and prances. She's not close though, which my trainer says is common with little dogs (afraid of being stepped on).
My big problem right now is that I've had summer for 4 years and have let her walk behind me on every walk. So... heeling is interesting. She naturally is positioned about a foot behind. I'm attempting to correct it by rewarding right at my leg. anybody have this problem? Summer just naturally wants to walk behind me so bad.
Problem 2 is actually embarrassing. Mia won't sit consistently. Sit and stay have been the hardest things to teach her by far.
This. The dog is absolutely supposed to be engaged and enjoying his work.
But to be honest, I don't train that way because I want the points. I train that way because it's how I want my dog to look. It's the picture I'm seeking.
How can an up dog score higher than a plodder if they both complete the exercise within the rules? Genuine question, where in the rules for any of the exercises would the judge be able to score a dog higher for having a better attitude? It may be different in the US to the rules here, so I am genuinely curious.
I actually find it easier to get precision with a dog in drive, but I also think that people who have to take drive out of a dog to get precision don't understand how to use drive properly.
Of course, me too. I love my dogs to work enthusiastically and to me it looks better regardless of if it will score higher, but I think the benefit of training a dog to work in drive in the ring (considering that you aren't being judged on it specifically) is that it makes a more durable and reliable dog, IMO. I know that there are old school judges out there that don't like the style of heelwork I like (up and prancy) and they will intentionally try to deduct points because they don't like it, despite that I still train it because I like it.
On the drive issue. To me up happy and willing to work is not the same as drive. You can have a happy up dog with mediocre drive. You can also have a dog in drive that is over the top and lacks impulse control.
From talking to judges (Ok mainly CKC but the rules on judging are nearly identical and I know people who show both sides of the border) if the dog does it correctly no points will come off. Remember you start with all the points, and lose them for faults. There is no way for a judge to GIVE you points for an exciting perfomance. I wish they could. I have seen a dog who was clearly not enjoying itself get a high scoring round because it made no faults. It was slow responding, but not slow enough to take off points. All the sits were straight, the retrieve was correct.. even though the dog looked as if would rather be at the vet's than in that ring..
The head up thing isn't required. Kaiden had done just fine in obed without the head up heeling. That doesn't mean I would ever train that way again (Dekka has an awesome heel) but he has never lost points for it..
Gratuitous Kaiden obed ribbon
with my dogs I have taught them to target the spot where my pants touch just below my knees (calves).. I have small dogs. I also have dogs that like to anticipate so after the front I will often widen my stance and send them straight through, and only occasionally do a flip or right finish.
I've seen allowances made for dogs that may not be perfect in performance but are excited and trying, as opposed to obligatorily shifting trough the routine waiting for the edit gate. Not the same but similar.
Also not everyone wants a heads up heel, I don't think every dog needs one.
Drive is one of those words that to me seems to mean a totally different thing to whoever you talk to. I know what I like when I see it but whether that's a 'drivey' dog to someone else, who knows. I've seen plenty of dogs described as 'drivey' that totally underwhelm me.
Yep my experience too, that's what it is like here. May be different in the US? I've had judges compliment me on my dog's attitude and eagerness to work but it didn't directly effect how we scored. Friends who are judges say that they love seeing enthusiastic dogs in the ring but can't score them any higher than dogs that lack enthusiasm if they both complete the exercise.
And as Dekka said, 'heads up' heeling isn't a requirement for obedience, it's just a style. Plenty of dogs out there that don't heel with their heads up, not my cup of tea but they can still score perfectly.
It's not really like you are being scored against the other teams either...you are competing against yourself/the scorecard. I do think scoring up/drivey whatever would be fine, but there are breed differences that wouldn't make it very fair. I wouldn't expect say a St Bernard or even a Lab to be as "up" or flashy as say a Mal, just based on body type.
My personal preference? I don't really care for the extremely head up style. I think the Lab video posted looks more 'natural' than the mal in competition video posted. The Mal looks impressive, but as a personal preference it just seems really extreme to me.
That was my feeling too. Impressive, but the style doesn't do it for me. And yes, a drivey Lab is a totally different look than a drivey Mal.
As I think Adrienne mentioned, the place in scoring where having an "up" dog would most make a difference would be with a dog who is barely scraping by. A judge is far more likely to go light on the pencil if the dog is obviously working with enthusiasm. Remember, judging is subjective. The judge has to mark down for errors, but their decision on how many points to deduct is going to be influenced by their overall impression of the dog.
As far as the "heads up" heeling, it depends on the dog. Not all dogs have a body type that lends itself to that style. With my Tully, who was my best obedience dog to date, I trained for her to focus on my face, but when we started doing real heelwork, she changed her focus to my knee. She was a knee-high square built dog, I'm a heavy woman, watching my face was too hard for her. She had a lovely heel. Her daughter, my Tess, never did that. She tries to look at my face, it's too hard for her and she crabs. And she's well out from me, because she can't see my face if she's close. Not nearly as good heelwork as her dam. I think her son, Pirate, actually is going to be able to do heads up heeling, but that will make him my first dog that can.
I'm actually not that partial to the heads up heeling, I prefer a dog to move more naturally. I only train it that way because it's easier, and I was a bit spoiled by Tully's solving the problem for herself. For some taller dogs, I think it is more natural, and looks right.
I prefer the way the head-up heeling looks for Elsie, but she is tall and bouncy already, and she's prone to paying attention to the environment. If she's looking at me, she's paying attention to me, lol.
I love head's up heeling too. To me that is just what heeling should look like
And Belgians sure seem to love to do head's up heeling too!
This Lab has pretty high attention heeling, although he seems kind of stressy in some parts and his attention wanes here and there: http://youtu.be/QvXw7oSK954
That said, I think Petra's dog certainly has high attention heeling too. It is said that she works to keep him toned down and not too up, I think he probably could look more...intense? if she didn't. But for her game and the level she competes at, she needs to be sure that he is extremely precise. Someone said that it's easier to get a dog to be precise when they are in drive but that's not really been my experience. I mean to a point, it is certainly easier to work with a dog in drive. But...with really high drive dogs, especially ones who tend to become frantic there is a tipping point. Once that point is reached...precision and thinking goes out the window LOL For some dogs, they are nearly at that point pretty much from the word go.
If Ziggy is really amped up, he can't think at all and neither of us can hear over his barking. It takes very, very little to get him to that point. There is no way he can be precise when he is like that. In agility, I struggle with weaves with him for this reason - it calls for precision. Not because he doesn't know how to weave but because agility in itself is so very exciting and weaves require slowing down and thinking. He dislikes that very much, so he instead will do like every 2 or so poles. Jeff got an RN on Ziggy and I'm playing aroudn with him thinking about doing more but I suspect we're just going to let some things slide in the precision area. In part because he's 9 years old and he is what he is. If I can get him to be focused, happy and remaining in heel position I won't worry about off sits and the such. If Jagger doesn't get a proper warm up for heeling, his first few paces are usually him springing at heel position before he can settle into a nice heel. And this Belgian boy I trained for my friend a few years ago...he was something else! He needed "warmed down" in a big way before going into the ring. His first several minutes of heeling consisted of him falling over himself, with most of his body wrapped around my legs. Him: "OMG SO EXCITING! YAY!!! Am I paying attention good? huhuhuhuhuh!?!?!?!". Me... "You are such a dork...settle down" And on lookers :yikes: "Honey, have you ever gone to training classes?".
Savvy so far is interesting in obedience. For as wild as he is in every other way, he gets very focused in obedience. It's funny to see him be serious...I guess because it is very hard for him to be so not frantic and crazy and flinging himself that it requires a great deal of thinking. It is soooooo hard for Savvy to be still and controlled!
Yeah, my Tess is one that tends to become frantic. As seen in this agility video:
(sorry for the agility video on an obedience thread). And she really is a good agility dog, but agility allows her to channel the drive into running really fast. I've never managed to channel it into precise obedience, I just don't have the skill for it. She gets so frustrated when asked to move slower.
When I saw Petra & Tyler in Long Beach, I saw that he has that same kind of intensity in what he does, but she's managed to channel it into precision. He is really always on the edge of going over the top, though, you see it when he barks over the broad jump in the one Open run I posted, and he's wuffing a bit before that. She had to be sweating bullets in that run, knowing the NOC was on the line, and her dog was just a fraction of an inch away from being out of control.
Second advanced leg with a 91 and a second place. It was one of those runs where I came out of the ring feeling better about it than my run the day before then seeing the score made me sad. I don't necessarily agree with why he took the points off but it is what it is. Such is the nature of judged sports.
So I did the "duct tape on the pants" thing, and now I have Kimma targeting just my leg right above my knee. I took a quick video of where we are at, and I'm hoping to continue to only now reward for her being in a sit and nice and close while targeting that area, in preparation for calling it "front." Key word being "hoping" LOL.
Elsie's left pivot is coming along. I have to fade the hand now. :]
Its looking really good! The little guy trying to get in on the cookies totally cracked me up too.
We've still been working on that, as well as going from heel to front and vice versa. Went back to using the platforms when working on that last in our lesson (me and Lily going through a few rally signs was hilarious!) and my homework is to graduate to working on it with her mat at home to slowly fade the target of the platform.
Working on a lot of the same with Scout but its a bit slower/different because of her quirks. She's doing really well at it though, her pivot is making a lot of progress!