Saturday, November 28, 2009

discrimination practice

Here's a video of what we've been practicing in the yard for the past two days-obstacle discrimination.

I am trying to teach Oreo two hand signals. If I do a "bowling" hand signal, he should tunnel. If I raise my arm up at an angle he should take the dogwalk/A-Frame.

I'm posting this video to see if anyone (like Diana - our video analyzer extraordinaire) can see other things I could/should be doing to help Oreo know what obstacle he needs to take. Like my feet?

I tried doing it on different sides, using different arms. Oreo was getting the discrimination pretty much every time. He's a superstar. I think a lot of our mistakes in class are due to my lack of confidence. I'm thinking, "Please don't take the tunnel Oreo." He reads my mind, hears "tunnel", and goes in the tunnel. At home, I don't care if we make a mistake, so I have LOTS of confidence!

Hmmm, am I rubbing off on my dog?


Tomorrow, I plan on moving the tunnel to the other side, to see if I can throw him for a loop.

I also tried it with Misty. I figured that would be a good way for me to see mistakes in my handling as well.

Boy, Misty was SO enthusiastic about working with me today. Not sure if she was hungry, wanted the attention, or actually wanted to play agility. I may have to start bringing her to the class before Oreo's on Saturday.


Lian said...

Hi Sara,

In my point of view, the different hand signals are not the way I would teach my dog to go into the tunnel or contacts. I will use my body and shoulder to show the dog where to go.

It depends where I stand and I will either pull my dog or push my dog to take the correct obstacle.

Like you video, if I want my dog to take the tunnel, handle the dog on my left, I will pull the dog and send him into the tunnel; and if I want the dog to take the see-saw, I will push with my arm stretch out, vise versa the other side.

If I have a head start, I will lead out to the obstacle I want the dog to take, for example your video, with the dog on my left, I will go past the tunnel and arm stretch out to tell the dog to see-saw and run straightline. Same thing if the dog on my right.

Diana said...

I think it looks good. I know that karen Holik uses the bowling arm type thing to send her dog to the tunnel. The dog knows that its always the tunnel when she does her arm like that. I think when she does a contact obstacle she just runs, but and arm cue is ok. The only thing is I think Ive seen you use the arm cue to send your dog out over a jump. you may want to watch some of your video and check because it could confuse your dog.


Ricky the Sheltie said...

We were told by an instructor to make sure I know the word "tunnel" - it is the most important obstacle name to know so that with discriminations, I should be able to hear tunnel and go to tunnel (because dogs go to the obstacle that is in front of them and don't always listen to the verbal). Ok, I am not explaining it well. I also think the shoulder movement is important like Lian said.

We saw this video on discrimination the other day :

There is also one on teaching "get out". We haven't tried it yet (we have tried the scenario you set up with limited results) but we are going to try Pamela's approach.

Good luck - I'm sure it's an ongoing process and Oreo seems to be doing well!

Sara said...

Thanks guys! I knew my gurus wouldn't let me down :)

Lian, I am trying to use my shoulders as well as the hand signals. But, shoulders alone haven't been enough of a cue for Oreo. Maybe we just haven't practiced enough, or maybe my body language is simply off. I'll keep working on it.

Diana, when I watched the video again, I did notice that my hand signal looks similar to my "go out" for a jump signal. I will have to be more conscious of where my arm is. I really want it held much higher at an angle. It's funny, you think you are doing one thing, but when you watch the video, you aren't even close.

Thanks for the link Ricky. You are so good at finding stuff on youtube! I do want him to really know both words - "tunnel" and "walkit", because I think that is really important.

Sam said...

I so wish I had contact equipment to practice this on.

I really love the idea of different hand/arm positions for dog walk and tunnel. I wonder why my instructor hasn't said anything about that.

You both look good to me - and how nice to hear that Misty even wanted to come out and play, too!