News for anyone who enjoy's a good book. HDTS will be sponsoring one of the events at the Henley Literary Festival this year and for anyone mentioning HDTS when ordering their tickets they will get a discount. The tickets for this event are normally £10.00 and are only £6.00 for HDTS clients.
The event will be at Bix Manor and not only include the talk but also coffee/tea and cake.
Barney Bardsley and Michele Hanson 10.00 am 3rd October 2013
So we have started our new Summer Term which I have to say I was not expecting to fill as it is height of holiday season but glad to say we have a full class. This term I have my own (well my 11yr old daughter's new puppy) in the class so will be able to sympathize with all the other puppy owners in the class. Although we do not only have puppies in the class but also a few adolescents and a couple of older dogs.
We started with the basic's last week teaching the dog sit, down, walking on a loose lead and coming when called. I hope everyone has managed to put in the repetitions this week and tonight we can progress to the next steps.
I'm looking forward to seeing how they are all getting on and how much those puppies have grown!
We started off the class this week teaching the dogs to give their handler attention before commencing any work. Starting off with just looking and building up to 3-5 secs. Amelia and Isabel were very good at this.
We then started the sit and the down without luring for the first week. This was difficult for a lot of the dogs as food was no longer guiding their way, the brains had to be switched on and only when they had achieved the position did the food make it's way to them.
Heelwork was really good by all but a few stood out such as Henry and Liberty and Patricia and Betsy but everyone is achieving this. If you go to the facebook page I have posted a video of Patricia and Betsy.
We also started teaching handlers what to do when the dog get's distracted by someone and does not immediately come back. I don't think we had any problems with this in class but obviously the distraction will be increasing as the weeks go on!
I am so please that everyone is putting in the work at home as it really shows in class.
Second practical week and everyone has done amazingly well with their practicing at home and was able to move on to next steps in downs and sits. You can see the dogs using their brains. We started formal heelwork this week keeping those dogs in heel position for initially 3 steps building up to 5 steps during the week. This week saw us taking the next step with the recall by getting the dog to sit in front and allow the handler to get hold of the collar before rewarding. The dogs are also understanding that jumping up a someone does not get the reward but staying on all four's or even sitting get's the treat or petting. We also practiced one of the most important exercises 'Wait' which I probably use 10 or 20 times at day.
So a new term is about to begin and we will have a nice large beginner class on Weds evening. I did not get enough people wanting to do a morning class so have incorporated the morning people into the larger evening class.
I will look at putting on a 5 week course after the half term in June and making this a morning.
Talk session this week to get to meet everyone and discuss any issues.
Looking forward to it.
I have been rather lax at posting this term and I am sorry. Too much dog walking taking place!
We had a fantastic end to the term in every class. The beginners in the morning did exceptionally well all doing heelwork on and off lead, sit and down stays on and off lead and recalling their dog away from all of the other dogs. This last exercise was quite difficult for a few but all achieved it. Well done to all.
Intermediate 1's had a good time too as we let Dizzy and Martha have a little play together in the hall before starting work! Had some nice heelwork out of both dogs both on and off lead and with distractions. We also did some recall's over a jump which they really enjoy. We also had a little go at starting the retrieve.
Intermediate 2's had fun playing various games. We did an obstacle race which involved, heelwork around cones, a down for a count of 5, heelwork through various toys and a recall over a jump. All against the clock! We did recalls past the Bonio. We also worked on the sendaway.
This term Penny and Theo (Mini wire-hair dachshund) achieved their Beginner Medal work and received their certificate. Congratulations well deserved. Louise and Rumer I am sure will get this next term.
In the evening our small but select beginners did another good job and I hope to see them all back next term.
My thanks to everyone for making this term so enjoyable.
See some of you on 24th April
Sorry so late in posting.
Beginners are doing a great job and everyone was able to progress to getting their dogs sitting by their side, the down was a little more challenging but everyone is getting there. Those that were not able to even lure their dog into a down are now able to do this and as we have now had a week off I am sure that everyone will now be able to do without lure and be able to stand up and say down and reward after the dog is in the down.
Heelwork is progressing with most dogs able to stay in heel position for at least 5 steps without forging and the food being held a little higher.
We started on getting the dogs attention which is obviously really important to either avoid a distraction or just waiting for the next command.
We have now started adding a distraction to the Come exercise and most dogs got this straight away and a few need a tap on the shoulder to remind them someone was on the end of the lead! This for everyone is one of the most important exercises and should be repeated many times with as many different distractions so that it becomes second nature to the dog that as soon as it hear 'Come' it immediately turns away from what it is doing and returns to their owner.
Intermediate 1 was a small class of two this week and both dogs did really well. We did some heelwork around cones weaving in and out to get the dogs working close to the handler. We are pushing the stays using 3rd degree distractions. The recall was done with dogs running at the same time. Martha had no problems with this, Hektor was slightly distracted but did get to his owner without actually going over to Martha, so good job Hektor I know that was really hard for you!
Intermediate II were doing heelwork both on and off lead and each practiced a heelwork pattern ready for medal work on week 8. We also did stays off lead with Louise and Penny able to go out of sight for a few seconds. The sendaways and retrieves are progressing well. With the hand signals we are trying to get the dogs to not creep forwards into the position but move in a backwards movement.
I hope everyone had a good week off and look forward to seeing everyone on Weds.
So sorry missed posting last week as those in class know had a cold and by the end of the week was feeling exhausted.
So we had our first week of new dogs in the class (W2) and it was a rather noisy class but I think everyone enjoyed themselves. This week (W3) everyone has been practicing really well at home and I was very impressed with all the dogs and their owners. Those that had been having a few problems in the first week with the down are now all downing with no problem. This week we are taking the lure out of the equation and a few of the dogs managed to do this in class and I feel all will be able to do this by next week. I think every dog managed the sit without the lure.
We started heelwork this week and everyone got to do this on their own in class and had their dogs walking nice and close by their left legs. If the dog did get in front everyone knows how to get their dog back into heel position by doing a U-turn. We reviewed the Come and this week put in the sit in front and reach for collar remembering to reach under the dogs head for the collar.
We started teaching the Wait which I feel is one of the commands I probably use the most with my dog. You could tell the people who were already using this command as the dogs stopped immediately and looked up at their owners waiting for the next command.
The Intermediate 1's had a good class this week as we were pushing their Sit and Down stays and using 2nd degree distractions. The heelwork was difficult for them as we were individually weaving around the other handlers whilst the stationery handlers had to keep their dogs attention as the moving dog went past. This was especially difficult for Dizzy and Hektor the two adolescent males as they had to pass each other. Dizzy and Ann did a great job. Hektor managed it but found it very stressful (probably because I did it with him)!
We also did recalls past a distractor (me eating a biscuit) so mean!!! All managed to get their dogs to them even though a few came to me initially!!!
We started distance control this week and all of them managed the down, the sit was a little harder and Dizzy (GSD) just looked at Ann as if to say' you just asked me to down and now you want me to sit, make up your mind'!
Rose and Martha did a good job this week at all the exercises despite being surrounded by all that testosterone!
The Intermediate 2 class were all back last week and we had a really good session this week the all seemed to be having a bit of a wobbly week but saying that they all did really well. Stays we are doing 3rd degree distraction and Penny and Louise were able to go out of sight for 10 - 15 secs. Heelwork is coming along nicely on and off lead, we just need to tidy up the turns. We were doing A-recalls and all managed to get their dogs straight to them and continue walking for a few steps. The sendaways are at various stages - Penny and Theo are going out to a coned area and downing (most of the time), Louise and Rumer have been working at Rumer going out to food on target and Paula and Rusty are going out to target and introducing the down on the target.
The evening beginners is mixed ability but in a few weeks I feel they will all be at the same standard. Raven is the youngest and her and Mike are doing a great job, Georgie when Terry can drag her away from wanting to play can do all that she is asked to do. Terry needs to work of getting her attention, which will come. Natasha and Pippa are our more experienced couple but Pippa is very timid and Natasha is really having to watch her body posture and remember to give lots of gentle praise to encourage Pippa and reassure her she is doing the correct thing. In just a week Natasha has noticed that Pippa is more confident with new experiences and people, so long may it continue.
This week was a brilliant week and reaffirms why I do this job.
Welcome back to the Intermediate 1 & 2'classes
The Intermediate 1 class worked hard this week on brushing up all the exercises that they learnt in beginners and they did pretty well. It's a small class with two males and one female (dogs that is) and Martha did her own bit of teaching, which is respect other's space. Both Dizzy and Hektor wanted to play but are both teenage boys and went charging in on Martha. She soon told them, first with raised lip and little growl and when they took no notice of that a little snap towards them, which they worked out meant go no closer. We then showed the class that Martha was not being aggressive as Clare had Nell her older dog in the class and so we introduced Nell to Martha and immediately she was play bowing and sniffing around Nell. This was probably the best lesson for the handlers to see. True dog behavior in all it's glory!
Unfortunately two of the Intermediate 2 handlers could not make this first week so was just Louise and Rumer and Clare joined in with Nell so that there was some distraction! We practiced the retrieve and Rumer actually went out and picked up the article in class which I think is a first and was looking quite excited about it.
The Beginners had their 'dog free' session, where they were able to meet all the other handlers, we talked about how the lessons will work and we introduced the first exercise that they will go home and teach their dog before coming into class. This is the touch exercise which will help the handlers understand the concept of shaping a behavior and also kick start the dogs into using their brains!
So what is the touch exercise?
1. Rub your hand with some lovely smelly treat, the liver cake works well.
2. Hold that hand (palm) out towards the dog and command 'touch', well of course the dog is going to go straight for your hand with it's nose because it smells so good. As soon as their nose touches your hand give your Reward Cue 'Yes' and feed the treat from your other hand.
3. Immediately put you hand out again in the same position and re-command 'touch' now either the dog will touch your hand again with it's nose, in which case give your Reward Cue 'Yes' and feed or the dog will start looking at the hand that has the treat came out of. If this happens say nothing and keep holding that nice smelly hand out, this is where your dog has to start using it's brain 'how am I going to get that reward?' Eventually, maybe after it has tried barking at you, sitting looking at the hand with the treat in or various other things it will realise that that smelly hand has not moved and maybe that has something to do with getting the treat. As soon as the dog touches the smelly hand Reward Cue 'Yes' and loads of praise and treat. It is a great thing to watch your dog experience that 'lightbulb' moment. Once they have repeated the command 5 to 10 times with the hand in the same place, try moving your hand around. The first time of moving the hand the dog might go back a step but just be patient they will work it out.
Would just like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and hope to see some of you in the new year.
Beginners classes are filling fast. I'm looking forward to helping lots of new and past owners with their latest arrivals.
In the Summer of 2012, Chris (that's me)! took over the full running and ownership of the Henley classes up until then they had been running under the banner of CDTS.