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Schutzhund Diary
2007::: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
2008::: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
2009::: 3 | 4 | 5| 9

Below is a diary and chronicle of Bodhi's Protection Training. We started back in January of 2007. He was about 8 months old when he came onto the field. We started training to build his confidence and to get his tug play more intense. He is doing OK and he isn't the same shy dog we started with!

January 17, 2007

rag work, stage fright, grabbed rag and held 2-3 times

January 21, 2007

rag work, less stage fright, grabbed rag and held, did some victory laps, did not drop rag while running, held by harness and joel petted head

January 28, 2007

rag work - transition to soft rolled tug, victory laps, did first 'AUS' and held up by collar to release tug, did under chin hold, victory lap and 'home'

February 4, 2007

soft rolled tug, victory lap, first time he played tug with joel (2 times), held under chin while he is holding tug, victory laps and 'home'

February 12, 2007

Soft rolled tug, 1st time i gave tension against joel pulling Strong ). Cradle -drop w/o help(good/bad?) dead prey...1st time brought tug back to joel for more fight after victory lap. Intro to harder 'pillow' tug.

February 18, 2007

did a play bow and 1 bark while watching another dog do bite work (outside field). when he saw joel he lept up on him with great enthusiasm this time (not meekly walking up to him). he immediately took to the soft rolled tug. nice bite and victory laps. no looking back at bleachers this time at all. focused. joel did his first 'aggressive hand to head swing' no response of fear - he continued to hold the tug. joel changed to full sleeve (to show him - not as a progressive step up) and he surprised joel and bit it (while on his arm). he started with the sleeve on a line, to gain his interest, then held it horizontal in front of him, then on arm. he bit, we did 3 laps and then did it again. bodhi dropped it each time we came to a stop but had a firm grip - hard and didn't let go on laps. we repeated this one time then to car. he continued to hold it at the car door for about 10 seconds, i cradled head, then he dropped.

February 25, 2007

was in a rush to get him into field. was raining a bit. he was a bit distracted by other dogs (barking). he was quick to gripping roll but had a soft mouth around the pillow. dropped it once and wasn't on target like he was last time. more distracted by what was around him. he did ok with dog on field near him and could work with bite work even if. joel wants me to attach bodhi on leash to fence and 'agitate him' with toy. moving it back and forth near ground and toward and quick sweep up to body as well. need to get him used to barking to get something (toy) and chain link fence.

March 4, 2007

better timing. took him to watch 3 dogs on field. seemed to immediately bark 3-4 times, hit the end of leash (got 'self corrected') then twisted turned and tried to get out. then went to sniffing and watching but not with same amount of gusto! he likes when joel does his stick hit padded leg and his shhhhhh shhhhhh sounds. that keyed him in... a smaller bark. on field, he was on immediately (did roll first), he barked almost at once (with a few huffs before as predictive) then barked more and growled a bit before getting a bite. he stole the tug a few times and was harder to release from it. joel asked that i give a few 'quick corrections' while on harness when holding tug with a 'GOOD BOY' afterwards to show there is nothing wrong. 2-3 times and then 4th time he didn't look back at me - good. went to 'pillow' and same thing. a few barks, nice hold. no 'corrections' - then to puppy sleeve and off the field. joel says he has BITE. joel wants me to back tie him to harness for eating so he feels some continuous pressure on his line.

March 10, 2007

bodhi barked a bit outside the field at joel. when it was our turn, he greeted joel with more confidence and licks, then stared at sleeve on ground, then joel then tried to pull me onto the field. we went from the rolled toy directly to puppy sleeve. he definitely did some teeth clacking and some barks prior to shift in toy. then when the sleeve came out he started to bark in a repetitious manner. he was keyed into the sleeve and joel. joel did some waiting for? what joel said was aggression (ie. looking at joel not sleeve when the sleeve was dead). the goal is to have bodhi look at sleeve when it is alive and joel when sleeve is dead. barking at joel looking at joel (not sleeve). joel says that bite should be to 'arm' whether sleeve is on or not. joel says it is this 'funny' time where dog does 'aggression' for the first time. they are unsure it is 'right' to do and he looked back at me a few times. i have to make sure is say GOOD BOY when he barks to keep he sure of what he is transitioning to. we will add the cue next time to start the aggression based on joel nodding his head (confirm this).

March 18, 2007

bodhi barked outside field more repetitiously. he was keyed into the field as soon as we were on the 'stage seating' area. he was looking at the field and the 'toys' and not paying attention to me (the more we waited). as soon as he saw joel on the field in pose coming at him and being held back, he started barking and lunging at him. we did puppy sleeve only tonight. he barked constantly with form tonight and with little or no worry (confidence was good). we did multiple cradles and used the 'AUS' just prior to his releasing the sleeve. (joel commented on my good timing). he wants me to praise bodhi while he is barking. we were also working on his 'fight' drive and his pulling on the sleeve and playing tug for a firmer initial grip (there were a number of grips that were loose where he lost the sleeve on a regrip. more of me pulling back (moving back) while joel pulled back (bodhi was doing a very nice tug / growl). joel has the stick out and was doing over the head faux hits (3 feet above head) and petting head when he was on tug... he commented afterwards that he went from a low/medium drive dog to high drive dog with bark, nice bite and confidence. fine dog!

March 21, 2007

grabbed joel's stick (was a bit tentative at first at joel standing up) but came to ok. need to do more ob. work pre-going on the field. it doesn't distract him so far to feed him. he did some nice 'AUS' a few where he dropped on cue, some where i timed it to where he was going to drop and one where he didn't drop and i held him up by collar till he dropped. he at first was swinging around and grabbing leash (frustration) but aack got him off. he barked consistenly and continuously and his bit was good. joel is now backing up a bit? when he grabs to make sure bodhi's feet do not stand on him. he tossed the sleeve like last week catching me off guard. must watch for that! i was pulled a bit off center... we did the LONG DRAG - starting point of long bite where i run behind him tight leash toward joel as he is backing up - saying either fast, slow, or nothing to hold ground. looking for CLUNK sound when he bits solid and hard. he is holding nicely and consistent like on 3/18. today was the first day? where joel put down sleeve and did stick hitting and some more standing and leering at bodhi with stick over head swinging it. no problems at this (barking bodhi).

March 25, 2007

grabbed joel's stick (was a bit tentative at first at joel standing up) but came to ok. need to do more ob. work pre-going on the field. it doesn't distract him so far to feed him. he did some nice 'AUS' a few where he dropped on cue, some where i timed it to where he was going to drop and one where he didn't drop and i held him up by collar till he dropped. he at first was swinging around and grabbing leash (frustration) but aack got him off. he barked consistenly and continuously and his bit was good. joel is now backing up a bit? when he grabs to make sure bodhi's feet do not stand on him. he tossed the sleeve like last week catching me off guard. must watch for that! i was pulled a bit off center... we did the LONG DRAG - starting point of long bite where i run behind him tight leash toward joel as he is backing up - saying either fast, slow, or nothing to hold ground. looking for CLUNK sound when he bits solid and hard. he is holding nicely and consistent like on 3/18. today was the first day? where joel put down sleeve and did stick hitting and some more standing and leering at bodhi with stick over head swinging it. no problems at this (barking bodhi).

April 1, 2007

parents were in town. bodhi was excited about going out to field but not as much barking from the sidelines before our turn;.came up to joel immediately for kisses. on field, dropped the sleeve a few times and didn't get a good grip 2 times (and it slipped out of his mouth). his AUS was good (because his grip was weak) and he didn't hold as well. every time he had possession of the sleeve he attempted to go home; did a lovely BARK and HOLD and did an ok LONG DRAG. dropped the sleeve first time going out of field to car (not sure why but a fluke since it is the first time!) this one is video taped. he was not too distracted by the camera man! you can see him looking over as we pass but not more than that.

april 1 protection
...click on image to see video in a new window...

saying 'HI' to Helper Joel | agitation | Bark and Hold | Long Drag

April 15, 2007
B. was petting him pretty hard and he growled at her. Not sure what it means but it DOES mean i can't have people pet him until i know better what i have in front of me. soft pet = OK; hard, rough pet = NOT OK. he was pulling to the field and barked immediately on seeing Joel. he was up without hesitation and very consistent. his hold was better. his inital bite is stil a problem. he doesn't GET it the first time but needs a few times to get a strong firm deep bite. but when he does he does. we did some 'fake' hits over hte head (no problem) and some victory laps then went to the 6th blind. We did as we usuall did BUT we had a 'judge' this time . B. was the judge and she stood to the left of Bodhi (he didn't pay any attention to her. He wanted Joel. That is good.There were a few times he didn't get a good bite (because i didn't give enough of the leash but as soon as i gave enough he got a good deep bite.I need to say GOOD BOY more frequentlyl to help him know that he can sit and bark at Joel in the blind. We also did a release to Joel (i didn't hold him by the leash to see what he would do. at first i thought he wanted me to release Bodhi while he had the sleeve (oops) and i did and he came back to me when i crouched down (good boy). i was supposed to release him to Joel (say VORAN right before) and release. Bodhi ran up to Joel and bumped the sleeve and then sat back and barked. GOOD. then joel gave him the sleeve. we did this a few times then out to car. He didn't drop the sleeve at any time during the run BUT he did drop it when he was standing still (Good / Bad?)
April 18, 2007

He was actually choosing to heel with me out to the field. He was a bit tired when we arrived but immediately lit up when he saw the field. He barked immediately on sight of Joel. I noticed i was inhibiting Bodhi's deep bite by not letting the leash slack on release. Remember... We did blind work. I was to let him drive around the blind (drop the leash) and see what happens. I used the VORAN and he did go ahead (hesitant a bit) and went to Joel. I could hear silence at first then barking. When i appeared around the blind he looked, hesitated the barked again. I said GOOD DOG and he got a bite. He is putting his front feet for support on Joel. Joel stood on a chair with me in front of the blind to release. He still got some foot action (homework for me!). We did a long bite (about 6-8 feet away) where i dropped the leash. I was asked to cue him with a word but can not remember or find it in my references. He jumps on Joel with front feet (all times no matter if Joel is in front facing, at side). Homework is for me to back tie him and use my linen tug to get him to bite without front feet action. I recognized this as a problem this week and was working on it but now it is my priority! Might change VORON to GO ON (since i have this cue in agility) will ask Joel.

April 22, 2007

Today we worked Bodhi on the pole. He is using his feet to target Joel and we want him to use his mouth to find the sleeve. This combined with working Bodhi at home using my tug will help. We will be doing this often. We repeated this about 5 times. There were a number of times he tried to use his feet, or didn't get a deep enough bite. The last bite he didn't move his legs and he had a nice deep bite! Homework is: Continue to work him on the tie back and get a deep bite without feet touching me. Reposition tug if his bite is shallow. Second is to get a long tug and swing around in counter clockwise motion just out of reach of Bodhi's mouth (should be swung horizontal to him) after 2-3 times then i will swing lower and slower and let him grab it as he passes. This will help to teach him to grab with his mouth since his feet have nothintg to do with catching it! SNELL is the cue for the long bite. Political Correctness will not allow the word for BITE and now uses a GO ON cue instead :)

April 29, 2007

We had Bodhi on the pole tonight. I had worked him on a back tie all week using both the pillow tug and the long small diameter tug. He showed great improvement with Joel. He did not use his feet as much. He had a deeper bite (use this as an indicator as to whether he is using his feet or not). Joel was also allowed to come in close to Bodhi without Bodhi using his feet. He bounced up to bite the sleeve with his mouth but didn't put paws on him. Joel said he could use the stick to keep Bodhi from using feet but we both know that would make him ambivalent about the sport. Joel's words were conflicted. Bodhi tried 2 times to bite Joel but went immediately to barking and waiting for the presentation of the sleeve. His bite was deep tonight because he didn't use his feet. He is allowed to use feet after the bite but not before. Keep practicing at home for a deep bite! Keep making it so Bodhi can not use his feet.

May 6, 2007

We worked on the pole again tonight. Bodhi did much better because again we were able to practice in my yard this week. His bite is more often deeper and he is definitely not using his feet. I have to work on this work a deeper bite (he tends to hold the tug with his canines). When he gets the tug between his canines, make sure it is not comfortable by jerking it back a bit then wait him out until he regrips deeper. Once he does reward with the tug...

May 13, 2007

On the pole again. Again, Joel was trying to see where we were at in the process. He discovered that Bodhi was not opening his mouth wide enough to accept the sleeve so he just stood within range and waited for a good open-mouthed bite before he would give. This is why he is not holding well. At least there are less feet, well, he tried to use his feet but exhausted that behavior beause he wasn't rewarded with the sleeve then I think Bodhi got frustrated and used his mouth. Joel let him win a bit more tonight and worried me because he asked again if Bodhi had any Schutzhund dogs in his line. Sigh. When Joel stood into his zone real close you could see that Bodhi was a bit worried. I had just dreamed the night before that Joel scared Bodhi with the stick - I guess i am sensitive... He is not ready for that. When we carried the sleeve home, he held it for a long while as I cradled his head (like old times!)

May 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Bodhi! He is one year old tonight so we decided to celebrate by going to the club... Back tie again. Joel noticed that he was not confidently gripping the sleeve (opening his mouth). He was targetting better for the most part (my homework well done) but when he brought out the tug (long narrow wrap) he was doing a good job gripping with mouth (no feet) and holding deep. He brought out the Bite Pillow and again a nice deep grip. Then back to the sleeve and a better grip (but not as confident). Basically, more work on the bite pillow until it is more consistent then progressing back to the sleeve. He asked me to OUT Bodhi when he was on the pillow and he did a nice job (one cue - with only a second hesitation and a clean out). He ran back to the car and i cradled him. He did well. Joel loaned me the bite pillow to practice on this week. He does bite into it better. We shall see!

May 20, 2007

The week we worked with the 3 handle tug was a mixed bag. He sort of looked at me funny when I brought it out to play with. I ended up on Saturday (to get him to interact with me and it) kicked it around to get him to get it. He did. and then he tugged. He had a better bite on it for Joel, nevertheless. Nice grip, deep, confident bite. We did this a number of times then went back to the sleeve but it didn't transfer. We got more leg, more tentativeness, hesitation and shallow bite. He doesn't transfer the skill to new tugs as well. Anyway, Joel showed me how to hold the toy better (lower and flat about Bodhi's nose height) and how to move it a few times in front of him before holding it out for the bite. He did it with me at the field. Make sure he barks first. We had him leave the field with the puppy sleeve. Enlightening...I have the 3 handle tug again this week to work with. Hopefully now that I know how to use it - better results?

May 23, 2007

on the pole again. we did the pillow tug again. he was much more animated (even though we had a full day of agility and tracking in the AM). I think it was because Joel was more animated really. He was keying off of Joel's energy. He had some nice bites and now, consistently, he is not trying to use his feet. He doesn't hesitate on the bite and appears more clear about it. More homework for me on the tug at home!

May 27, 2007

We started with the back tie again. He did well with the tug pillow. He did really really well with the OUT. Joel was even applying some pressure backwards while I gave the OUT and Bodhi did it quickly with only a bit of slight rebiting. He understands the word! We moved then to the GO ON. We discussed it and I have to stick to German or English but no mixing! So i will use GO ON instead. We sent him around the blind and he hesitated (work on?) but started to bark when I was out of sight (very good!) and only glanced at me once. He had a nice bite to the pillow and then after 2 times doing this moved to the puppy sleeve. I think I was the problem. I was moving into Joel and therefore Bodhi's feet were hitting Joel. I have to be a pole. When I was he made a nice bite and I took him home!

June 3, 2007

on the pole then off to a drag bite. he is using his mouth more than his feet more often than not. good dog!

June 10, 2007

on the pole. he was THUNK on the pillow but as soon as we went to the puppy sleeve he was hesitant and it was back to feet feet feet. but then he realized he wasn't going to get it and THUNK a few good times with a nice solid bite and grip. we did OUT while Joel was pulling (good dog) and we did a lot of more holding and grip work (i think that he doesn't hold it long enough) then Joel laughed at him because he was distracted by some flying dirt on the ground and commented on how he was such a puppy still! we finished with a few drag bites (one was a nice THUNK) and off the field. appears that the down time between sessions makes him a bit rough around the edges! more practice needed!

June 17, 2007

he was tired tonight so we didn't do much. Joel didn't even want him to bark he was having the appearances of being hot. even though it wasn't hot ; ) but we did some drive bys. i held him on the leash, and joel ran by him allowing bodhi to 'catch him' it was successful. also, we did the puppy sleeve on the pole and joel, if he held the sleeve up high then bodhi had to jump to get it. better. less feet. one time he didn't OUT, a few times he was looking at the dust on the ground. what am i going to do with the boy!!

June 24 + July 1, 2007

Persevere... We are doing drive bys right now. He is starting to catch on (literally). He knows if he does not open his mouth and bite down in the window of time he doesn't get a bite. Joel is also doing some on purpose misses to make him really try. He is becoming more confident. On July 1, he tested it with a bark and hold with a bite and yes, his feet did not get in the way and it was a solid bite. It is working.

July 4, 2007

Joel has a nice memory. He remembered that last time it took 2 warm up bites to get a nice deep bite. This time (in the middle of the hot day even) it only took 1 so-so bite to get the sleeve. He is taking vertex now so we will see if that prepares him better for the heat. Video will show that his bites are better more often, more consistent (no feet!). Thanks angela for taking the video!

protection july 4, 2007
...click on image to see video in a new window...

Drive By - Drive By with misses and grips and such. Puppy Sleeve.


July 8, 2007

he would not come out of the crate. as far as i know nothing 'bad' happened. only changes to day was tracking in am, (he did well), he went to work with me was in the crate while i taught (1 hr), then out to do some practice agility (i kept it short - approx. 15 minutes or less) then in crate, then home for an hour, then to the club where we played tug on the field, did some SEARCH around blind 5, then jump over the panel with 5 panels up (no problem) then a run off field with the tug toy. after that, he didn't want to come out, he licked his lips, and hunkered down. i got him out (with food) and he appeared ok again. but on the field he was by all appearances stressed such that joel acknowledged it. it was not too too hot, he appeared not tired, just anxious. he barked ok but bites were very weak. joel decided to push him with the whip. the smacking of it brightened up bodhi alot but i was a bit overwhelmed (worried) that it was going to wash over him too quickly and make him more weary in the future. a few times he made contact with his feet. bodhi's avoidance tactices can not directly be traced to a single event but a ripple of events that happen sometimes. it appears he does what i want him to and appears ok but then shuts down (which means he was not ok when he did it - but the lure of food or play was greater than the allure of fear). so he was barking and staying back and his bites became stronger. there were a few retreats (1-2) and the leash was loose which meant that bodhi was not approaching (who would with someone weilding a whip) but the sound appeared to motivate him to bite harder, bark more! but keeping some distance. however, he did return the sleeve to joel 1 time. somewhere in the middle. he mostly wanted to run back to the car with the sleeve. he did not OUT when i said out and his breathing was faster than what was normal for the field (more like when he is back at the car). people on the porch noticed a marked improvement. my opinion is out until a few more sessions down. either he will be ok with it or the pressuring will collapse him (i will talk to joel). strange dog - they said on the porch. i agree.

July 15, 2007

Went to Michael Ellis for an evaluation. I was surprised by the spirit and drive in the malinois at his seminar. They were training for French Ring, were incredibally edgy and all I could say is that 'Bodhi is not them'. This was not a response to training but of genetic / breeding. I was surprised that Bodhi would bark at Michael (new handler) and did all his usual fair. His bite was not solid but he saw Michael as a helper and cued off of that. He is very easy to train and so I could see that his trainability makes up for his deficiency in motivation and drive. Michael summed it up though. His drive does not accomodate for his reservation and tentativeness. He does it but does not necessarily love the work. The whip fires him up but the prey drive needs to be strong for his running the blinds. The defense drive (whip hits etc.) can not keep him aroused and could be a dangerous thing to use exclusively. All these comments I totally agree with. He and I both understood why Joel went that direction. THere is only so much one can do to motivate a dog to bite and running around all day is exhausting. I was broken hearted but heard what I knew to be true. Michael basically said that I could still work him but not to set expectations too high and understand Bodhi's ceiling.

July 29, 2007

Bodhi's spirit seemed back again. We did a run into the blind. He barked at Joel without my presence and did ok. He did did not have a commited bite the first few times. But, he was not 'upset' or remembering his previous experience there as bad. which is good.

August 5, 2007

We might have inadvertently figured out that Bodhi doesn't like a tight leash for the bite. This makes totally sense. I was never able to use restraint for any building up drive. If this is the case then it is a break through and we can begin to train the way Bodhi wants to be trained. Joel (and I thought) he needed to warm up to the sleeve but when he was sent into the blind, he had a nice bite. I thought it was because I wasn't there so he was not so inhibited but when Joel tried it with me loosly holding the leash he had a nice committed bite again. Hummm. Joel even brought out the harder sleeve and he bite it with committment (once he smelled it a few times). He carried it home to the van and jumped in still holding it in his mouth. I hope this is the solution or reason and that he really does at some level enjoy the training. He appeared brighter today (i had, after all left him at home for 2 days so he hadn't seen me for some time).

August 12, 2007

We did more of the same. Into blind 6. He did OK... Joel is starting to swing him onto his left hip (and I need to practice the same thing at home with my tug games so it comes natural). He didn't have a very strong bite at first (because he wasn't used to the positioning but caught on well. He can now run around happily with the sleeve with me no problem. His outs are still good. With sleeve still happily in his mouth, we progressed to blind 5. Joel set himself up pretty much parallel to me (didn't ask me if i had done this before - of course i had practiced up to this but didn't know for sure if he would do it). I waited till he was looking straight ahead then told him to search. He went around the blind nicely but hit the sleeve too hard and crumpled to the ground. Joel says we need to teach him how to bite the sleeve at a greater speed. He isn't used to this. We tried again but not so good. He fell off. So we went back to the long bite (at a shorter distance). He did better. Not sure where we go from here but i will start chaining the blind 5 to 6 and 4 to 5 as soon as i can.

blinds image

August 19, 2007

We started at blind 6. Bodhi did well. He was a bit hesitant to bark at first (more an issue with warm up) but was good once he got going. He is biting harder, has a better grip overall. We proceeded over to blind 5. Joel stood a bit to the side and behind me so that Bodhi had to 'think' a bit before getting the bite. He did not crumple this time and he had a nice bite each time (more so after bite 1). He was happy, didn't want to OUT the sleeve as much and as I have found, the more velocity he starts with before getting the toy the stronger the grip. After the second blind 5, he took the sleeve and stood in the middle of the field. His ears were back, his eyes telling me he was not going to bring it back. Guarding it? or something. I finally got him to come to me but it was hard. blind 5 round 3, he didn't do the full loop the first attempt (typical - hates repetition) but the second search he did it well and got the sleeve and back to standing in the center of the field. THis time it looked as if he was going to bolt to the car. I didn't like doing it but asked him to DOWN and he did - got up again, had to repeat and went to him and the sleeve being careful to let him keep it and patting him on the sides. I cradled him a bit to let him relax then OUTed himi. We did a 'back transport' drill. Bodhi is supposed to look at Joel as he is in heel position with Joel. There was some confusion, barking, nipping at the sleeve, etc. but he got a bite (eventually)I have to keep him from riding around Joel (to the sleeve) and Joel will work on the no bark / SITTING him appears to quiet him a bit- we did this 2 times. then home.

August 26, 2007

My goal was to not let Bodhi continue standing out in the middle of field with the toy (ie. sleeve) in his mouth. Susan Garrett in her book Shaping Success discussed the set up of a training environment where the dog is always right. I want to adhere to this. It is my fault (weak reinforcement history or slipping back and letting him get away with getting toy and keeping it that reinflamed this issue. I was worried that Joel would not agree to do what I wanted but he did. We put a 33ft line on the sleeve. Bodhi didn’t ‘hold’ it and avoid me when having him run to blind 6 however. He only ran away after we had him run blind 5 (I think it is the momentum and adrenaline?). He immediately took the sleeve (better bites now) and went away and stood his ground in the middle of the field (as he did last week). This week I had the line (attached to sleeve) So I said HERE and paused (to see if he would comply), then gave light pops to sleeve. He came without hesitation (reminded me of a horse you had to nudge a bit with the reins to move forward...) We ran him around the blind 5a number of times with success at this repetition. He only did one drive by …All the rest of his HEREs were straight into me with the sleeve.I did as Denise recommended long ago – let him bring the toy to me and just let him have it – patting him on side, playing tug but not taking it or looking as if I was going to take it. I also cradled his head and let it drop naturally more often than saying OUT. By the end he was bringing it with the first HERE (no leash pops). Joel was happy because there was no conflict and it appeared for today at least to have instant resolve (and his HERE improved to boot!)

August 29, 2007

We did a few Blind 6, Blind 5 to Joel - all with the long line on the sleeve. He is not stopping out in the center of the field now. He is coming when I say HERE with less hesitation. A few more sessions and we should be better.... Obedience pre-protection is not so good. He does not association heeling with getting rewarded (with the sleeve...) might ask Joel for help in this respect. We did our first Blind 5 to Joel in Blind 6 tonight with a HERE in between. He did come to me (for reals) because I felt him smash into me with his body when i called him (have to work on that). We did some Escape Bites (from a SIT - he has a harder time from a DOWN to get the sleeve in his mouth / his SITs were either non-existant or DOWNS). We did a long Bite then home. Overall, nice work. His bites are getting better. A bit stronger still. He is definitely interested in the game more often than not!

September 2, 2007

Today I tried to do a bit of 'obedience' pre-protection training using food on the field. he did blind 5 then back to where the food was initially given before going to blind 6. joel mentioned that is why they don't use food on the field during protection training - because dogs don't transition well. i mentioned that bodhi doesn't 'get' that the reward for heeling (for example) is the bite and he agreed. we did another from blind 5 to 6 without a hitch and then we worked on working on eye contact for a bite. joel recommended me not using an OK for it but a CLICK but i know that bodhi will not release with a CLICK. so i have to figure this out. we did some SIT / CLICK (for the transport). some HEEL w/EYE CONTACT / CLICK for the obedience. Overall, once I get used to this new system it should be invaluable for the training. I guess i am satisfied. Also, his HERES were better, his bites deep, strong and good. He sounds more like an engine when he has the sleeve in his mouth (and by the way he had the dog sleeve not the puppy sleeve this time). Good Boy. He carried it into the crate before dropping it!

September 5, 2007

He was a bit spooked when he came out (eyes - Joel said) so we gave him a few bites to Blind 6) I think he was focused a bit on the people on the porch. One guy was admiring him a bit too closely and since it was late at night...After 2 times to blind 6, and with me playing with him a bit, he was back. He actaully did a lovely attention heel to the Blind 5, Did a lovely SEARCH, HERE and SEARCH to blind 6. He ran wide (porch people again?) the first time but did better the second time. We then worked on his bite. Since we have added the long line to the sleeve, his mouth has migrated up the sleeve to the edge (just as he does with his tugs at home). We went to a sleeve with plastic on ends so he keeps his bite centered. After a few times he was better again. We did some long bites, we did a BACK TRANSPORT where I CLICKED for his SITTING between Joel and I as well as CLICKED for BODHI giving EYE CONTACT to Joel.

September 9, 2007

We started at Blind 5 this time. He did a beautiful attention HEEL to position. He did not start without the hand signal / SEARCH cue (as he did the prior session) and waited. He went around the blind came to me when I said HERE and to Blind 6. There was some hesitation before the bark but his bark was good. We did this again but prior to taking him to Blind 5, Joel tossed his sleeve on the ground and changed to another sleeve so when he went around Blind 5 to 6 he made a bee line to the sleeve Joel dropped before Joel got him back. We did more bite work where we had more back pressure AFTER the bite, an escape bite, a long bite and then Back Transport. He has a hard time HEELING toward Joel and I had to restart him a few time but he SAT when I said SIT and we gave him a CLICK/BITE. THen we did another TRANSPORT with attention on Joel for a CLICK/BITE.

...click on image to see video in a new window...

Search (Blind 5-6), Bite Work, Escape Bite, Long Bite Work, Back Transport


September 26, 2007

It was late. We did a HEEL out to the Blind 5; he was a bit spooked by a shadow so i took him a bit closer than usual since I didn't have that lovely focus I usually had. He went around the Blind well. Came to me on HERE, then I sent him to Joel. He barked nice. We took him into the clubhouse to do some environmental stuff. He was a bit put off at first but then came around (slick surface, bathroom, etc. Then outside again to some medium bites (where he was better). We did the CLICK for eye contact on Joel for the BACK TRANSPORT and then finished. Overall, well done.

September 30, 2007

We did the Blind 5 -6 2 times; Joel says he was 'looking for me'. He was better the second time. We also found out (which reflects what Michael Ellis said, that he was more comfortable with the prey drive than the defense drive (motionless helper - not so fun - running helper - that got him jazzed) so we did our first STEP OUT of the blind; Bodhi did ok. He did forge forward as I brought him to position for a SIT, he did not bark (which was good) when Joel was still in the Blind waiting for me to say STEP OUT; he did not sit the first time so i circled him around to try again. He did STAY until Joel moved. Good. His bite the first two times was so so - but he consciously regripped a few times for a better grip. The third time he gripped and help. That ended the session.

October 3, 2007

There was nobody there tonight. which meant that there was no time for Bodhi to relax (after agility class that afternoon) before his turn. I suspected problems. I DIDN'T suspect critter problems. He had his eye on a critter at Blind 5 (devious little critter) and went out and OUT and OUT chasing the critter (then around to Joel. At least he leaves the critter but by then he had critter on the brain. We repeated Blind 5 for true torture and he took off and missed the Blind but though (since there were no critters) that Joel was good enough and passed by me to Joel. At least he got half of it right. I had to stop him (and yes he almost left when I said NO) and we did the Blind a bit closer. His bites were not deep. He was distracted, he was, well, critter on the brain. We did some BOX attention heeling, some more tug, some escape bites, and a BACK TRANSPORT. The people on the porch asked if he was neutered (since he is so - low drive) and I said NO (thinking if he was to be any more low drive he would be a greyhound on a couch!). He has the title of WEIRDO at the club. Joel couldn't believe that UNKAS was his dad. Sigh. very deflating considering obedience on monday...

October 7, 2007

I was concerned about 'crittering' and so we did only a SEARCH to Blind 6. I could see Bodhi looking toward the critter area and so it was a wise choice. Better to troubleshoot on another day than during protection night. (especially with 5 rabbits watching from the sidelines...I counted!). He had better bites (his mind was on biting not chasing critters) and he each time brought the sleeve to me (no thoughts of leaving the field) He was happy, light and strong. We did a lovely BITE with a STEP BACK where Bodhi held his SIT. This was nice. We did a BACK TRANSPORT but he was forging. Doesn't know HEEL in this context (he didn't respond to HEEL even outside the field near the gate - something is going on...) We did a medium bite and all was better. He likes the fight more than the carrying the sleeve : )

October 17, 2007

We tried Blind 5 and even though there were no critters he took off to the area where there MIGHT be critters. We reset and started closer to the Blind and he did it without hesitation. Joel had 'setup?' a person to stand near the Blind 6 and Bodhi went right to him (not realizing it was not a helper I guess but hesitated last minute and went into the Blind. The guy on the side looked a bit startled. Most dogs hone right in on Joel. Bodhi plays no favorites... We did an Escape Bite and Joel did not 'help' by positioning the sleeve and he took to it like a magnet. His bite was pretty good. His OUTS are still good. We did BOX HEELING and again, better attention and CLICK-BITE. Finally we did a Back Transport with a few steps at attention on Joel before the CLICK-BITE.

October 28, 2007

He was a bit flat on the heeling. for a while he was attention heeling all the way to Blind 5. Perhaps because of the critter hunting his attention is split more than usual. I went very, very close to Blind 5 to prevent him from swinging wide to look for critters. He didn't search for critters rounding the bend so I did the right thing. He did not go straight into Blind 6 where Joel was and almost circled it completely! Joel thinks that many dogs are doing this because of the gravel they have to put the breaks on is too sharp. We poked his head around after a few barks to see if I was coming but managed at the end after I was closer to stay in the game. We did some Long Bites, Some stronger Whip hits and Whip over hte head and he handled it as well as he could (he slipped a bit off the sleeve to avoid it the first time but went back to being ok after 2 more repetitions). The backtransport was very nice. I happened to forget where my clicker was so while I was searching for it he was heeling keeping nice attention and position on Joel unitl I finally found it and CLICK then off the field!

November 4, 2007

We started with Blind 5 to 6. Again, he was not attention heeling but looking into the distance for critters. Something to work on for later, I guess but no need fighting it now. I had to reset him to SIT for the search and even though he took the Blind 5 wide (critters) he came round and went to Blind 6. He only peeked around 1 time (smiling all the while!) before barking more so we worked on that one more time. A send to Blind 6 and bark/Bite. We did an STEP OUT of the Blind 6 with Bodhi in a SIT besides me and then a braille heel to the position and then an escape bite from a DOWN and his grip was much better. We did some more long bites and his grip was better AND he is bringing the sleeve to me now without fail. We did another CLICK/BITE for the Transport.

November 11, 2007

What a difference. I was concerned about his crittering (looking for them is the same as getting them) so I brought out his ball. Had him heel a bit toward the blind then rewarded with ball / tug. He was fired up then. Wanted to GO OUT for the ball so I knew he wasn't critter seaching. I sent him to the blind 5 from the center of the field (we have not done that for a long while!) and he was FAST! He did a tight turn around the blind back toward me and i sent him to the blind 6 and then he was in it... then he was running happily back to me away from JOEL! he wanted his REWARD: the BALL. Hahaha.. a one track mind.... I had to send him back in but he was brighter, his bite was strong and was overall focused. Second send from blind 5 to 6 resulted in a very very very fast extended gallop. He sure can run full out throttle when he wants to. beautiful to watch. We did some box heeling, some escape bites and some bite/reattachs (with whip) with less hesitation. His grip was good and all was good. We did a back transport. had to ask him to sit but with no hesitation AND when i said transport he started to instantly heel to JOEL. nice!

November 14, 2007

We did Blind 5 to 6 (attention good and a reward with the ball one time on the way out) no more crittering which is even better. However, there was a guy (besides Joel) on the field and Bodhi went up to him instead of Joel. Joel was a bit delayed in getting him back (new baby) and so the guy was a bit worried. Bodhi was just confused... I asked the guy to get off the field (but he didn't completely remove himself - just sat down) it did help. Joel and I discussed working on leash again to get the bite up and Bodhi received his first whip hit which he took very well. Things are going smoothy.

November 18, 2007

Tonight we started on leash doing bite work. Joel wanted to see if he was able to 'counter' better now that his confidence and bite is consistent. He also wanted to fire him up more with the whip cracks and it did. The tone of his bark changed and we were looking for a high tail carriage and bringing back the sleeve to Joel (for once in a very long time). It is interesting when Joel puts pressure on Bodhi, he brings the sleeve to him. When he is just in prey drive and gets the sleeve, Bodhi brings the sleeve directly to me. The shift from me to Joel comes with the fight. We then moved on to Blind work. Joel warned me that Bodhi's obedience would go down (but it didn't! he had great attention and i didn't have to show him the ball). He drove around Blind 5 to 6 2 times with better intensity and he did not look for me from behind the blind. We did a back transport and then done.

November 21, 2007

More Stick / Whip work up front. More counter on the leash. His bite is good, his tail is up, he brings the sleeve back to Joel. One time he took it away to sort of chew on it. The OUTS were good (much to my surprise) and he was good around the blinds (although he barely looks at me and he doesn't HEEL well to the blind (but for totally different reasons. He wants to go around the Blind so he is forging).

November 25, 2007

He was excited outside the field by the whip cracks. He has always liked the sound of them since day one... So when he got on he was more jazzed up. We did some more getting him up with more counter bites and whip cracks before doing Blind 5 - 6. I am not going to say HERE anymore until we start to really need it (I don't want him to think HERE is just look at me as he is running by). He did not look for me when in Blind 6; he barked and got the sleeve and 'yelped' a bit with a stick hit? He did not drop the sleeve AND carried it back to Joel so I think he was more surprised than anything. I will talk to Joel about hitting with the stick too prematurely since he is not aroused enough not to feel it (as with the other dogs). I think he gets that though because he took it down a notch the rest of the time. We did an escape bite (I had to loop him around one time - he wouldn't down on cue) and a transport (looping him around for not heeliing one time and not sitting another time).

December 2, 2007

So he is starting to get more revved up by the stick. He likes Joel more than me. He is not crittering and is checking back while we 'heel' to BLIND 5 on Joel instead of looking at me or the blind. definitely a switch. I noted to Joel that the way he comes into BLIND 6 (wide) is a pattern. We added a barrier to prevent this. Now he is coming in more direct. But cocked a bit to the side.

December 5, 2007

So he is definitely not heeling with me to BLIND 5 anymore. He is trying desperately to get around the BLIND 5 to go to 6 to see Joel. The switch is unexpected and I don't have a plan. Part of me wants to drop the leash and treat it more like the FOOD BOWL EXERCISE routine BUT I don't think he will stay with me as well. It IS worth a try and better than fighting it. Definitely HEELING is out the window for now but his bites are DEEP strong and confident. We did a STEP OUT and an ESCAPE BITE. Had to reset him for SITS and DOWNS a few times but he gets it eventually. He really knows the word TRANSPORT and leaps into HEEL with Joel when I say it.

December 9, 2007

We started again with working his drive up. He was happy, tail wagging, nice bites, bringing sleeve back to Joel consistently! Joel did some more Stick hits (to the sleeve in Bodhi's mouth) and then to BLIND 5 - 6. I mentioned to Joel prior that I didn't like the way his HEELING was deteriorating but left it at that. What I did do was give him more leash and let him find my HEEL position on cue. That was much better than holding him to the position for sure (where he is really not 'learning' anything) So success. I got a flash of eye contact while moving out to BLIND 5 so I rewarded him by sending him right away. We did some BOX HEELING and again I CLICKED and rewarded with a BITE. He is coming in tighter to BLIND 6 (with the barrier) so now I need to come out and practice BLIND 5 with a barrier too! The BACK TRANSPORT took about 4 tries before he BRAILE HEELED with me but he did and better yet, he SAT! He was a bit dirty with the BACK TRANSPORT but we got him calm and a BITE to the car : )

December 13, 2007

Poor Angela. She got jumped on, her leash grabbed and a nose to the crotch all in one fell swoop. Malinois'! He was very happy today. No warm up just straight to BLIND 5. Worried about the wide turn around the blind but will work on it during other days. He was very very enthusiastic about getting to Joel. His bite was good. We did something new today. We did an Escape Bite with Bodhi on a long line. He did nice DOWNs and then 'chased' Joel and as he bit I pulled the line so if he had a nice bite (the first 2 were not) he would be able to hold on. If the bite was sloppy (as the first 2 were) then he would lose the sleeve. Well, he firgured it out - so I guess losing the sleeve was punishing enough that his bite got more solid! Yipee. More BOX HEELING (we need a lot of that now that he is more interested in Joel) and We did a BACK TRANSPORT (8 paces) CLICK BITE.

December 16, 2007

I brought my tug toy out with me on the field and rewarded ever so often for eye contact going out to the BLIND 5. I went right up on the BLIND this time to prevent wide circles around the BLIND. He was definitely tighter but: it could be because I was closer OR it was because I rewarded him with the tug toy or BOTH. He went to BLIND 6 and went in then started to come out for the TOY in my HAND! Something to work on... We did more BOX HEELING (which feels a bit funny... not that he is too excited about Joel but that he is mildly distracted...I think he would give me better attention if he was more fired up) and we did more ESCAPE BITES with my holding the long line and voila! He had a good grip on the first bite! He learned (from last week) that holding on keeps him the sleeve while letting go means it goes. We did 12 steps in the BACK TRANSPORT.

December 19, 2007

So here is what is going on: show Bodhi (and play) tug toy and he recalls beautifully from BLIND 5 but leaves BLIND 6 (and Joel) and comes back to me; don't show Bodhi the tug toy and he doesn't recall around BlIND 5 and goes to Joel straight away and stays. So we have an issue. It is my fault since I rewarded his not coming to me with the sleeve... so Joel wants me to teach him a IN-DRIVE DOWN. I think that will a) take a while and b) shut him down... so I talked to Denise and she agreed we should work on RECALL instead. If he blows me off then Joel will drop the sleeve and sit down and i will start over again. Bodhi should get this game (we tried it with my friend and he got it the first try). It will be clearer to himi. We did more stick work (good) and box heeling (he tried to go to Joel at the same spot I had released him from before (he is smart) so he is not thinking it is eye contact with me but location to launch from (careful). We did some lovely ESCAPE BITES (lovely DOWNS) and then the BACK TRANSPORT where Bodhi is beginning to SIT on his own.

December 23, 2007

So after speaking with Denise and Joel. The idea: Send Bodhi around the BLIND 5. He will blow me off, say NOPE and then he goes to BLIND 6 (but no Joel), then call him back and retry. He definitely heard NOPE as he was running to BLIND 6 without his HERE working and he checked BLIND 6 panicked, went up on the porch to continue his search, got stopped by the people, and sent back to me. He returned and was a bit disconcerted that JOEL was not there but came to me the next run. Then again and a repeat of passing me but NOPE brought him back, I sent again and again and finally he came back to me (Joel recommends giving him more time to get into the BLIND 6 by having him SIT and pause before sending him. He had to haul in order to beat Bodhi to BLIND 6 : ) Some more escape bite, stick work, some issues still with his SIT, no issues with DOWN and nice BACK TRANSPORT (only one NOPE for no initial SIT but then a slow SIT the second loop). VOILA! So generally, he was a bit upset and offset by the change but it changed his behavior and there was no loss of his focus on JOEL in the BLIND 6 (he usually looks back at me) and a strong bite using his mouth to target the sleeve. Joel says it will work - no real lose of drive.

hold bark
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Blind 5-6 resolving the No Recall issue, Escape Bite wtih Down, Long Bite, Back Transport


December 26, 2007

Anticipation. This might be the key. If he is not 'reved' up he won't go. So in Rally Practice this morning, Bodhi was flatter for the first bowl of food than for the second (anticipation). In agility, if he watches a few dogs run he gets excited and runs faster, in Schutzhund, if he watches dogs work, he starts to claw at the leash and tug. So it is not just the environment, he might need to be wound a bit before working. I hope... We will see... So we started with Joel NOT IN BLIND 6. I sent Bodhi around BLIND 5 and called HERE and he made a big loop but CAME! The problem is that he would not come within 6 feet of me and looked at me and at BLIND 6 ping ponging back and forth wondering what to do. He would not COME to HEEL or HERE or anything. I sent him to BLIND 6 and Joel and he got a BITE. Repeat. I didn't have to say NOPE and he again came on HERE but not too close. Problem... But I sent him on to BLIND 6 and I saw him lunge backwards as if he were bit (I thought maybe the barrier fell. He came in at a distance and barked in a Play Bow stance (slightly fearful). Joel said he came in, made a DIRTY BITE and on his own volition lept back as if he knew he was wrong. Joel did not do a thing. Humm. We did a few more BLIND 6 SEARCHES to tease out the problem and no more issues with the DIRTY BLIND or avoidance, etc. He had nice strong deep BITES. ESCAPE BITE (nice) He didn't SIT the first time but DOWNed on the first CUE. Joel commented on how far he has come this last month or so. BACK TRANSPORT - no SIT first time but SIT the second loop. The BACK TRANSPORT is fairly good. I am thinking his issue with not SITTING is focal point. If he is looking at me (when I have the reward he SITS without hesitation and quickly) If he is looking at Joel, he doesn't do it (same if I toss a treat on the ground and he is looking at it, or a JUMP in front of him, he doesn't register SIT. So I will work it off the field and see if it helps : )

January 2, 2008

Joel remained out of the BLIND 6 as per our new strategy. Bodhi DID blow me off unitl I said NOPE then he came back. I had to retrieve him (he would not come close but we did the BLIND 5 again and I said HERE and I swear he did the best FRONT I have ever seen. He did not slam into me but coasted straight up and to me and SAT. He does much better if I do not praise him as he is COMING. Keeps him engaged. The barrier was not up the first time and he still is swinging wide into BLIND 6. More time with the barrier. We did some ESCAPE BITES (still a NO-SIT the first time. If I say his name first he will more likely SIT when it is said but not sure if that is the answer either. The turning him around and resetting is working but each new session I have to reset him the same number of times so overall he is not learning from session to session but from trial to trial. I would like to figure this out. It is definitely not the cue but the placement of the reward and what he is focusing on that destablizes his SIT. Hum. More thought. This was the first night we did a long bite (not too much distance - perhaps 100 feet) with Joel running toward him. Some hesistancy the first one, less the second one. More confrontation is a bit intimidating but he bit and continued to work. Backtransport is as always good.

January 7, 2008

Same Thing...Joel sat on the bench and Bodhi went from BLIND 5 blew me off (and stood his ground at a distance) I called him to me and he was in his decision mode which means he looked at me and ran to BLIND 6 to make sure that Joel wasn't there. He looked it (quite funny to watch) and NO JOEL so he trotted back to me. He then did a perfect BLIND 5 to HERE / FRONT where he stood staring at me to release him to BLIND 6. He did this performance 2 times with perfection.Wonderful to see this work so WELL!We worked on Bodhi contiinuing his BARK/HOLD without looking at me (he tends to look over and acknowledge me briefly before turning back to Joel to bark. We tested his escape bite without the long line and he had a nice bite. Solid with that THUNK sound Joel speaks reverently of. A few more BARK / HOLDs where Bodhi should not look at me. His SITs/DOWNs were not so good (but I think I have changed the intonation of my DOWN signal - ooops...) We did our first BACK TRANSPORT up to a JUDGE and he did well.

January 16, 2008

Nice Blind Work (he was checking behind his shoulder the whole way out to BLIND 5 to make sure Joel was on the bench -hummm). He came to a perfect FRONT without the crash. and he swung around immediately (knowing he was right) to get the reward. We did this twice. He looked over at me once (stopping the bark) when i came in sight of him at BLIND 6 but the second round he looked at me staying with his barking rhythm. We did a STEP OUT and he did a really nice BRAIL HEEL with me (he did the SIT on the second request (and reset) and the DOWN immediately. I was able to stand behind the BLIND. The second try I took up the line too fast and he fell off the sleeve but his SIT and DOWN were immediate. His bite is better both on and off the long line. We did a 'LONG-ish BITE' and he regripped to get a deeper bite and we did a TRANSPORT where he did his first auto SIT the first try. We did the TRANSPORT up to a judge and his look did not waiver from Joel. Intereresting how it is starting to come together for him.

January 21, 2008

Same thing. He is consistenly coming to me from around BLIND 5 to a lovely front (but I swear he is looking to see whether or not to come based on if Joel in on the bench or behind the blind! Joel says he is not noticing the barrier at BLIND 6 anymore and is coming in naturally tight. He is not attention HEELING to the BLIND 5 with me or SITTING (odd stuff again) but it seems to ebb and flow based on the day or weather. He was slightly distracted by the bon fire but when he was able to do some nice fighting with Joel he turned off the stuff outside. He really likes the fight! We did our first 'longish bite' with an immediate re-attach and again he loved it. No hesitation. No long line on him for the ESCAPE BITE and we HEELED up to a judge nicely towards the fire without much looking at all. HE did and AUTO-SIT at the beginning of transport and AUTO-SIT when we faced the judge.

January 23, 2008

Still good on the BLIND work based on that original P- for not coming to me. Holding steady. His HEELING is still unsteady but I have decided / justified that I will walk out with him and the moment I get eye contact will send him. Hopefully I can shape that to longer and longer attention HEELING... We did our first HEEL up to the BLIND 6 and JOEL and HEEL BACK for the STEP OUT. He did just fine. Nice Braile HEELING. He did the SIT on cue, the DOWN on cue and the BITE was strong and as Joel put it a SCH I BITE (so basically deep enough). We did a LONGish BITE and a RE-ATTACH and then the BACK TRANSPORT to a JUDGE. Bodhi started to get VERY excited as we HEELED up to the JUDGE because that means he gets a BITE!!!

January 31, 2007

It has been raining so I have been holding off coming so that i would not risk Bodhi spraining one of his long legs BUT of course it was still slick so he ended up in his turn around BLIND 5 to trip up (i only noticed his limp at home). It didn't phase him BUT next time i will have to wait longer... He did the usual around the BLIND 5 to 6 BUT tonight we had a nice distraction on his HOLD and BARK. Hoss wheeled a wheelbarrel past Bodhi while he as BARKING (he only gave a slight head turn). Joel decided to change the picture by sitting in a chair to have Bodhi run up to for a SEARCH and Bodhi was a bit reticent but took to the task. We did an HEEL up for an ESCAPE BITE and Bodhi stuck right with me (and appeared to do a GET BACK - no forging) odd that it translated to here. SITs and DOWNs good. Then we lined up 2 people in front of him and Joel wove back and forth between them while Bodhi barked. Then Joel asked that the people step forward with Bodhi barking and he held his attention on Joel with only a faint glance at the person on his right. He barely noticed the people and wanted to get to Joel. His focus on Joel is improving.

February 3, 2008

OK, we went to an obedience match and Bodhi did well (and i did poorly!) but Bodhi did well... See him do 2 novice runs here (Cow Palace Obedience Run Throughs). So when I decided to go to the club it was really to rule out his attitude / performance / too many training things in a day issue. Well. He was FINE! His obedience was not on the mark (but that is ok - he is probably tired of my saying HEEL over and over again) but he did his first BLIND 5-6 in a long time with Joel near the BLIND 6 (as well as having 2 judges there!). Bodhi -almost- didn't do BLIND 5 but chose to and better yet he chose to come to me when I said HERE (truthfully - he has patterned it together as go around BLIND 5 to me then to Joel but who is really needing this to be known) We did a CALL OUT of BLIND 6 (some poor HEELING and poor SITS but DOWNS for the ESCAPE BITE were very good (consistently this is the case) We did a LONG BITE (still a bit concerned with the distance and confrontation but he did It and a TRANSPORT to a Judge - goodnight!

February 7, 2008

I spoke to Joel a bit before hand that I didn't like each time I came to the field that Bodhi's obedience went down so he suggested some obedience before the protection work and then to signal to Bodhi (pointing to Joel) when the protection phase was started. It was a good idea. At first he could barelyl give me eye contact THEN he was able to give me lovely attention heeling with pivots (For the tug toy). I was happy. We did our first BLIND 4 - BLIND 5 (after BLIND 4 HEEL to BLIND 5 then the usual) He was good at it. This was the first time that in the HOLD and BARK that he did not look over as I came into his vision. He did a nice ESCAPE BITE (obedience was much better) and we did a LONG BITE with Joel running out. This was the first time his BITE was stronger and more certain. He was getting it. BACK TRANSPORT (obedience was better) and walking up the the JUDGE - he didn't take his eyes off Joel. I was VERY happy with the session today. It comes together little by little.

February 10, 2008

It was a start for a bad night...So a friend came over to the van to say hi and I just left to meet them since Bodhi has a 'funny picture' problem and shows some really scary looking aggression at the window when people come near. Well, he still triggered but I was able to ask him for a DOWN and he settled. Then he went and stole his ball out of my bag (while I was still chatting) and came up to the window to show me that he had stolen it (a favorite game) and stepped on the door lock - locking me out of the van. It took about an hour to find and fabricate a piece of wire to open the door and by then Bodhi was very happy to see me. I went on the field soon after and we started with some obedience work and tug (with me). Then Joel had Kyle do some DRIVE BY BITES on the field (new helper) and he was very happy - not barking but his breathing increased and he was intensely watching and waiting for the bite. He even brought the sleeve back to Kyle and didn't appear scared or timid. We then did a BLIND 5 - 6 and Bodhi was a bit preoccupied and slow to go around the blind but came to me and then I sent him to BLIND 6. He went and turned the corner only to see JOEL. He did his confused spin and looked for Kyle but Kyle was no where to be found. He then commenced on barking at JOEL. We did a second BLIND 5 - 6 and he stopped short (longer distance to blind?) to pick up something off the ground ???? and then I had to resend him. He was at this point very flat and his bites were loose and he was not as intense (was it the locked van, Kyle or something else). His SITS are good only if I ask him before he stops, his ESCAPE BITE was ok, the obedience part was good, bite was poor, we did some focus HEELING away from JOEL for the bite and it was ok. and the transport was ok. Overall - not such a good night. But we can troubleshoot it for Wednesday. Hopefully we can get Kyle to retest this problem by being Bodhi's first helper.

February 13, 2008

It was WINDY. A mild understatement. Bodhi and I enjoyed the side event of chasing tumbleweeds before our turn. We did another Kyle DRIVE BY and Bodhi barked at him this time. He was more in play bow pounce mode (not SIT/BARK) but was starting to go into a SIT. We then did a BLIND 5 - 6 and he blew me off a bit at BLIND 5 and started to go to BLIND 6. I restarted him and he came to me. Need to keep this clear. Then to BLIND 6 for Joel (Kyle was standing next to Joel and I was proud of Bodhi - he kept his focus on Joel in the Blind. We did some in the club house / bathroom HOLD and BARK environmental stuff (Bodhi is definitely a bit scared of this but tried) and then out to the field for an ESCAPE BITE. He did a lovely SIT but then 3 times into an AUTO DOWN (I stopped him short 2 times). We ended up keeping him in a ST for it. His bite was Very Good! The club house stuff makes a difference. We did this again and then a transport with Kyle as judge. Yes Bodhi looked at him a few times but I gave him a CLICK for a stop and SIT and look at Joel.

February 24, 2007

We worked on environmental stuff today. I played with him a bit before (no obedience) and then sent him around BLIND 5 - 6 without fault. Then Joel went and stood on a tall box to get Bodhi to jump and get a bite. He was hesitant (he always is of new pictures) but complied in an operant way. Then we were inside and doing a BARK / HOLD with Joel in the kitchen. Very hard for Bodhi NOT to put his head in the trash can first before the bite!

February 27, 2007

He was flat and hot on Wednesday in agility but in schutzhund he was up (cooler night!). We played on the field. He didn't offer me any eye contact or attention heeling. We did Blind Work, he is starting to SIT on his own when we are in the STEP OUT position but more interesting, he responds with a SIT when I say NOPE for not SITTING. I am not having to turn him away and take him away after the NOPE. It is still a SLOW and GATHERED SIT but not from lack or recognition but more because his mind is elsewhere. He worked with Kyle some more and is having nice BARKS with him. I am not sure why but they used a softer sleeve and he was bitting hard enough that Joel and Kyle could not slip it. The BACK TRANSPORT as usual and off the field. This day was nice work.

March 6, 2008

Kyle to start. and Joel in the BLIND. He did a bit of attention heeling (without a command) out to BLIND 5 and so i instantly sent him. He was slow to come to me but was very confused by Joel being in the BLIND 6 (instead of Kyle). He looked at a guy on the side, around the corner etc. and almost left but Joel kept him there (I really think that he thought he was being punished). THe second time when he came to me he slowed down to a trot with head down (as if he was uncomfortable) and avoided coming close. Was it because of the previous BLIND 6 discovery, was it the heat, my stress? Anyway, as soon as I sent him to BLIND 6 he was relieved and did a better BARK and HOLD. We did an ESCAPE BITE (nice SIT) and and BACK TRANSPORT. He HEELED well up to JOEL, didn't initiate the SIT (so I turned him around and repeated) He sat then did his auto SIT at the end.

March 12, 2008

Kyle was in the BLIND 6 today. first time. Bodhi was better with the same person working him. He is so literal that if they swap out, I think, he thinks it is a unknown punisher. He likes Kyle a lot. Maybe (pardon) more than Joel. Kyle runs more and is less threatening. More white bread for Bodhi. Anyway, we did more warming him up with the whip and IN-DRIVE bites which was also good. Less obedience now in all respects is better for Bodhi.

April 2, 2008

It was a cool day with some rain. We haven't been to the field in a L-O-N-G time! We did a trip to WV and so no obedience, no training at all. He was spirited and bright. He was pulling me hard to the field which is less common (well unheard of) and he was of course happy to see Kyle (I think he is slightly afraid of larger men and Kyle is tall thin and boyish so less threatening). He did a fast Blind 5 (still wide) but came fast back to me and then a fast to BLIND 6 - just a bit of hesitation before the bark and then a bite. We did a CALL OUT and I only had to say SIT one time at the BLIND, at the ESCAPE BITE PLACE and the DOWN as fast. THe bite was good. We also did a LONG BITE and this was the first time his ears did not go up in that WHOA a scary man way. He hesitated but no signals of fear. BACK TRANSPORT and shaking hands with Kyle (the judge). A full routine!

April 9, 2008

He drug me to the field again today. Even if he is flat in agility now he is up and bright and happy in schutzhund. He did attention heeling to BLIND 5 (first time in a very long time) and he did a very nice job in BLIND 6 with a BARK and HOLD (with my coming into visual sight of him); he did not look at me once. We had two 'judges' stand on either side of the BLIND and he turned the first 2 times but then continued to BARK at JOEL with out looking at the other guys. I was impressed. Just a few months ago he was going towards any person that was near BLIND 6 and now... I think it helps that KYLE is working him to. He is beginning to get it. (in fact, KYLE was one of the JUDGES and he still didn't look and he LOVES KYLE). We did an ESCAPE BITE and a BACK TRANSPORT with a handshake and a STEP BACK of the JUDGE with a click for continued looking at JOEL while KYLE stepped back. Nice work. GOOD obedience. Interesting...

April 13, 2008

This was the first day time slot we have done (about noon). He was a bit flat. It was a bit hot and this was also the first time that KYLE was in BLIND 6. So I am not sure if his wanting to go back to the car (avoid me) was because of one or all of the factors. But he attempted to bolt about 2 times. Both times I got him back by running the other direction. This sometimes works / sometimes doesn't. After that we did almost the entire routine (broken up with his getting the sleeve). This was the first time I took the STICK from JOEL, HEELED Bodhi into the BACK TRANSPORT position and then gave the STICK to the judge. He did well.

April 16, 2008

Nighttime ... He was up. Happy and confident. KYLE was in the BLIND 6 (as he was on Sunday) but I knew that he would be OK with that since it was not a new change. We did KYLE on ESCAPE BITES, and it appears according to JOEL that he is hard to DRIVE because he swings his rear around KYLE making it harder to move him. So KYLE has to run and move him back. He had some very nice bites and when he missed the first bite while KYLE was running (and he runs fast) he caught him the next time for sure. He was getting tired (new stuff) but there was 2 other helpers hanging in close proximity and Bodhi kept his eyes on KYLE. He was not sitting well for the BACK TRANSPORT. He wants to SIT far behind me and JOEL (because he thinks he needs to stear clear of the sleeve) so since this was too hard JOEL came and stood next to us while Bodhi was already sitting.

April 24, 2008

this time we started with DAN, then moved to KYLE, then to JOEL (or was it DAN, JOEL, KYLE)... well whatever it was it was fun for Bodhi. His tail was wagging. His bark had some weight behind it - less chirpy more raspy and in the chest. THen Joel mentioned his bite was better. To do something different then move to something easy made the bite better. There was some teaching KYLE how to get Bodhi on the right part of the sleeve (he targets to top a lot) and there was long line handling by JOEL for KYLE and KYLE doing the victory laps around and Bodhi was into it. He could care less about me not participating (which is great). He didn't OUT the first time a few times and I used my NOPE and he OUTED immediately with just a bit of a head turn and a return to barking when I told him GOOD BOY. He was on his game tonight. Being disobedient because he wanted the sleeve... Good Boy... Neat thing is he is able to transfer from KYLE being HELPER to KYLE being JUDGE with no conflict. He is literal. Better now than earlier on when he was interested in all the people on the field equally....

April 27, 2008

Well... he did nice tracking today. It was a windy (but getting hot) day and I was coming to the field to train to see if last time I came during the day his behavior was a fluke or a trend. It was a trend. He did some of the same stuff. Got the sleeve and instead of bringing it instantly to me he stood off and held it. I could not get him to return no matter what. I tried to DOWN him (he SAT), I tried to run away from him (he just stood there) and finally he ran to the car. I took him back to the field and Joel noticed he was hot and really wanted to be done. So combined with getting what he wants (his sleeve) and being tired and not really into working - well you get it. We did a BACK TRANSPORT and his SIT was mushy and then I took him off the field. We did not return to the car (will not from now on) but walked him up the road until he let it drop. He held it for quite a while. So here is what we have. He finds having the sleeve (or ball or toy) more reinforcing than trying to get it. he has started to get more possessive of balls and such at home (holds 2 balls in his mouth) and his recall is down the drain when this is all collected together. So i will reserve doing protection at night time only (and hope this issue doesn't creep into the training then) continue to work with Denise on this issue (chronic to all training) and not come back to day time until it resolves. Sigh.

May 8, 2008

I am working on getting a tighter around BLIND 5 so i am heeling him right up to it. It is working. We still have the he won't come more than 15 feet in front of me issue. It, with all the other issues are starting to seem impossible to handle... No attention heeling (how to fix that?) no going into BLIND 6 (working on that on other days) since he rather go AROUND it than meet the helper... etc. BUt he stayed on the field (cool night time) and we did some work in the clubhouse and he did ok.


March 18, 2009

Working on Grip and what to do with his feet. Going back to square one! but it is better.. Working with David now.

pro 09
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April 11, 2009 - Bodhi Does His BH and Passes

He also did well off camera for the traffic steady portion of the test. walking on a loose lead for the most part, letting a car pass and honk its horn, a jogger (the judge), a bike, dogs, etc. He walked in a crowd of 15+ people densely spaced without problem and sat for me and let me shake hands with the judge. Yes, it wasn't flashy (like the sports car FERRARI malinois he was paired with), but he was as i told everyone reliable like a PINTO : )


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May 6, 2009

bodhi may 09
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August 1, 2009

Bodhi likes to bite now. Rarely does he slip off the sleeve. He doesn't hesitate before he bites. He takes it even on a longer bite. His heeling is coming up to speed and now he likes to heel (because he likes the bite) Hummm. : )

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