Tuesday, November 9, 2010

First Obedience Title

Riley finished her Companion Dog obedience title last Saturday with a first place and a score of 195.5 out of 200 in the Novice B class. We won a leather leash and $5. That makes Riley my second greyhound to earn money (Travis won $200 once). $5 was such a funny amount because it did not even cover the cost of the entry fee. Ha! But it was fun and appreciated. The Companion Dog title or CD is earned with three qualifying scores in the Novice class. A qualifying score is 170 or better.
I am really pleased with all three of our performances. Not only did she qualify in our first three attempts, but she did so with scores ranging from 194.5 to 195.5 and at three different venues. In the past, I was always happy to just qualify with a happy and willing greyhound usually in the high 180's. Katie and Travis were always crowd pleasers, but I avoided working on details because I felt it might be demotivating for my canine partner if I nitpicked. We easily qualified, but not without lots of of half and one point deductions for being crooked, off center, or out of place.
About a year ago, I attended a seminar that taught training the details using a clicker. I finally had a good technique for explaining and rewarding the tiny details. Riley is the first greyhound I have actually worked on straight fronts (recall to a sit in front of handler) and finishes (return to heel position). We also worked very hard on heeling. I learned how to give Riley little cues that tell her what is happening next so she stays in position. It has really paid off.
Now on to Open level obedience. Riley is well started on Open obedience exercises. She can retrieve a dumbbell on the flat and over a high jump. She is well started on the broad jump and drop on recall. The big hurdle will be the three minute sit stay with the handler (me) out of sight. Lots of practice ahead. Obedience trial photos by Dee Leclair.

21 comments:

jet said...

hahah what can you buy for $5? ;) treats for Riley? hehe

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

LOL! Actually it did pay for the rotisserie chicken I bought for treats. $4.99!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Jen and Riley. Riley looks like she is truly enjoying herself.

Great Job!

Lisa S.

Jennifer H. said...

Huge, huge congrats!!! Really great scores and look at how freaking happy Riley is in those photos!

I would be thrilled if you would share a little more about how you teach heeling to your doggies. Do you use the clicker for heeling too? I think my Dane Falkor has the ability to be a great heeling dog if I only knew what the heck I was doing. ;)

Congrats again!!

Samantha said...

Woo hoo!!! What an achievement for Riley and you - all in the 190's and different places! That is awesome! Congrats! And I know what you mean about the sit/stays outta sight - I thought Sam would never be able to do it, but I practice with someone three times a week plus our Monday afternoon instruction, and it helps a lot, especially on the sits and downs. You and Riley will do it I just know - handily!!! We'll be following your progress1
xoxoxo
Sammie and Avalon

Muttsandaklutz said...

Super cool -- congrats! Great to have all that hard (fun!) work pay off.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Yes, I use a clicker to teach heeling. I will try to capture it with Seven. But I start with them on leash and click & treat when the dog happens to move in heel position. Keep the treats in my mouth and use my left hand to take a treat from my mouth to the dog's. I never use any collar corrections.

houndstooth said...

Oh, way to go to both of you! I don't think I've ever seen a picture of Riley when she didn't look unbelievably happy, like she almost can't contain it. I just love seeing her excel!

Jennifer H. said...

Thank you so much Jennifer! I would love to see you demonstrate with Seven. :)

Lindsay said...

Congratulations!! She looks so happy!

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Congratulations to you and Riley. She always looks so happy to be working with you, wonderful team work and training. I'll be looking forward to some instruction posts/videos with Seven:-)

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Riley is funny because she is such a dud outside the ring. She just stands there saving all her energy. Not very social, not wagging her tail. Just there. But she switches on immediately when we go in the ring.

Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

Hi,

I found your blog through Lindsay's/Life with Big Dog's blog post.

Congratulations on the new title!! And the $5 lol. I can tell I'm going to love your blog because I'm also trying performance events with a non-traditional breed. Those are fantastic scores, too!

Looking forward to reading more,

Amy & Layla

Lauren said...

Good for Riley!!! And now you're filthy rich with those winnings! :-)

Was this a Greyhound-only obedience class? I want to get Bernie enrolled in a Level 1 Obedience course at my local dog training facility, but I've heard that some places occasionally hold Greyhound-only courses.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

This was an all breed obedience trial. Riley was the only greyhound which is typcial. There are only a handful of greyhounds competing in obedience at anyone time in the world. There are few greyhound specialities in the US each year that have obedience, but there are usually only a few entries.

Regarding obedience classes, I teach a greyhound only obedience class in Atlanta, GA. There might be similar options elsewhere, but mostly you will find all-breed obedience classes. I strongly recommend looking at my "Sits and Down" section (see left menu bar) before you go... these tricks will help you if your trainer is perplexed by an ex-racer.

Sue said...

Well done Riley.

Sandy ~~~ said...

Fantastic! You two rock. My Creel is the same way...totally unexciting most of the time. But start doing anything with the clicker and a little light switches ON!

M. said...

Great Job! way to go.
Matt and Morgan (and the greyhounds)

greytblackdog said...

I'm playing catch up - so forgive me. ROOOOOOOOOS TO RILEY!!! And Stephen thought she would be a part of the B group of dogs! Hardly.

whygreyhounds said...

Congrats to Riley & YOU! Sorry, I am too playing catch with Blogs.

I too have used clicker training with Rex's heeling work and its coming along very well too, funny use a similar technique to you Jenn with lots of stationary "find Heel position" too!

I see ya spent the whole $5 at once!!....lol....

Oscar the Indefatigable said...

Congratulations Riley!

It is so funny that you won $5. A bag of treats would have been more useful (and hearfelt?). Still it's the recognition of both of your hard work that counts.

Love, Oscar and the gang