Thursday, November 15, 2012

18 Weeks - Training

Brown Noser

I have really enjoyed Maddie turning four months.  The last week or so, she has been a lot more fun in training.  Her food motivation (the most important trait to me) has really improved.  She has gotten much pushier and eager about the treats.
I normally use very high value treats because I like for my hounds to feel well rewarded and to give them a reason to work harder.  But Maddie seems to see no difference between steak and dog food... so I have been training with dog food.  And she is training great for dog food and is very pushy!  I've also manipulated her meals so they are not so predictable and regular.  She eats a chicken neck or two when the big guys eat and then the bulk of her calories come in training and/or away from the house.  It has made a huge difference.  Maddie is so much more engaging and interested in what I want to do now.
I took a lot more video of Maddie training this week.  Here is a video of her doing all sorts of things. Targets, pivots on balance disc and on the flat, and basic obedience.
And if you are not bored yet of watching Maddie train, here is another one.  Utility is the highest level of obedience with go outs (dog is sent to the other end of the ring and has to sit and then is directed over a jump and back to the handler) and scent articles (dog has to find the article in a pile of articles with the handler's scent on it) being very difficult exercises.  I really hope to do Utility with Maddie in a few years so it never hurts to start introducing them to these two difficult exercises.


Team Zero Gravity said...

Love the videos, especially with the scent articles. Sure wish you'd think about doing nose works with Maddie too :)

Ximena said...

I just adore Maddie. Such a happy worker these days. I also like that she had on her big girl collar while doing the utility exercises (big girl tasks).

It's interesting that you would prefer a higher food drive than toy. So many people involved in obedience would prefer the opposite. I'd be interested in knowing if it's just your personal preference or if it's your experience with greys that contributes to that. And... how you go about reinforcing in the ring without food and toys. :)

I really need to just rent ring-time at some point - how great that you could do that with Maddie. :)

Claire Krigbaum said...

I have no idea what I am doing with the go outs that I have been attempting to do. I really need to take a class I guess. Good to see what you are doing with Maddie!
She does look very attentive, that is awesome!

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Hi Ximena,

So far all the greyhounds of mine that truly found toys rewarding and would have worked for a toy, also really wanted to run laps with the toy. That just wasn't a convenient or practical reward. It gets them tired and winded too soon.

Not using toys at all is a big weakness of mine so I am trying to use them for Maddie, but I still see them as a way to just wake her up and get her excited. Or to give her a break from training and release some energy. All in all, I've just been very successful using food with greyhounds.

Dealing with being in the ring without food. I teach my guys to work for a jackpot. Agility is easy, but in obedience where they might have to work for 6 minutes without a treat, I make sure I carefully explain to them in training that when I'm serious with them, not praising or treating during exercises that a big jackpot is coming. So my guys never feel unappreciated or under paid when they walk into a ring. Here is a video of Riley in Open obedience and you can see how happy and thrilled to be there. And she isn't interested in pleasing me or thinks obedience is the greatest thing in the world... she is there for the food. And she knows that when I grab her collar and tell her jackpot, that her routine is done and we will rush out of the ring for her treats.

I hope that answers its.