We're traveling around the next two weeks and sending off Annie for the first time. The guy taking her is boarding her with his Mal...he's an experience trainer, not full-time (installs dog fencing), very involved in our local Schutzhund club and known locally. He's doing some training with her but he's pretty open about what he will attempt to train...really based on my interests and goals for her.
So Annie is 8 months old, basic obedience training, but never under compulsion. Low or no food drive, partially my fault for not wanting to carry around the treat bag on miserable MN mornings, but she's not really into food (e.g. her treats are kept on her crate, she never goes for them). She has what I (inexperienced n00b) would call strong prey drive, relatively hard to corrections, and not nervy or aggressive (at all). Dead quiet and calm and focused on the tug work, has never worked with a decoy or a stranger. She has been a hardcore retriever since I picked her up at eight weeks and is super willing to please (anybody).
I would love to get Annie into Schutzhund but the time commitment is too overwhelming. What I do want to get is her started on a job she can have...I think tracking is my best bet, that's something we can do in the nearby fields.
So...I would like the guy to get her started the right way on tracking, I would like him to work on recall as she's bad at it, I would like him to at least take her through some sleeve work just to see how she does on it. Any other thoughts? This will be more boarding than training, so it's really just a couple of things I would expect him to be able to flesh out on her a bit.
IMO she needs to do obstacle work.Smaller stuff at first.This will not only help her confidence but also her obedience.But Im no expert and if you want to do Sch later there may be certain things youll want to do or not do.
Woody, whatever you do, you have to realize that any training done by someone else will still require you to go through everything with the trainer. Also realize nothing will be 100% with only two weeks training. I would concentrate on the recall first. If she has good drive for the tug, ask the trainer about doing the recall for the tug. Otherwise, it's going to be his call. It may still be.
Bob is correct.You will still have to work the dog and there is only so much that can be done in 2 weeks.
The whole thing about obstacle work ,for me anyway, is that it gives both you and the dog something to do together.When you both have a task or job or goal and are connected by the leash then you will need to work together towards that objective.This is one way to start to build a working relationship with your dog.
It builds confidence in the pup's own ability and it builds his trust in you.I suggest your trainer helping you at first though.
Yep, I realize all of this is high level. I was just looking for some fundamental stuff I could build on...the trainer's a good Schutzhund guy, but mostly I'm just happy that Annie spends her first block of time from me with someone that knows dogs and doesn't have a nest of them (he just has his mal).
I have to admit to some pride yesterday, though. The guy was just amazed at Annie's physical make-up. It's funny to hear someone else comment on your dog when Annie and I spend most of our time training in early morning and late night in MN in the dark. She really has started to look a lot like her dad, chest and head-wise...this is Orry from Germany, I love this picture, wish the dog's eyes weren't closed...talk about a pretty dog:
We went out in the front yard and she was doing some serious blasting on him when he held the tug--first time she'd ever really went on a tug with someone other than me. She made me look good. Dead silent, confident, excited. It was cool to see my dog work!