Keep on runnin’ Roman!Posted: October 22, 2007 Filed under: FFT Lhasa Apsos 6 Comments
Hi Debby, Julie, attached are shots from our last CPE agility trial, end of Sept., St. Cloud, MN. Roman did really well on the Saturday, getting some Qs in the games and jumpers, one standard course. Sunday was very hot, we did ok but needed a 2 hour cool down in the car with the ac. Roman is starting to do the weaves with enthusiasm, and a little hip hop through them. The picture of the shute, he’s not going through, but backing out. That’s an obstacle we need work on. Everyone was laughing, I didn’t get it until after the run. The photographer said he went through half way, then did a perfect straight line reverse. Leave it to a Lhasa to have some creativity. Use any photos, permission given by crystalimagepetphotography.com. Thanks for your time. Mary R.
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to see the rest of the photos.
Mary, is the black cat theme on the uprights simply for fun, considering the season? What about the candy weaves?
Debby, the obstacles from this club, Central Agility Club of Minnesota had quite decorative jumps, fall theme. There was a football/goal jump, a snowman jump. My favorite was this black cat. Same with the weaves. Someone put a lot of work into them. This organization, CPE, has a more relaxed atmosphere with the stress on having fun. The runs aren’t quite as long as NADAC. All the trials will say that but from a novice viewpoint, I am most at ease with this group and we can actually meet time requirements. Thanks for posting the pictures. Mary
I am so impressed! What a dog, and what a great trainer! I have thought that Zeke would make a great agility dog, because he loves to leap and go under and over and have fun, but I am at a loss as to how to even begin to train for these types of things. We are working on simple obedience right now, on leash. He does everything very well, on leash, for treats, but off leash it’s “if I feel like it”. I gave up on the clicker because I couldn’t manage leash, clicker, treats and Zeke with only two hands, but if Mary says that is a good way to train, then I’ll go back and try again. Any advice or suggestions on training Apsos, Mary? Especially on how to get them to “come” reliably? For his own safety, that is the one thing I really want to teach him, and my old, heretofore “proven” methods are not working as well as with past, non-Apso breeds!
Katy, the pictures can be deceiving of my success, but fun. We’ve been training for 3 years, at agility, and took about 6 months off, and have a long way to go, this past year has been very rewarding. Most breeds excell faster (terriers, herding, working breeds, as that’s what they’re geared for.)And it really matters how much time you can devote, we try for 2 nights a week in class, and EVERYDAY work on some obstacle, jumps, weaves,obedience etc. We have hurdles and weaves at home. We have had many events with high times, poor runs, but stress fun, and never show discouragement to the dog., sometimes that’s difficult. Sometimes we run 2 obstacles, finish if he’s destracted. You don’t have to carry a clicker, you clan click with a sound, or use a word “yes”, etc. My training was the recall, “come” is the best thing in their life. Treats, massage, etc. And sometimes, run the other way when they don’t listen, then reward when they come. Try a really long lead for recalls also. Roman has some real big dog issues, we keep working at “focus”on me or target touch with reward on each success. Obedience is a must foundation for agility. This breed can be very stubborn and need the right reward to get them motivated. Hunger, is a great motivation, to work with the kibble, treats, they are often more attentive., and learn where the reward comes from. It’s not a punishment. I often feed very light, like a teaspoon, plus a couple kibble, then the bulk of the meal comes during training. Then I reward with a fun aftermeal. I have done training the wrong way, and the right way. I think the clicker, or just positive reinforcement is the best. A book recommended to me, for agility, and I’ve only read a couple pages, is In Focus, by Jones and Keller, available on Amazon or many dog sites. Lots of other reading by Deb McConnel on obedience, attitude issues. And I think Debby has articles on the breed and training. Another fun event,is Rally, a fun obedience vs. what they call Hard-Ass Obedience. My older “very tempermental” Lhasa went all the way and titled, at age 10. Comments, A Lhasa, in obedience? were common. I hope to get Roman going this year with Rally, will help attention. I have been lucky to find a great training school and trainer who really reads dogs, so keep looking if you’re not happy with results. I get so excited with our success, as I think my dogs love life a lot more with the fun. I could go on and on. Any other comments from others, more versed than me are welcome. I would be happy to give more suggestions, Debby could forward my email address to you. Keep trying and don’t get discouraged. Remember the pride in this breed, important to let them keep their pride. Mary
My error, author is not Deb, but Patricia McConnell–some of her work is under FFT Pen to Paper. One of hers is the other end of the leash. Also, with the clicker, I often put the leash around my neck, or tucked in my back pocket, treats in left hand, clicker either on a wrist coil (right wrist) or hooked to my jeans. Our trainer really stresses the “loose leash” and if the dog is ahead of you, pull your treat hand back, almost behind your left hip as you heel., so when you get to off leash, they’re not way ahead. Initially Roman was always way ahead, in that “show ring style” until I learned to get him to pay attention to me more, and that my old legs don’t move as fast as his! Sometimes I’m his biggest handicap! Hope this is helpful. I love the picture of Zeke hugging the goat. Mary
Thanks, Mary, for the advice and encouragement. I have both Pat McConnell’s books you mentioned and am using her “Power of Positive Dog Training” as my guide.I think it’s the best dog training program I’ve ever come across. And Zeke is doing pretty well, all Apso things considered. Like you say, Apso’s are not like many other dogs who really take to obedience. I had standard poodles in the past, and they are certainly different personalities! He is his own little man and, and like some two year old humans I’ve known, I let him do things “his way” when the outcome doesn’t really matter. But learning recall is one of those thingss that really do matter. I have always used the “positive reinforcement” method to teach “come”, but have learned so much more from Pat McConnell.
There are not many dog obedience clubs or rally events around here (Edgewood, NM) that I’m aware of, so just doing “at home” training will probably be our main focus. The town of Edgewood offers obedience training, but it’s the compulsion method, and for that and other reasons, we won’t be participating in their program.
Still, like you say, it needs to be fun for him. And he gets very excited when I ask him if he wants a “lesson”; (I’m sure it’s the treats!). So we will keep after it and continue with the fun and games attitude. And I went back to the clicker and am learning to manage it all, especially since Zeke is doing better with his training. He has lots of “bad habits”, like jumping up on people and that’s going to be a hard one to deal with, since he gets lots of “positive reinforcement” when people give him attention for doing so. He’s just so darn cute!
Thanks! And Congratulations to you both!