matildasmom (matildasmom) wrote,

Control Unleashed Class Four

We started again with massage on the mats.  When our dogs were relaxed, we were to get them up and begin working with them actively for a minute or two doing some active attention game such as nose touches, clicking and rewarding focus, or doing whiplash turns .  Then we went back to massage.  When our dog relaxed we went back to active attention games. We alternated between passive attention and active attention.   The dogs begin to learn when they are relaxed they get to play.

Next we did the "Look at That" game.  One dog was on a mat on one side of a jump which served as a visual barrier.  On the other side of the jump was another dog and handler.  As soon as the dog on the mat looked at the other dog the handler was to click and treat.  The dog would then look quickly back to the handler. The dog is thus rewarded to take a quick look away at a distraction, and then look quickly back to the handler.  We did this exercise again without a mat.  Both dogs were standing on either side of a jump. Both handlers clicked and rewarded as soon as the dog turned to look at a distraction.

Finally, we did mat work with distractions. Half the handlers put their dogs in their crates.  The other half of us put our dogs on our  mats.  We called them and sent them to their mats from greater distances. The handlers without dogs walked near the working dogs as distractions. At one point when I was sending Matilda to her mat Kienan stood in front of her mat blocking the way. For a moment Matilda stopped not knowing what to do. Then, you could almost see her working it out in her mind as she went around and lay down on her mat.  Next Kienan gathered a group of four people to surround Matilda's mat. When I sent her to the mat she was great.  She went right through them and lay down on her mat. I came in to reward her.  A moment later I hurried away from her prepared to call her again.  This time she released herself from the mat.  The people around her were at that point too much distraction for her.  We're supposed to do a lot of practice with mat work.

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