It has been a few days since the last post- which is not to say we haven’t been training. Our last couple trips out have included a good bit of focus on tightening up King’s finish (the dog coming to heel from in front of the handle- points are awarded for straightness, proximity of the dog’s shoulder to the handler’s knee, and of course focused attention on the handler once in the position. One of the previously posted videos on obedience shows him returning to heel from a long distance away. However, we need to polish up the finish from any/every distance as well as the “style” of finish (does he go all the way around the handler or do a “whip” finish on one side?). All in all, it has gotten better, but of course I want it perfect every time.
Our bite work has lately returned to targeting the bicep, which is the required target area on the bite suit in competition. It has been a fairly straightforward transition on the sleeve so far, and the sleeve provides an easily visible target area for the dog. You’ll see in the video that we’d done a couple bites on a hard Shutzhund-style sleeve, the reason being is we’re trying to get King to get a fuller bite onto the sleeve. The hard sleeve requires a full bite with little room for error, or else the dog will lose its grip. The soft black sleeve is typically used in a similar fashion, but because it’s soft it can be turned around so a large target area is presented over the decoy’s bicep. At the very end you’ll see King counter in, at which point Greg slips the sleeve, thereby rewarding the dog for driving in (instead of pulling).
This weekend, there’s a PSA competition in the area. Obviously we’re not competing (in fact, we’ve stepped back the bitework in a sense, though I think the end result will be better scoring later in the year), but it will be great to finally see organized competition in person.