Oddjob was our lovely pug who came into our lives and sadly left far too soon. He introduced to us the joys of small dogs. He was funny and cuddly and enjoyed attention.
Pikachu is half pug by blood but probably only 1/10 pug in body and mind. The rest of her is terrier or possibly even part BC by now.
The tiny, cute little puppy has developed into a full on 7 month old who wants to be running, climbing, playing and learning.
We now are realising that she is probably going to be an agility dog.
There are certain basics that we like our agility dog to have -
- the right conformation for their body to cope with the physical challenges the sport of agility presents to them
- the want to play and learn
- understanding of reinforcement
The understanding of reinforcement is important. If they understand and want the reward enough when you are teaching them something new they know they have got it right because they are rewarded for it.
If they do not understand or want the reward given then a skill can not be created by positive reinforcement.
Learn to earn is a phrase used to explain a relationship where the handler sets the scene to help the dog want to earn rewards.
In Pikachu's case she loves food and she loves treats and she wants to work to find out a way of earning them.
We love crate games as a way of helping our dogs to understand and build self control. If you stay in the crate when the door is open then you will get a reward at the back of the crate. If you come out of the crate then no reward. Easy to do and easy to understand. Then we up the challenges.
Below are some clips of various training I have been doing with Pikachu they vary from crate training, it's your choice, ready steady go to putting her harness or a coat on.
She has a great attitude with loads of enthusiasm and genuinely tries to work out what I want from her. I am looking forward to building on these foundations and seeing what a great agility dog she is going to be.
I regularly liken trying to put her coat or harness on as wrestling with a greased pig. I looked at some footage of greased hog wrestling and decided the hog was not as happy about it as Pikachu is with any interaction so haven't included a clip of that.
Spending time teaching her the behaviour I would like when coat or harness needs to go on/off.