Tag: dog training

Training End…

Tonight I would usually take Mazikeen out to training classes, I decided I did not want to go, although guilt slipped in for a moment.  Lately, in the class, I think Mazikeen is bored too as the last few weeks she has starts playing up and ignores instructions.  She is great during the day and I feel the evening class is too late for her finishing at 9:30 pm, her attention is zapped and so is mine after a day of number crunching.  M and I talked about the training as Mazikeen is not learning anything extra at the moment, we just seem to repeat the same things over and over each week.  Some of the other dogs don’t catch on and struggle, but Mazikeen is hyper-intelligent and usually only a few repeats of something and she has it.

She is 10 months now and definitely is Daddies little girl.  Oh, I am Daddy and M is Dad.  She follows me about and likes to sit in my lap, so thank the lord she is small, as when Harper decides she wants to do the same I am crushed under 22kg of fidgety dog.  If I have a treat in my hand I can get her to do anything I want, even today whilst out in the forest off lead she never strayed too far, and when I called her, knowing I may have treats she came back.  This does not work for Harper who has her own agenda whilst out, so never gets off the lead unless we are in one of the small fields by the house.

We finally came to the conclusion that the training classes were not working for us and any training we do will be done from home the way we have successfully trained all our other dogs.  This was never going to be a permanent thing, and I did like the idea of doing agility, but Mazikeen has a busy and fulfilling life without adding competitions and constant training to her schedule.  For an English Springer, she is only small, and I think all the work will take its toll on her.  Even though she was first born she was the smallest of the litter and all her brothers and sisters are massive in comparison, so I have to take that into consideration.  The vet told us the other month that her ovaries are not fully developed and that will be down to her being small, hence not having her first season yet.

I think we have made the right decision for her and any training will be a lot more fun now rather than sitting about waiting for her turn in class.

Exam Time…

The Puppy Foundation Assessment Certificate

Mazikeens Puppy Foundation Assessment Certificate and Rosette.

Colour me pink and call me proud.

Yes, Mazikeen passed her Puppy Foundation exams.  I thought, if I am honest, that we would not pass as she can be a little distracted, which is due to her breed being super alert and watching for everything.

I had to prove that I could give both verbal and non-verbal commands, some and that she could understand and follow them.  As well as this I had to show I could inspect my dog and check everything with her cooperation throughout.

The first test was recalling her with one word only, and when she got to me to sit and wait for her reward.  The second recall was like the last, but this time, littered between her and me were balls, toys, snacks and bowls of food, so lots of distraction.  The time came, and with one word she recalled straight back to me ignoring all the distractions that she passed and sat in front of me waiting for her reward.  As she did the best recall sets she was given a prize, which was lovely dried fish blocks.

Next up was for her to sit and stay for 10 seconds with only one command, and me to walk away.  Obediently she sat, and I walked backwards away from her, all the time keeping eye contact, and mentally telling her to stay.  After what seemed like a lifetime of waiting I was allowed to call her, so rather than saying anything, I nodded to her and she ran over and received her reward.

The next test was one of the hardest, which was walking on loose-lead walking.  Now, if you are a dog family, you will know that dogs just want to pull and explore quite literally everywhere and be about 30 foot in front of us.  Mazikeen, being a springer with boundless energy just wants to be running all the time, and so quite a lot of times will be pulling that much, she will be walking, or hopping should I say, on her back legs as the harness stops her getting any further.  The day before Maz and I went off to a quiet field with no distractions to train as I was determined to get her walking with me.  The only way I could do this was to drop pieces of smelly treats in front of her so that she walked with me, this worked for a bit, but then a bird would pass or a tree would creak in the wind and off she went back up on two legs (Darwin would have been proud).  After 30 minutes solid, she finally seemed to grasp what I wanted her to do.  Before we went into the training hall I practised outside too with her for another half hour.  Our time came and we had to start at one cone, she had to sit, then we walked at a leisurely pace to a cone at the other end of the hall, she had to sit, then we walked back to the first cone.  However, Maz decided that for this she would go deaf at the cones, and just did not want to sit.  I got quite frustrated and thought that this was her and me failing.  She finally sat, and when we went to walk she seemed to be okay, with the odd moment of wanting to dash off, as there were dogs either side of the hall, and two in particular (brothers) were making that much noise it distracted me, nevermind Maz.  The instructor told me to do it again and told the old man and woman to control their dogs.  This was our last time.  Before we set off, the instructor told us that apart from the distractions some of our loose-lead walking was “beautiful”.  We had to shine and do this, this was my nemesis and I wanted us to beat it.  GO!  She sat, I nodded, we walked, she was focused on me all the way, she sat on command, I nodded, then we returned back to the first cone, and she sat again without needing command.  Success!

Finally, I had to do the full dog inspection, and it was done.

So, what now?  I hear you ask.  Well, I have enrolled us in the intermediate training course, which when we have passed that advanced, then finally agility, and with a bit of luck competitions.

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