Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Ball Obsessed Dog: Update #2

Now that it's springtime, I've moved my training set-up outside into the garage. (Plus, my boyfriend got back from Florida a few days ago and frowned when he saw the flyball box and props sitting right next to the dining room table where we eat every night. I figured for the sake of domestic peace and harmony I would move it before he can't say I haven't learned anything from two marriages/divorces! ;)).

I actually love the new garage set-up. I taped down some short pieces of matting and wedged a wooden jump upside-down behind the box, a la Rocket Relay style, so now the box doesn't rock back or budge one bit. I also taped the halves of two jumps together and added a few inches of slats to make a taller prop. There's more room to tug and play out there, and nobody can see laundry in the background of my videos anymore.

As you'll notice in the latest video below, Rooster is still ball obsessed, but he's making some good choices. You can see how he clearly watches the ball on the ground but chooses the frisbee over it several times. I have a feeling this is going to be a long project. But damn, these hit-its look so much better than that old tournament turn of his. It inspires me to keep working on him.

I love your observations and comments, so feel free to weigh in.


Cindy Ferlitto said...

Ok, that little bit of barking in the background.......please.. You need to come to my house :)

Lisa Pignetti Murnan said...

LOL. That's another good thing about setting things up in the garage. The other dogs are usually far away in the house!

Kristie Pope said...

Looks great! Watching it I realize that I should be leading him Kraka with my free hand and not luring him with his toy anymore. Can't wait to see if it makes him a bit less careless and sloppy.

Kate said...

That's my problem Kristie....I can't figure out how to make my hands work so that I am leading the dogs in the right direction. Reason #274 that I don't do agility!
Rooster looks great Lisa!

Kim said...

I use the motivator in the hand that I am using to get the dog to turn but I will throw the motivator back the way the dog came to get them to actually push off and be a little more snappy. I then quickly (or try to anyways) get the motivator if it is a toy and play with the dog. I even throw the food and will then go praise if I am using food or maybe another treat. I can't manage - motivator in one hand and lure with the other and give to dog when they come back from the box. This is why I don't even clicker train. I can't click properly so I use the cue yes instead.


Shawna Fryia said...

Looks great so far!

Anonymous said...

I had great luck with a black racquetball when I re trained a my 1st dog once I went to a seminar and learned how to train it correctly. She ran in a line up for a year with racquetball and recently I was able to give her back the tennis ball. She really didn't like the texture of the racguetball and made this a great way to have her focus on her turn, catch rubber, and run back for the tug.

Muddy Paws A Flyin

Lisa Pignetti Murnan said...

I haven't tried a racquetball, it might be worth a shot. I do use those squishy white baseballs -- he doesn't like them as much as tennis balls so he's willing to drop them for the frisbee a lot faster.

thanks for your ideas and support, guys! I will get some more video of him this week.

nickelsmum said...

My ball obsessed Borderjack (long story -- I got him at 2.5 and his prior owner had let him do smash turns with a ball, lots of fixing to do) could not do a turn with a tennis ball in sight and did not put his mouth near the hole without a ball in the hole. After months of tinkering, I found a braided rope ball that he will retrieve but is not obsessed about. He is now doing turns, actual turns, and getting a ball. It seems like a miracle and I have hope for him once again. There are still lots of props in place, but at least he is jumping over them instead of plowing through them now. We have subbed in a tennis ball without losing the turn-such-as-it-is so I think we are on the way.


Unknown said...

Whereas most dogs get fabulously excited to be given their dinner, Jimmy will take his composed position on the kitchen floor and observe as I prepare his food. Upon placing the bowl down, Jimmy will remain in this spot for a good two or three minutes, quietly reflecting over what culinary delights might be waiting for him just a yard away (NB: 100% of the time it's dog food).

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