Week 13 update

Its been a busy week for Jessie the Cockapoo !

This weeks video log has captured a lot of fun, but in addition Jessie started training classes.
The trainer we chose is Cath Phillips, founder of On Track Dog Training School
Jessie and I attended her training ground for an hour long one on one assessment session with some specific basic training commands. In particular Cath introduced the principal that commands are taught using visual instructions rather than spoken. Dogs apparently pick up on body gestures quicker than words. Once a command is learnt, words are then added in after as an association.
It was described to me as the similar to the way English speakers try to communicate with non English speakers, we just say things louder and slower. We treat dogs the same way, giving commands louder and then slower. This doesn't demonstrate to the dog what we expect. After training me Cath got me to work with Jessie.
Within minutes Jessie was sitting to cue when I clenched my fist to my chest. Next she was lying down when a clenched fist was held on the floor in front of her. The key is having cheese in your fist !.

We also learnt about a Whistle Recall. The object, to train Jessie to return to me when I blow a whistle, not just on the level of obedience but as a matter of instinct. This was done by walking away from Jessie and Cath, then when at a suitable distance, me giving the hand signal of a clenched fist (with cheese in it) held down to my side. Cath lets go and Jessie runs.The "associated" sound being me blowing a whistle.
This uses her puppy desire to..
  • Be with me 
  • Enjoy running 
  • Eat cheese !
Jessie got this straight away. We have been practising at home, in a locked car park and we were even brave enough to try it on the beach. Wherever Jessie is, she now instantly returns to the whistle. We have had to up the family purchase of cheese though !

We have also discovered that taking Jessie for a walk in busy places takes a long time, not because she is hard work. We get stopped by people who want to talk to her, stroke her and ask what type of dog she is. I don't think I have ever spoken to so many people when out. From children with parents through to pensioners. Everyone thinks our walking fur ball is gorgeous, but we knew that any way !

In other news Our blog is growing along with Jessie, I have added a new page tab at the top that takes you to a weekly picture log of her growth GROWING AND CHANGING and a direct link tab at the top to a great collection of cockapoo pictures COCKAPOOS ARE

Here she is in action practising whistle recalls and generally having fun on an empty beach at Blackpool.  

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