Wednesday, January 12, 2005

One on one training.

Yesturday, I spent some time working one on one with five of the dogs, using Lee Fishback's leader traing methods. This training consists of training dogs to be leaders one at a time with a special leash. The leash has two snaps on it. One hooks to the end of the harness and one to the collar.

The idea is to get the dog to run out front and pull as you jog along behind and teach it commands.
His book has a proscribed course you follow that takes about 4 weeks. I may modify it some because two of my yearlings have led three eight mile runs leading two other dogs, so even though they don't know commands, they have picked up some things.

I tried out five dogs just to guage their abilities and attitudes. Out of this pool I will pick two dogs to be lead prospects. I am kind of torn as to wether JJ will ever be able to lead for me. We had a positive training session, but I had to really push her hard to get her to break her turning around habit. I also don't know how she will be once she gets out in front of a team. I may have ruined her for leading by letting her be this rebelluious this long. Lee Fishback even said, that once a dog has learned that basically the driver has no control and the dog is able to do whatever it wants out front, it is ruined.
JJ is also seven years old, in the autumn of her working career. It will take a lot of work for me to get her to the point where I have confidence in her and I may never really have it.
She also is a valuable dog to run in wheel because she is so powerful. So even out of lead she will contribute to the team.
Pumpkin, may yet earn her keep, helping the yearlings learn and by being a back up leader. I have gained some insights from this book into her personality and motivations. Fishback gives tips on training shy dogs that don't care much about human contact.

I also worked with Cruiser, Doppler and Jack. I still think at this point Jack and Doppler have the most talent and potential. Cruiser has the strongest natural pulling instinct, but may not be as responsive as the other two yet.
Doppler, needs to work on pulling. In the team he only seems to pull when we are going fast. The one on one trainig teaches him to always pull. Of all the dogs he is most eager to please and sensitive to my wishes. He also seems to be the most intelligent.

Jack, is my bud still, but showed his stubborn side a bit during the one on one. I think the reason he likes to run out front is because of his inate curiousity and desire to be ahead of the other dogs. Lee Fishback warns that "natural leaders" like this need training too. Their natural enthisiasm can go a long way but they need to learn how to lead even when they don't want to.


Blogger George Forgan-Smith said...

LOL, but isn't life always like that. BTW I have been trying to find a good alaskan malamute breeders do you have any ideas? Nancy

March 31, 2006 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger George Forgan-Smith said...

Interesting... I am still looking for a great alaskan malamute breed do you know of directory or something?

March 31, 2006 at 11:04 PM  

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