Monday, 21 November 2011

Birthday week & how much is too much or too little??

This last few weeks has had birthdays for 3 of my gorgeous dogs, meg is 9!! where has that time gone!! I'm slowly getting albums onto face book of each dog at various stages of their lives, i did Harvey's around the time of his birthday too, as he is now 11!!! Chase has seen in his 2nd birthday and is still my baby boy :) he loves a cuddle and is sooo naughty and cheeky, he just makes me smile by being HIM!
This week i have been playing with the clicker, and playing with the susan garrett five minute formula, and daizy really enjoyed learning the 'jump' stand lol :) i will try and video some bits for next time :) Chase and Loki have had some general training lapses, as they have all not trained since early October ( they have a couple of weeks of fun foundation training now to recap before proper training next year! )

Someone in my class this week, asked me if its possible to train too much...I believe you CAN over train, and make dogs not enjoy training, and as i have seen in the past, over training can and WILL de-motivate them, undoing all the hard work that is put in. Finding a balance of the right amount of training is a hard thing in my eyes, using my own as examples
Harvey - loves learning fun things, gets frustrated very easily and will switch off for playing with toys instead after about 10 mins.
Zig - She can only train in short sessions because of her heart, but trick training etc she likes to offer her default of head low!! for her she is a 10 min max at a time
Meg - the energizer dog ( remember the bunnies??) she will train full on no questions asked 24-7 if she could... she thrives on it, she as yet has NEVER switched off in a training session!! yes she starts making mistakes, but she is SO motivated, she cannot turn off any enthusiasm for it, so all training is done in moderation for her as she would train til she dropped if she could!!
Terra - Terra will train for quite a while given the opportunity, but she is stubborn, and if it isn't clear as clear can be, it is a challenge to teach her anything new. she is very stuck in her ways of doing things!! she trains for food and toys, however she looks to where toys are, and in agility will bypass equipment she sees as un necessary and put her head down and plough, quite literally to her toy! Food is useful for her, except she cannot take food sensibly or gently, she is a grabber, so sore fingers are the usual after training her!
Daizy - complete opposite to her mum, meg, she enjoys 1-1 training, but isn't very focused on it, she likes food, and also tennis ball playing, she enjoys trick training and does learn quickly, however bring in a distraction and the behaviour is forgotten, she is VERY easily distracted hence still doing so much with her on her lonesome :-)

Chase & Loki aren't doing much in the way of agility training as such, wing wraps, ends of contacts and looking ahead is our main criteria at the moment, back end work and waits with releases are also part of weekly training.... if i get the opportunity!

Now if I'm lucky - I get the chance to train mine, for approx 5 mins each, once a week, sometimes that wont happen though, depending on weather, opportunity, time etc, id rather give them a really good walk somewhere nice that they all enjoy and spend time with me doing that, then spend the time training them at home, now the nights are drawing in, i think the training sessions will get longer at home as the walks will be done in daylight usually... I make excuses for my lack of training, i get home from work at 5.30 most days, its now dark by then, so my lunch break is usually spent walking them somewhere nice so they get to have fun walks as well as boring lead walks... after I've walked them when i get home, i have tea to cook, housework to do, spend time with harry and if I'm lucky some time for me! so time is tight, as it is for most of us with multiple dogs, families and work.

So how do you know how much is too much?? i know i don't train enough, but how would i know if i did too much? i know id be fitter, my dogs would work better without the silly mistakes i make but would it show if i was over doing it?? Food for thought!! :)

I have booked myself on some training sessions , as well as getting my own stuff up and running, and while its so soggy i have to work out what is safe and what is stupid in this kind of weather!
The club classes are closing for winter, so im hoping to really spend the winter training, playing and having general FUN with my lot :) roll on next year!!
I took this at lunch time, a bit crap as i was in the woods, and took with my phone,
but all 7 are in it :) This is what i like to see, smiley faces, having a blast :)