I haven't worked Cedar in obedience "seriously" for a couple months. This morning, I was bored and decided to take her out and see if we could make it through the Novice (CD) routine. I took my clicker and some treats with the intention of seeing what she could do. To my surprise, she did awesome! Cedar really loves obedience, I think.
Her heeling was, as always, really nice and attentive. Thanks to my friend Dana's excellent article (http://www.ocdoglady.com/Heeling.html), her position is pretty much always where it should be, and has been since I began training her. She does have a tendency to lag, though, so I need to do more on-leash work so I have the means to correct her. I did some left and right turns, about turns, Schutzhund about turns, and changes of pace to keep it interesting.
Her recall is excellent, too. Very enthusiastic. She has a pretty nice drop on recall, but I haven't been practicing it because I want to keep her speed and enthusiasm. I need to work on her stopping nice and close to me, as she has a tendency to stop further back. But that's just a minor thing. I need to also teach her the "go around" finish... all she knows really well is the finish left.
I haven't really worked her much with the stand for exam or long sits and downs, but I was pleasantly surprised by her today. I did a couple drills of walking around her in the stand holding a treat in her mouth, but then did a whole drill ("Cedar, stand, stay", walked away from her, walked back and did an exam, then walked around back to heel position) and she didn't move a muscle. What a good girl :)
The best part of the session was probably the long sits and downs. Those of you that know me know about my troubles with Dante in obedience with this particular exercise. (ha...ha...ha.) Not ever having expected Cedar to stay for long periods of time, I was curious to see what she would do in a more "formal" stay exercise. She stayed perfectly still for two minutes on the sit and three minutes on the down, never tried to sniff or get up, and wasn't even incredibly distracted by the squirrel taunting her about ten feet away. Now THAT is something to celebrate! :D
I'm going to start taking her to the building to get her proofed and ready for her CD, and possibly enter her in Utah or Filer this spring/early summer. It's weird having three dogs ready (or near-ready for their CD's at the same time (Dante, Cedar, Scully)!
I really think that all of our training on stock has helped Cedar's obedience and confidence, especially at a distance. Also, it has helped us both trust each other more and become a much stronger team, all of which are useful skills. Cedar is really starting to mature physically, too. Her head is a lot broader and she's losing that "puppyish" look.... makes me a little sad! But she's turned out to be such a great, well behaved, gentle and loving dog. I'm very proud of what I've been able to help her become.
I need to stop being so sappy, I know....... but she's the apple of my eye :D
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