October 13, 2005


We had a bit of a hiccup with our gaiting this week. Dusty started jumping up to nip me on the arm (if I was lucky). So we have gone back to do the basic training which I sort of skipped, because she seemed to gait really nicely after our choose-to-heel work and related games.

My training partner suggested that I was encouraging the jumping by starting off with a little leap myself, and by rushing turns, so I first sorted out what I was doing with the help of a bunch of keys tied to the leash and a video camera.

Then we worked on 'off', calling Dusty to jump up and petting her, and then rewarding 'off' with a treat. After a couple of days of practicing this with myself and the neighbours, she was reluctant to jump up even when asked. Dusty is one to cut to the chase, and she learned fairly quickly that 'off' got liver and jumping up just got her hair mussed.

Finally - and this is perhaps where I should have started - we followed Sue Ailsby's guidelines to Conformation Gaiting and are working towards my arm out to the side being the cue to gait beside me, looking ahead.

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