Good evening! Tonight it is the Dig It Christmas Meal!
For those who don’t know, Dig It Dog Training Club is where I teach obedience classes. I’ve been involved in Dig It for about 5 years now and it’s the place where I first learnt to do agility with my dog. 3 years ago I started helping with obedience classes and then I was given my own opportunities to teach and since then have taught rally, agility and obedience over the past couple of years.
I have made some good friends and some best friends through Dig It and there is a real close-knit family atmosphere amongst the instructors. We all support each other, enjoy training together and have fun together.
Each year the instructors and the members get together for a Christmas Meal, which is what we’re doing tonight!
I went for the prawn cocktail starter, a traditional turkey dinner and cheese and crackers for afters. Blue cheese… Ash is refusing to kiss me for the next 24 hours hehe.
My trick of the day is… Stand.
I know this seems like a boring, simple thing that the dog already does, but it’s actually really useful to teach a stand as an individual behaviour. It’s easier to dry and groom a dog when they are stood up, it’s easier when putting a coat on them, plus exercises such as sit to stand and down to stand are vital muscle strengthening skills.
The dog should not walk into a stand, it should literally just pop up into the behaviour without moving its feet much. I teach it by starting with the dog in a sit and taking a treat under their nose and guiding them forward ever so slightly until they stand up. You should see their back legs doing the work and pushing the up into the stand.
Sometimes it is better to take the treat under the chin, making them to look down and then step back into the stand.
Find out what works for your dog.
I only recently taught Guinness to stand when he did his cruciate injury. The sit to stand was one of the key exercises we were given and I can see now it’s made a big difference to his back leg strength. After a couple of weeks of luring Guinness into a sit then stand and repeat 10 times, twice a day, I just asked for a stand with no physical guidance and he did it.