Jet’s Heeling is Improving

So last Saturday I took Jet to a sanctioned Match for some obedience practice. Well, I wasn’t happy with how he did. Actually his heeling hasn’t been very good in the ring since we started going into the ring. In training, he’s great. But I think I have a plan to get him better. This was the Novice run through at the Match. He’s not even hardly really heeling:

So I figured I needed to do something, because Jet was entered in an obedience trial the next week (which was yesterday). And I think we just train in places that are too quiet. Because Jet is deaf in his left ear, he has sound issues. And you can see in the above video that the ring was set up right next to the bathrooms (I guess most people don’t even think about doing that?) and the flushing of the toilets really bothered him.

So it inspired me to start taking Jet to a place that had many more distractions. Mostly I train in very quiet parks where Jet does a great job. But most obedience rings are not so quiet. And so I took him to Sugarhouse Park every day last week. We did heeling with minimal treats. I figure, when in the ring, it’s just me and him, and we need to build a relationship without treats, too. However, I went to some pretty hard places at the park and when he showed signs of nervousness, I gave him treats anyway. And so yesterday this is what I got in the ring:

I think it’s much improved! So this is my goal then… to take Jet to difficult places and do heeling and training. At least once a week. My work schedule is changing and they are making me work 5 days a week (YUCK!) starting in October. I know I know, I’m spoiled, I haven’t worked 5 days a week in over 10 years. I usually work 4 10 hour days, which I much prefer. But now… well, I don’t want to talk about it. Anyway, I’ll have to work training into a new schedule. I think it will help. We don’t have another obedience trial until maybe March. So I’ll see how it works out. Though in the winter it will be hard to go out and find places when it gets cold. Hrmph.

The rest of this weekend we are doing agility. Jet did good today, but didn’t Q. One mistake in JWW and one in Standard. He did Q in the new Time 2 Beat class, which was fun. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I need to snuggle into some nice cozy sferra sheets tonight for bed. I’m tired, and sore, and I need to get some rest. But alas, I do think his heeling has gotten a bit better. 🙂