Tuesday, September 13, 2011

About the Stein, Small Dogs and The Comparison

Today I am dedicating my blog to little man Volt.  That in itself is an amusing comment, since Volt does not think he is a little man.  He is NOT one of those irritating little dogs that thinks he is a Rotweiller and yaps at big dogs like a chiuaua on steroids, but he does think he is a Border Collie.  Not surprising I guess.  He is not a lapdog and while he loves lying at my feet he is not one for lying on my lap and only happy with being picked up for about 30 seconds then he wants to go and DO something.

Since I got him, I have had to answer a ton of questions.  Some about his lines and breeding, these I can answer easily, I spent so much time researching breeders and his breeder is such a lovely lady, always willing to answer questions.  Of course I also get a lot of questions about the breed as such.  Now after researching the breed for about 2 years before actually getting one, I am damn book smart on Shelties, but being book smart and living in the real world are two different things.  Volt is my first and only Sheltie, so he really doesn't represent the entire breed and since he is so friggin awesome my opinions are quite high at the moment.  Then of course there are the small dog vs. big dog questions.  Now those I am taking as it comes...

I don't have a lot of agility info at my disposal actually.  First of all, since all dogs are different, Volt would be inevitably be different, so that is the first fact to consider.  There are little things that to me seem to be 'small dog' traits, but I might be wrong.  It has been 10 years since I have owned and trained a small dog.  Also, it seems that the majority of the 'big name' trainers, dvd's, books and info available, refer to large dogs/Border Collies.  Obviously a lot of this is applicable to ALL dogs and as always I adapt little things to my own way of training and dogs as it is.  Inevitably I am going to compare Volt to the dogs I see every week, I am going to be chasing those times, those dogs mostly happen to be large dogs.  In the long run I don't know yet if it is comparable, but it has encouraged me to start an informal, long term study between large dogs and small dogs.  I started off by doing some short sequences with Chaos and Volt and timing these.  Here is a short summary video of this:

And as mentioned in my previous post, I have started teaching Volt some poles and here is a short progress video:

He has caught on to the concept very quickly.  He understands very well and already has a 80% consistency rate.  The understanding is definitely there.  However I have all the time in the world, so I will not be rushing it.  After I made this video I moved onto the next step and placed a jump before the poles and Volt got it first time round and did three perfect repetitions  at which point I ended the session.  My first priority is independent drive ahead.  My second priority is entries.  I believe these will be the key to success and really hoping that his striding and rhythm will come naturally, but that will only become apparent once I start closing the channel some more.

I am beyond happy with his progress, his attitude and his eagerness, so I am not going to push it.  I am leaving him to develop on his own and having fun.

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