Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Tagg turns one year old on May 5th. So, this week I've decided to begin her formal training. I've held off doing formal obedience behaviors because it's not advised to put too much obedience training into a herding dog before they begin training (it makes it hard for the dog to understand giving to handler pressure).
Tagg begins herding training shortly, so I feel we're safe beginning obedience training (she doesn't give to my pressure anyway, so, no harm no foul).
Tagg will likely do multiple sports, so our training may seem all over the map, but there is a method - of sorts - to the madness.
Tagg has already been to two classes: a puppy class taught by Brittany Brauer of K9 Guidance to Inclusion and a fundamentals of agility class taught by Alicia Nicholas of Journey Agility, she had a lot of fun in both classes and learned some cool tricks and behaviors. She also knows how to come when called, she has a down of sorts, a sit, and a version of loose leash walking. That's it.
The difference between dabbling in classes and training is intent. During the classes my intent was to teach her the process of learning, teach her calmness around other dogs, and teach her to focus on me. Her 'real' training will focus on ultimate goals and teaching towards those goals in a systematic manner that hopefully builds great performances in her future.
Sheep, of course, will be her primary job, but also we'll do Rally-Obedience, maybe some Disc Dog, possibly Parkour, and maybe even AKC Obedience.
So, with all of these goals in mind, today we started with basics. For disc dog we began building drive for the frisbee (my frisbee handling is pretty awful, so much of the training is seeing how my ineptitude affects her drive!) and teaching her to catch a rolling frisbee (rolling a frisbee on the floor is hard!)
We continued training 'fly' (going around an upright obstacle like a cone) which we started in Alicia's class and will need later for Rally-O and heeling games.
We also began working on our touch bucket for hind end awareness. This will help with heeling, and freestyle if I ever decide to do that, as well as Rally-O.
From these little things, these weird, seemingly random behaviors I hope to build Tagg's performance future. I'm thrilled to finally get to begin training my little Monkey dog!