Training - being more aware of my hands

I had a very productive training session this morning with Molly. I hired a big barn for an hour for just us and Molly concentrated really well. One plus was that Molly really seems to understand now that treats in the pot at the side will follow at some point after rally work and is willing to accept a delayed reward. I'm booked for another real-life show in October so we worked on a level 2 course and she stayed focused throughout.

During our 'warm up' before attempting a whole course, I had a few failures to sit on cue, so I thought hard about what I was doing. I know that Molly pays more attention to hand signals than verbal cues and I've realised that I really am pretty bad at not keeping these consistent and tend to wave my hands around all over the place. (At our last real-life show the judge told me that I needed to work at keeping my hands still as I would be marked down for it at higher levels.) So once I concentrated on giving one consistent hand signal for 'sit' Molly improved no end.

I also practised 'sit, down, handler walk around' (handler walks around the dog) as I lost 5 marks at the last show because I accidentally dropped the lead! (Completely fair - that's what the rules say - but still an odd rule, as Molly remained exactly in place even when I dropped the lead.)

We did a little bit of the Fenzi TEAM exercises as well - though throwing treats onto a sandy surface wasn't the best idea. Here we are doing sit and down at a short distance - also handy for level 3 rally.