Recently I have been working on Elsa's Finish.  Typically "finish" is the verbal cue to go to heel position.  I have always used this term.  It means to go from sitting in front facing me to moving right, swinging out further and coming up nice and tight to sit at heel.  "Swing" is the term I use when the dog needs to go around the back of me to get to heel position.  But that has now changed as I have decided that I don't care how Elsa gets to the heel position, she just needs to get there.  She learned both when she was little but we have since dropped the swing as she uses "go round" daily for her chuck it activities.

So why am I teaching her to "finish?"  Because it's a good place to be.  No, we don't do much heeling; we do work on it but it's not a priority to me.  There are things that are a must for me and the more cues we have that mean to come close to me, the better in my books.  I worked on it in the yard on the weekend; Elsa was doing great and Luke even joined in.  I had them both sitting at heel, of course I was carrying a cup of peanut butter.  Because Elsa knows what finish means; we are already doing it from a distance and in different directions.

So far her only issue is if I ask for it when she is in a high drive mode, and that means retrieving.
When I asked her to "finish" this morning, before I tossed her ball with the Chuck it; she balked at the cue and offered up the normal behaviors that are associated with chuck it.  She dropped into a down, then ran around me out to get the ball.  Then came back and barked because I had not thrown the ball yet.  Hmmmmmm, I waited and asked once more seeing that she needed help.  She then flew into the finish; frantic to do whatever it took to launch the ball and it did.

I will be asking for it at more random times and places until it is part of our day to day.  So no matter where she is or what she is doing she will run to my side.  It is very important that it be a positive place; just like with the come exercise, it has to be a good thing.  Elsa is extremely intelligent and is not a fan of repetition; that is unless it has to do with her drive.  So adding it into her retrieving time really helps to solidify it as a must do behavior.  She will get faster and faster at getting to that position also.  By late yesterday afternoon she had started leaping to finish instead of walking.  With that giant butt of hers, she shouldn't have a problem aiming, launching and landing at finish.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Love to hear from you.