I was driving mum a bit nuts last night at training. We are now up to the Rally Excellent level after passing Rally Advanced the other month. Besides learning some new moves for this next level I also need to do something called the Honor. From what I gather it is either being in a sit or down and being told to stay there while the other dog does the course. It is a lot like the sit and drops we have to do in obedience, except I am still on lead (just a long one) and mum can talk to me during it…. So unlike obedience where I just sit or lay in position off lead in this Rally Honor thing I feel compelled to talk back to mum (she calls it barking) and it turns out judges don’t like this two-way communication during this exercise. So hence mum has a dual activity of ‘speak’ and ‘quiet’ that we are doing some extra work on at the moment.
So speak is just that…. Speaking. But rather than teach a quiet dog to speak, what mum has been taught is put a command to when I am ‘talking’. So this means when I am there ‘talking’ mum says the word ‘speak’ and uses a hand signal, which for us is her moving her hand from clenched to wide open (jazz hand). She does this while I am ‘talking’ so I associate both the word and signal with the ‘talking’.
Now it turns out that the real aim of this for mum is “quiet”. So once I have done “speak” she then changes her hand into a beak kinda shape and says “quiet”. Now that is really when I get told I am a good boy and get the treats. Obviously if you are concentrating on teaching the “speak” than use your “yes” word and treat after “speak’ but mum seems more keen on “quiet” so I tend to get more praise and treats after that… not sure why???
So our 1st Excellent level Rally O trial is in early January so expecting there will be lots more practicing of this quiet before then.
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Paws Up and have a great Tuesday with lots of speaking.