Don’t forget, tonight is Shiba Sports Chat at 5pm PMT (
Please feel free to drop in with any questions. Topics will include “Wrapping up the training of 2012″ and “Obedience Platform Building”.
Don’t know what Obedience Platforms are? Here’s a good video:
These are a new wonderful positive tool I was introduced to, to help with precision heeling, go-outs, fronts, and body awareness. These are different from Agility travel planks, which focus on teaching and proofing 2 on 2 off contacts, although they look similar:
The premise is to highly reward the dog for chosing to get on the platform. Clicker training would work well for this, but verbal markers are also good. Eventually, whenever the dog sees the platform, they go running to stand on it. If you watch the video, you will see how this can be shaped into snappy finishes and straight sits, as the dog quickly learns where in space it’s body is, and that it doesn’t want to fall off the sides. This is 100% positive reward, and is quite a leap from the traditional obedience classes offered when I started out, which is why I think this is a great method for teaching Shibas (and all dogs). No leash corrections needed, and in fact, there is no leash at all!
Anyways, my training center had a Platform Party and I made a special set for Farrah:
Farrah “helps” cut the foam and yoga mat pieces to her size. We went with a pink and purple and argyll theme. Use spray glue to afix the matting to the foam board.
Next, select a fashionable base color of duct tape. Farrah of course, chooses pink. It’s easy to wrap the tape around. Make 2 passes so no foam shows.
Pink, purple and grey argyll. Sort of an East meets West thing with a Japanese dog. It’s matches her Hello Kitty collar.
Velcro, with fancy argyll pattern, holds the two halves in place for travel.
Farrah’s was the smallest. Those on the end are for Newfoundlands.
We love our new platforms!
Blurry iPhone picture aside, Farrah and Moose the newfie are super in love.
Ta dah! We are on our way to perfect heeling and straight fronts.