Monday, April 26, 2010

Training and Lack Of

We've had a golden puppy staying with us for some training and socialization. He's been here a week and wow it's gone fast! I'm amazed at how little "training" we've done. Only today has he begun to have actual offered intentional behaviors. But at the same time, a week ago, he'd never been anywhere (ever!) and had little experience in the world. Now he's been out in public, met lots of people, and animals. He's been on various surfaces and smelled different things. He's been far away from me and he's run back to me. He's been through water and played with toys. And all those things are just as important as training.

Griffin had a really great training session tonight. We played with kitchen send outs, using something different than our usual foot targets (...set out a phone book and he insisted on retrieving it!). I used "Aim For It" (from _Agility Right from the Start_). And within 5 reps he was heading straight across the room, very measurable with the tile lines on the floor. We'll see how well it transfers to other locations, but it did increase my confidence in the straightness of his send outs.

Tugging with Griffin has magically got better with a puppy around. His tugging has improved 100%. He's tugging and holding on without thinking about regripping. He's happy to continue to hold on and not let go in his appeasement-conflicty way. His 'Out' is beginning to be a little lacking but for him, that's a great thing. He and Blaze had a bit of the standoff yesterday, both gripping the fun soft frisbee. Blaze always ended up with it. But they would stand for minutes, both holding it, leaning back, and Not. Letting. Go.

Lessons this week for Griffin will focus on more tugging, more contact work, and his obedience stays (duration). The puppy will be learning about more self control foundation exercises, attempt to get offered downs, object interactions, and further explorations of the world.

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