Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Week of Training: Thursday

  • Retrieve: We did play fetch, alternating items (plastic ball, jolly ball, kong wubba toy). Preferred of those is definitely the wubba. At one point he caught the ball part and one of the flaps in his mouth...and his paw was stuck in the loop...he wouldn't let me come near to help, but soon he regripped and his leg was free. I tried to reinforce with meat for the drops, but it just didn't work. The toys were a higher value reinforcer.
  • Heeling: When I should be working on duration or distractions....we had yet another session where my point of reinforcement was parallel dog, and I did lots of left turns to reinforce all those effortful moments of bringing his hind end in.
  • Article Indication: This has been a long-term problem area. I was/am really tempted to do a working spot at the Steve White seminar to work on this... but I don't know if it's a Blaze-isn't-quite-right problem or a Kristen-training-problem. So, we did touches to random objects in hand. Next session, we'll use the same set on the ground.
  • Recalls: With turkey.... call dog, run, feed. (Yes, I've been watching the preview of Susan Garrett's ecourse and wistfully wishing there was a way in our budget to make it work right now). And lots for hanging out near me too. She was quite spooked by things going on out at the barn.
  • Heeling: Outdoors, reinforcing for attention while stationary. It was hard for her. She was hesitant about taking the food. I need to use the highest value reinforcers that we can!
  • Tricks: We worked on foot touches to a cone. She was offering it, but not readily.
  • Scent 1: Toss, bring it back, tug, out, toss a higher value toy, retrieve, tug, out, FIND IT! and start all over. Sometimes I'd hide the scented tug while he retrieved the other.
  • Tugging: And along with that I was careful about our tug training. It's so cool that he knows to work for things. I hold the bumper by the rope in my hand while we tugged on the fleecy scented tug. He REALLY wanted the bumper but knew he had to tug the other to get it. He didn't drop the fleece. He kept eye the bumper and his outs were VERY good.
  • Heeling: Varying duration from 7-27 steps. All was beautiful. Some with food off of me.
  • Holding a stand: We did one session practicing me poking him in the back end and touching, he was great. Second session we started with that, then I worked on cutting a burr off. And the third session I was combing him out. Horray for Griffin.
  • Stacking: Me putting him into a stack. These sessions are more for than him learning much of anything. But he's really cute the way he holds whatever position I put him in.
  • Trick 1: I played with holding an object with his paw. I tried it from a sit but he wanted to nose touch and then bat at it. And then I realized that if he was in the beg position it would be easier because he would be trying to grasp something. He did it for a few clicks!
  • Trick 2: Same thing, not as much success. We did a few reps and I think I let go of the cone too soon and it fell and he was a bit sad as it wasn't an expected thing. Plus he was physically getting tired. We'll hold off on this until tomorrow and see how it goes. I have video to share later.
  • Scent 2: We went out and while he ran off into the yard, I hid the scented tug in the connecting shed. I left the shed, called him to it, and sent him in with a "find it". He started to go around smelling things right away!! He checked out a few corners and then found it... dove into a pile of PVC for it. We did LOTS of tugging. After that, we did 2-3 more tossed into brushy areas. On all but one he started exploring and scenting (neck outstretched, mouth closed, a slow stalking type of walk) right away. The "Find it" is a temporary cue, not a performance cue, but apparently is teaching him to start seeking a source for the scent....
  • Heeling: Right before work, out in the parking lot. No responses, refusing food, after 15 seconds I put him back in the van.
  • Evening training after work:
  • **Heeling: Duration, varying between 5 and 15 steps. We did a few pace changes too.
  • ** Heeling: Figure 8 with imaginary posts and then real plastic bins out. That was harder, his outside loops were poor.
  • ** Drop on Recall: We worked on the drop part, and also introducing the release cue that means a drop will soon come and the stay cue that means you will be released to drop. We did some regular recalls too using those stay and come words
  • **Misc: A few go out reps (10-15' it was REALLY straight!), a few reps with signals. He was really working well tonight. Except when he didn't want to eat the reinforcer of plain pasta.
Today was a training-ful day. At times it was more testing than training (esp in the training building. It's a bad influence!). But we did do a lot of training and made progress in a few areas. I also took some video of the trick and at work, but I'm not sure what to do with that...I do so much video but I never know how to use it for educational purposes beyond my own watching and evaluating.

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