Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Griffin at CD Prep Class III

Before class we worked on sidepassing (...nothing like last minute homework) and his stand stays. Once we get his tail still, it stays still. But that initial stillness can sure be a problem.

At class:
- Review of what we had done the week before. I wanted to leave Griffin in the car for this, so he wouldn't have to sit. But it was just too hot and the current vehicle doesn't have air. Hopefully next week!
- Call to Heel: Tossing a low value treat, calling the dog to heel. Reinforce with a higher value reinforcer. Griffin was working well enough I was comfortable dropping the leash (big garage doors open, ring gates across the front...easily jumpable!). But he was not returning to heel. Out of five repetitions, only two were correct. The other three he came up next to me. The instructor wanted me to keep walking until he was heeling. I wanted to re-set.... I'm afraid of letting him heel poorly, then well, then mark and reinforce and creating a dangerous behavior chain.
- Left and Right turns: Heeling in a big square while the rest of the group is in the center. When we were working his heeling was good for parts, poor for the others. When I'm working by myself I move out of position as soon as HE is out of position, but it's a bit hard to do that in a class setting. Not horrible but not all that great either. While we waited for our turn, we practiced sit stays and stand stays. He did well.

- He wasn't up for tugging. I tried a bit and then the seminar we were instructed to keep going until we get it...but at the same time, that feels like giving a cue and repeating it and repeating it.
- There was some barking and impatience while waiting to work. I need to manage him better next time. Chews or a kong or a crate.
- There was too much excitement. One of the class members left her dog in a stay while she left the building to do something...her dog got up and got in another dogs face. It was tense. There was growling. I tried to hurry Griffin to the bathroom but he didn't want to go in there and so I ended up carrying him away. People think he's very reactive because I'm so paranoid.... but... better than him causing trouble or getting beat up (again).

Next week:
- I'll have a better management plan
- I'll have better training plans to work with him while we're waiting for our turns.
- I'll have a greater variety of reinforcers.
-We'll do more of our homework before class!

And we just realized, weeks into it, that one of our classmates has a dog from the same breeder. Not a very common occurrance!

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