We have been training, but working on FDSA gold spots. I tend not to log here when I have gold spots because our work is being logged in that format instead.
We have been in a bit of a rut with training, and I have been wanting to work on more shaping. The issue has been that Sei does not wait nicely while I work with Perrin. After a lot of work, we have started to get somewhere with that! Husbandry is another thing I have been meaning to work on seriously with Sei, because he is not very tolerant of handling AT ALL. So today I finally made some headway on all three fronts!
I worked on both dogs on chin rests on the coffee table for the purposes of husbandry procedures. They are in different phases of training on this, so it is an interesting exercise. The idea is that while the dog has their face on the table, I can do some sort of procedure (ear drops, eye drops, getting goopies out, looking at teeth, etc). Sei is just learning the chin
Perrin is pretty proficient at the chin rest part, and is extremely tolerant of handling. This makes him a very forgiving student while I am learning! The only time he objected to something I did was a slight head movement away when I put my hand over his nose. This allowed me to work through that and split it out into smaller pieces. And Sei stayed in his down almost the whole time! Whoohoo!
Sei is very new to this. I had never trained the chin rest part before today. We did one session earlier today on shaping the chin rest, but that is it. He learned really fast! I did a session with Perrin first, which I think helped Sei along.
I didn’t realize how worried Sei was about the tripod. He has a history of not liking it, but he kept an eye on it the whole session. His enthusiasm is much lower than the earlier session, and I think that is why. You can also see that Sei did decline to continue at the end, so he got a cookie and we quit. My timing is poor several times in the middle and I ended up clicking a few head motions away.
Today was a busy day in dogland! Sei worked on tugging for our toy class, name game fun for our loose leash walking class, and his fitness routine for our case study. Perrin did his fitness routine for our case study, and came for a run with me. The entirety of our fitness videos are here, only so I have them stored in another place other than my hard drive in case of a catastrophe. The llw name game video is from yesterday, but we did the same thing 3x today.
I have skipped a lot of days of tracking so I won’t try and catch up, but rather carry on instead.
Today in addition to field walks and some casual fetch, I took Sei’s baseline toy videos for our toy class.
Unedited 2 Ball Game:
Unedited 2 Tug Game:
This one, I realized after taking the video that I am presenting the second tug at the wrong time. I am presenting it before he starts coming back, rather than marking with the presentation of the second tug after he has taken 1 step back in my direction. I will have to retake it tomorrow with proper mechanics before I submit it for feedback.
Today was a busy day to be a dog! Sei and Perrin both played a little disc, worked on some standing still and did their baseline fitness routines for their case studies.
Sei and Perrin’s disc practices were routine, so not worth posting their videos. I did have a highlight clip of Sei’s hoop jump though, it is coming along nicely!
Perrin’s case study baseline video is very boring, including 3.5 minutes of just standing still. Not recommended watching, I am just putting it here for my own reference later, and incase I lose a hard drive again.
Perrin’s condition has markedly declined since his last assessment in the fall. This is not terribly surprising, given that he and I have had a rather lazy winter. While he could hold his stands on the disk for a long duration (3.5 minutes), his top line is weaker than it was in the fall. Perrin found standing on the peanut much more difficult than he did in the fall, managing 35 seconds in the baseline assessment, but with poor form. He will need more core work before he is ready to continue with work on the peanut. Perrin was able to hold a stand with his rear feet on a disk and his front feet on a 50cm peanut for a duration of 1.8 minutes with good form, and performed 23 sit to stands on two disks with good form before tiring.
Sei’s baseline stands were quite interesting. The length of time that he could hold a stand were very similar between the ground, the two disks and the peanut (12, 16, and 15 seconds respectively). All had reasonable good form. In the video, it can be seen that he clearly finds the unstable surfaces more difficult physically than the ground (especially the peanut, his top line is slightly roached on it compared to on the disks or the ground), but the length of time that he can hold the stand is not significantly different between the three of them. This information furthers my though that the standing still issue is more training than ability based. We have only started working on stands in the past week, and he has gone from about 2 seconds of duration, to the lengths seen today. It will be interesting to see how he progresses from here.
The last road trip weekend!
Sei once again worked on travelling in the car, not launching himself out the door once it opens, and not diving after things when on a leash. He played at being a farm dog for a day, then played some disc on Sunday. He was awesome!
Perrin on the other hand was at home and did little other than cuddle and eat Cheetos. I do not think he complained about it once.
Another long road trip weekend! Friday and Saturday, Sei spent at the farm running around, as well as playing disc and ball. Perrin stayed at home with Jake and worked on nosework.
On Sunday, Sei and I went to disc practice, and worked on the same things as last week. Most of the practice was just the humans practicing their throws without dogs.
Today, was an eclectic training day. Sei and Perrin both did some platform work and fitness stuff. Sei did some more LLW foundations and disc. We were working on our toss and fetch in preparation for potentially joining a league in April. We made some really great progress! Sei has been getting me all trained up: between me getting my timing better, practicing the kinds of throws Sei has the easiest time catching, and shortening how far I am throwing, Sei’s catch percentage went WAY up today. Sei makes it really clear when I get things right for him, he tries so hard even when I screw up and sticks with me until we get it right.
Today I took Sei’s newest trick outside, and later attempted some loose leash walking foundation things in the house (with little success). Perrin worked on some heelwork. Jake did nosework with both Sei and Perrin.
Sei and I started the arm hoop trick yesterday. He caught on really fast in the house, so I decided to take it to the yard today. That was a lesson and a half! The first time we tried, I took two tennis balls out. Sei considers them lower value toys, but even so, we had arousal issues left right and center. He just couldn’t think. I got jumped all over, rebounded of my arms, face, chest and back. Both of us were pretty frustrated. For the second session I hoped that by taking food outside, but otherwise taking the same trick to the same environment, it would lower Sei’s arousal level a bit while still being a step up from practicing indoors. And it worked for the most part! The video below is the unedited version of that process. You can get a taste for how crazy he was before at the beginning of the video (but toned down from our first try) however he settled in eventually and we made some really good progress!
More play! Disc with Sei and Perrin, and some more downs for our herding class.
I made a bit of a break through with throwing discs today! Sei is extremely inconsistent with catching out throws. Given that he is seldom inconsistent, this led me to examine what I was doing to cause this. Today I figured it out! If you watch the first few throws, I throw the disc when Sei is still behind me, not giving him enough time to get anywhere near the disc before it falls. I tried to see whether he would lead out or not, and he does! (Of course, he is usually ahead of me in such things). So I experimented with timing how far ahead of me he should be for throwing at these short distances, and how far he would go right now before turning around to look at me (I still want him driving forward when I throw, not stopping or slowing to turn around). He immediately made a few catches and had a few near catches. Need to play with this further and see where we can get with it.
Sei brought the ball back a few times! Albeit the most boring type of ball, but we have to start somewhere.
I was away with Sei for the weekend, so he didn’t get much training other than basic life skills. Perrin worked on nosework with Jake this weekend while they were home together.
On Sunday, Sei and I went to disc, and he absolutely rocked it! Even after being in the car most of the weekend and not sleeping most of the night before. He nailed all the tricks he knows just like we were at home, made some really great catches on long throws despite my inability to throw, and was just an all round sunshiny ray of enthusiasm. Once we got home, Perrin and Sei did a few rounds of nosework each.
Today, I worked on toy skills with Perrin: adding basic work into play for the first time. Mainly sits/stays/release to tug. He worked really nicely, and was still enthusiastically interested in the tug after 5 or so minutes of playing that game. We are definitely making progress there!
Sei and I worked some more jumping through the hoop, but I used a tug this time instead of a thrown toy. The change in how reinforcement was delivered definitely seemed to change the picture a bit for Sei. He was more focused on the game we were playing rather than racing around with the toy. I am starting to get more comfortable on how to use toys to reinforce work, but I am a long way off from proficiency yet!
I also noticed how differently Sei and Perrin need me to play tug with them. Perrin doesn’t get into tug much until I really start pulling back actively on the tug, especially if I am facing him head on. If I played that way with Sei, he would let go and run off. Sei prefers to win more, to ‘drag’ me backwards by the toy and to get to keep it.
My canine fitness equipment arrived today, so I was able to get the basement set up. It will be a week or so until I can get the inflatables filled up to their proper sizes (the pump that has the appropriate fitting is not very powerful, so they need to rest between fillings before I can add more air). Then I can start getting Perrin and Sei’s (and my last!) case studies started.
Today we worked on lots of toy stuff!
Perrin and I just worked on playing. This is the dog who didn’t like toys a year and a half ago! His tug is awesome, but his retrieve has actually gotten worse. I will take this though, because he likes the toy enough that he isn’t sure whether he wants to bring it back to me. Before, he was just doing a trained retrieve. This is a minor issue I am okay working through! Especially because it only pops up with his favourite toys and not with our regular retrieve items.
Sei and I did some more working on the hoop outside, and some more working on downs in high arousal states with toys for our herding class. This is something he and I struggle with, mainly because my toy skills are so bad.
Our third try of the day was much better!