For our lunch session today, I got Perrin working on coursework from the disc dog course we signed up for. Today was the foundation for dog catches and rebounds. To what end? I am not sure right now, considering the only way I am going to ‘catch’ Perrin is in the sense that my body would cushion his fall as we both crashed to the ground. But we will play with it for now, and I will just be happy that my cheap folding chair didn’t collapse under 250+ lbs.
Today’s take away: man I am bad at luring! I seem to lump so badly when luring (I know I don’t do that in shaping), my mechanics are bad, and reward placement isnt clear to me. I wonder if all the work I did on impulse control with Perrin as a pup also influences this; he has been taught that chasing after the food does not get him the food, and I don’t have a good enough reward marker system in place to differentiate the times when he is allowed to go after the food and when he is not. Having multiple reward markers indicating to the dog where their reinforcement will be coming from: another thing to added to the ‘retrain Perrin’ and ‘things I will do with my next dog’ lists.
Not only was my luring bad, my training in general was bad. There was lumping, the criteria was a moving target, I confused Perrin then begged him to keep working, I used ‘cues’ that he doesn’t actually know the meaning of. Gah. It was pretty obvious early on that he was confused, I tried to push and keep going without changing my approach, so he got frustrated and just sat down and quit. I coaxed him back in and just confused him again. Poor Perrin! I should have stopped when I saw frustration and reevaluated my approach. Luring and listening to my better judgement are clearly areas I need work on. The bright side? I know that I am the problem and am not blaming Perrin for our lack of success. He keeps trying despite my ineptitude. I also know many of the weak spots that are going on here, which allows me to make a plan to address it. Here is to learning from today’s mistakes and doing better tomorrow (or later on in the day).
After work, I came home and did a quick session with better criteria and training. I rewarded just for enthusiasm. And in under a minute, he attempted all four feet up! Good Puff!
The video is poor, but here is his breakthrough attempt!
Other than that, we went for a walk in the park. I wasn’t planning on doing anything other than letting Perrin have a sniffy walk, but he offered me some amazing engagement! He did some very pretty heel work and we practiced some fronts.