October 1st, 2017 Training Log

Perrin and I did our TEAM1 baseline run-through today. We did it completely cold: first training of the day, no working on any of the skills today (in fact most of the skills we haven’t practiced specifically in months, with the exception of the nosework, cone wrap and vertical target).  It was a bit of a mess on all fronts.

Technical Issues:

  • Area is too small
  • One of my cookie throws takes Perrin out of frame
  • Can’t see the corner where I set up the cone/target/distraction bowl
  • Over time (over 7 mins)

Handler Mistakes:

  • I forgot to put my reinforcers in my pocket before I began.
  • I did not plan out where to put the pivot platform. Once I stood next to the platform, Perrin did not have room between the platform to move
  • On the ‘find heel’ exercise, I couldn’t manage to throw the cookies in the right order/direction then ended up doing an extra one just to test the skill. I messed up the first exercise, so figured I would spend the rest of the baseline video seeing what he knew even if that violated the rules. Part of that is because I didn’t know how to handle a mistake and keep filming. Normally I would stop and re-set/re work on the skill, but I wanted an honest baseline from start to finish.
  • Moved my body to help a crooked ‘find heel’. I also should have cued my ‘find heels’ because it is a skill that is actually on cue.

Training Problems:

  • Holy crooked fronts batman! We haven’t done fronts in a LONG time (also the cause of the lack of an auto sit on the fronts). Maybe I should use a platform to help clean these up a bit.
  • Target the target stick, don’t retrieve it.
  • He kept getting distracted by Sei barking outside wanting in. Focus to be worked on. Probably could have helped the situation by using a better reinforcer than basic kibble.
  • Work on position changes at a distance. This one surprised me, because we had worked a lot on this in the past at much greater distances. However I have noticed Perrin’s ‘sit’ cue has gotten generally bad lately in so many contexts that I want to rule out a medical issue.
  • Need a better set up for ‘back up’. Once he understood what I actually wanted to do, he did surprisingly well, but he was confused before that.
  • Not sure what he was waiting for on the return of the cone wrap. We had been practicing this with an around finish to heel. Maybe he was waiting on my hand signal for that? Not sure.
  • Nosework took a long time, but was correct.

And more, but I felt that I picked at the video enough for the time being.

In terms of good notes, his engagement at the beginning was lovely, the stay under distraction was solid, he backed up better than I thought he would, and his pivot was nice.

There was a definite drop in enthusiasm from start to finish. I think there are several contributing factors to that. I’m not normally so formal/quiet and I think that was throwing Perrin off. I didn’t plan how to reset mistakes to keep enthusiasm, and failed to come up with a good solution on the spot. That is not a typical training session set up for us, and to make that even worse, we have mostly been doing shaping lately which makes this set up even stranger. I don’t think my reinforcers were worth that length of work that is not shaping (Perrin’s favourite) just yet. He is also headed to the vet tomorrow for a nasty hot spot in a spot I can’t get the hair out of well enough. I hope that hot spot isn’t bothering him enough to be the reason for that.

Lots to work on anyway!

Sei worked on loose leash walking, downs, sits, spins, I introduced the pivot platform and ended up accidently working on the beginnings of muzzle training (‘put your face in something’). Only the last one is caught on tape, because apparently some days I am rather technically challenged (forgot to press record on the camera).


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