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.
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.
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.
Went for a walk around a few blocks with Sei. Just as frustrating as ever. It really brings out an unpleasant side of me; Counting down to the FDSA loose leash walking course!
Sei did a wee bit of being shaped to go through the hoop again, then played a similar game outside with toys.
I did some disc/fetch with Perrin, and he is so excited to play, with a reliable retrieve! Apparently all that work spent on toys is starting to shine through now that Perrin has a little brother to be jealous of! Haha.
Perrin and Sei did some platform work after dinner. Perrin is super enthusiastic about it, meanwhile Sei thought that offering rebounds was way more fun than fronts. We will need to work on a lot of standing still down the line!
Today was a pretty laid back day. I made our platforms for TEAM last week, but only got around to putting the non-skid caulking on the bottoms this morning. While I had it out, I got some of our fitness equipment done too:
Sei and I played some disc in the backyard and I introduced Sei to a hula hoop and going through it. Perrin worked on his platform work for a bit, and started foot targeting a push light. He eventually put all of his weight on it and cracked it, so we may have to keep thinking on what to use for the ‘paw target’ portion of the trick dog champion requirements.
Today we worked on disc with both dogs (!), and Sei and I also worked on some work for our herding foundations class.
Perrin wanted to play disc! What is up with that? I’m not sure, but he had fun! He mainly wants to tug on the discs, but if he wants to play, we can work with this. He is so cute when he wants to play.