Training Log – September 30, 2018


Day 34

More pivots! Today I tried to slow the pivots down for each dog. Perrin had no problems. Sei had no idea what was going on. It really showed me what parts Sei really does understand, and which parts he doesn’t.

  • He gets the part about moving his back feet.
  • He had a hard time standing still on the perch, there was a lot of dancing.
    • Need to do some duration building on the perch in heel (he has no problem with still duration in heel off the perch). Yes Virginia, standing still is a payable behaviour!
  • He also anticipates the pivot before I move, which explains the large amount of over rotation we have been getting.
    • See above, I think that understanding will solve this one
  • No ‘magnetization’ to the perch, needs to be encouraged to get on it
    • Go back and shape just getting on it. Would actually be the first step to building duration.

We also worked on the cone wrap. The last few times I tried, we had cone thievery, so that was what I expected to work on. Sei didn’t have that problem though. He did seem to have some sort of understanding issue with it. Part of it was that I had cookies in my ‘pointing’ hand, but I never did nail down the entirety of what it was.

Perrin did his cone wraps perfectly, so I didn’t want to keep drilling it. I decided to try a vertical target, but set the target up before I set him up. This to test the theory that me going and setting up the target is his actual cue for this behaviour. I think I confirmed that. He wrapped the cone the first rep, and when I set it up for the second, he did a perfect vertical target. (I didn’t set him up quite right for this one because of space constraints, I do know this isn’t a ‘TEAM worthy’ set up.)



Training Log – September 29, 2018


Day 33

I had to wait until the evening to edit our morning video, but I got it done! Today we worked on heeling bits.

Perrin and I just worked on some one step doodles in the backyard.

Sei and I continued to explore pivots. We need to slow them down a lot! Sei really doesn’t understand them yet, and I haven’t split them down well enough. Sei tends to throw himself around a lot, which our current platform is not very forgiving of. So I tried a pot. It was better because it didn’t fly around when Sei started dancing, and it is a bit higher, which makes it easier for Sei to stay on the target. I think we will work in it for a while until Sei’s understanding gets a bit better. Tomorrow I will work on marking just first step, the movement from the sit into the stand/step when I start moving.

Training Log – September 28, 2018


Day 32

Today was a lot of bad training, and experimenting without a pre-formed plan. I know I had fun though, and I think my dogs did too. This week has gone pear shaped at every turn, and I was out of mental energy to work on precision behaviours, or things that I really care a lot about. So we just played around with some random bits and pieces.

Perrin is in such good spirits, despite his cone and ear. I’m so happy that he is feeling as good as possible under the circumstances. If he wants to play, then we will!

Sei and I dabbled with mimicry to add a send to platform over a jump, and then some position changes with me in unusual positions.

Training Log – September 27, 2018


Day 31

Another day copied from the facebook post! Although Sei does get a long version of his video. Too busy to do better today:

I expected this morning to just be Sei and I, as Perrin wasn’t able to come back from the vet until fairly late last night and is having a hard adjustment to the cone. But he refused to be left out! Figuring out what he could do with that massive cone on was a bit of a challenge, so we settled on some find-heels (with an alternative to cookie tosses because he couldn’t get them on the ground) with sit and stand position changes (because he didn’t like down; the cone would touch the platform and that was a no-go). I think he was just happy to play and get his mind of the cone and his ear.

I really wanted to continue the puzzle of adding fronts to the jump without the flying Sei. I tried using Perrin’s platform (easier to see), set it as far away from the jump as I could, and used food instead of a toy. Success!

Training Log – September 26, 2018


Day 30

Did some things with Sei today. Not feeling up to doing all of the video editing required. Too anxious about Perrin at the vet for surgery (its routine!). Here is a quick video and the blurb from our facebook post on the TEAM page. Hopefully tomorrow I can do better record keeping.

Just Sei and I today, poor Perrin is in at the vet to have an ear hematoma surgically drained (I am anxiously awaiting his return!). So Sei and I did a variety of sloppy things, experimenting with adding toys and platforms to jumps and cones. Today’s takeaway? We are not quite yet ready for that yet!

But we did a little sequencing of TEAM 1 in the house, while experimenting with new platform orientations, and that went okay. There is a lot of forward movement between the sit-down-sit sequence, so we will eventually have to address that.

Training Log – September 25, 2018


Day 29

Some training days are good. Others look like this. I was just out of bandwidth to address the cone snatching, so moved on to my other dog . Oh dear.

I went back inside and was able to pull it together with some better thought. The original plan was to see if I could do the circle a cone with a jump in between. I have never done that exercise with either dog before, and have no skills at chaining yet. But Sei has done mimicry so I tried that. And he nailed it! I tried after to see if he could do it on the circle cue (ie, was he mimicking me or did he understand after all?). He didn’t understand on cue, so he was truly mimicking me. I still think mimicry is the coolest thing Sei and I have ever done together.

Training Log – September 24, 2018


Day 28

Today I did a vertical target and some heeling stuff outside with both dogs, and also did some platform work outside with Sei.

I would like to start adding toys to our precision work (and generally add some precision to work we do when adding toys), so decided a good first attempt in that direction would be to use 2 balls for find heel/find front. I made it easier for Sei to be successful by using Perrin’s platform (it is bigger, so easier to find, get onto and stay on). I think it went pretty well! Some sloppiness due to the oversized platform (too far away, crooked), and our Find Heel still seems to be broken for the harder angles, but overall this is SO MUCH better than the last time I tried to do something like this with toys.

I stuck a magnet on my car to use for the vertical target, and that went well for both dogs. It appears that me setting up the target is a huge part of the context cue for both dogs as to what we are doing. I’m not sure if that is an issue for me right now or not. Ideally we would use a ring stanchion because it would transfer to obedience, but we won’t be doing formal obedience. It will get us through TEAM1 anyways, and then I can worry about how/if I should change it.

The heeling stuff in the driveway was extremely sloppy. I didn’t really have a plan going out. In fact, I only planed on doing the vertical target, but Perrin nailed it, so I figured I should move onto something else. I started working on Perrin’s counterclockwise pivots, because those are really hard for him. As soon as I turn away just a tiny bit, he typically disengages. Today he did really great working on those. I pushed my luck a bit and worked on some basic off-platform heeling foundation bits and he was a good sport about those.

The heeling work with Sei was arguably more harmful to our heeling precision than helpful (this is what happens when I try to fly by the seat of my pants), but doing something, anything, outside in the driveway with an engaged Sei is a good thing, and I learned some interesting things. Sei’s cue to pivot/stand from his sit in heel is when I move my feet (I tried some marching and he got wildly confused), and he still doesn’t understand find front without a platform. However find heel without a platform is much easier. Interesting!

Training Log- September 23, 2018


Day 27

I have a thing to be at fairly early this morning, so I got up quite early to train with the pups. In the spirit of making the most of my time, I tried working both dogs at once. Perrin decided it was much too early for this shit, and Sei thought it was a great wake up call! Lots of bad training here, but I think Sei still had fun.

Training Log – September 22, 2018


Day 26

This one is going to be a little light on the details as I have to get out the door to go to a sports thing with my husband.

Perrin and I did a full run through, and we were SO CLOSE.One handler oops, one cookie-bounce oops, and one dog oops. I decided to ‘help’ Perrin by adding signals to the change of position, when I don’t usually use signals. And then I held them.One of our find front cookies bounced off to the right, so it wasn’t a straight return, and Perrin indicated the wrong brick for nosework. But he kept the jump up! That is always the hardest one for him. And we squeaked in under 7 minutes with a more cumbersome platform situation than normal with that platform + yoga mat situation. I will also experiment with re-orienting how I have some of the exercises for clearer filming. It is often hard to see Perrin against the dark cabinets.

It may not have been a submission quality run, but I am so thrilled we made it all the way through with only that many major issues. 26 days ago, it seemed that getting through 10 different exercises with Perrin without him quitting or me bungling everything would be close to impossible. But we are almost there.

When Sei and I went to work on TEAM stuff this morning, he looked at me like we had never tried any of it before. Totally baffled. So we did a few clean loops of circling the cone because he seemed to like doing that.

Training Log – September 21, 2018


Day 25

Feeling kind of stuck with this stuff today. We are 1/4 of the way through and feel like we haven’t made very much progress. We were kind of at the point where I had all the exercises and just needed to put them together, but then Sei’s pivots broke, and today his “Find Heel’s” have broken. I’ve been re-teaching Perrin’s find heels and find fronts with his pivot platform because his big platform is just enormous for indoor use, so that has set us back a lot.

Today Sei and I worked on pivots, find heel and find front. Pivots suffered from errors of enthusiasm all over the place, and his find heels are completely broken.

Perrin worked on his pivots, find heel and find front all with the same platform. This was the first time he had done the find front exercise with the pivot platform instead of the full one, and I think that went pretty well for a first try.