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!


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