Dog-est August – Training Log – August 20, 2018


Today we worked on our pivot for TEAM. I didn’t have his regular platform, so I had to get creative. This is one of the TEAM exercises that we struggle with the most. Perrin is often delayed in his pivot: I move, then he moves a second later. So today I focused on going back and moving less, and rewarding for a smaller amount of motion. I had some hiccups in inconsistent criteria and pushing the limits a bit, but his pivots at the end of the session were much much better than the ones at the beginning!


I also decided to try some pivots with Sei. He has never any type of pivoting work before, and while he has done front foot targeting, he is scared of metallic noises. I figured that he was going to be quite uncertain about that pot, so I was just planning on shaping a step up onto the pot. In true Sei form, he decided to prove me wrong. He showed no concern at all about the pot, so I thought I would try a little pocket hand, but he found that offensive. When I just let him try for himself, he just started pivoting like a champ. I have no explanation for this, other than he must have learned from watching Perrin. (Also noted: Don’t pet him while working! He doesn’t like that!)

We also worked a little bit on finding front, and finding heel with Perrin’s platform. It is a little long for Sei, but not terrible width wise. We have been shaping the ‘get onto the platform’ behaviour for a few days, and today I decided to try adding in my body positioning. It went pretty well! (Another advantage to a tailed Aussie: you have a built-in ‘straight’ indicator, haha!).  I will have to decide whether I want stands or sits. Perrin definitely works better with stands (sits are a lot of work for him and sap his enthusiasm really quickly), but I think sits may work better for Sei. He does them naturally in fronts, but not in heels. I don’t want an auto sit for Rally Free, but you can give extra cues there to indicate a stand. I’m not sure if I have to use the same position for both front and heel (I know that you have to be consistant within the same exercise), I will have to double check the rules. I have some flexibility here, because TEAM allows for either to make it adaptable to different obedience organizations/types around the world, Perrin is not allowed to compete in obedience here, and I have no plans on doing so with Sei.

We also did some agility/disc training/playing for fun.


More muzzle work! We are still trouble shooting the looking up part. We had some limited success today pairing the chin rest from before with PB, which can be more precisely delivered. He really doesn’t want to tilt his head up though, and I think I am going to watch him in life for a while and see if it is something he does naturally or not.


Dex crashed the muzzle work party, so he got to try too. There was PB, so he was happy. CC the straps was easy when paired with ear scritches!


Dog-est August – Training Log – August 4, 2018


No video for Sei today, but after one rather spectacular freestyle disc mishap (for me, luckily, he is fine!), we just worked on distance throws for disc. Here is hoping this big nasty forehead lump goes down before I have to leave the house tomorrow.


Continuing on with TEAM, we planned to work on position changes, and backing up. I don’t have Perrin’s normal platform here, so I am using Sei’s mat. Perrin has had a back up behaviour, but I have broken it (seeing a trend here?), so we have been reworking it with a foot target. It turns out that both went really well! So we played around with all the other skills we have practiced this time around (wait with distraction, jump, around, vertical target), and they all seem pretty solid too! Perrin’s verbals aren’t the best still, and discriminating between ‘around’ and ‘go touch’ when both objects were in the same direction was hard. However for a real run through I could pretty easily set up my space so that I have them going in opposite directions. That actually makes 6 behaviours, which is what we need for PreTeam! They may be the least difficult behaviours for us, but hey, that is still 6 more than before!

Maybe one of these days I will try to film a pre-team qualifying run through! Looks like I also may have to get me some wintergreen oil and some scent tins, and rustle up a platform/foot target. We may get further than I thought.


Today was a disc sort of day! Chance very much wants the disc, and does not want to share. I also found out that he is not terribly interested in rollers. He is so great at tracking and catching though!


Dex liked his tug so much yesterday that I decided I would see how he likes balls today. Turns out that the answer is quite a lot! No interest in discs though!

March 27, 2018 – Training Log

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.


March 23-26, 2017 – Training Log

The last road trip weekend!

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.

March 17/18/19, 2018-Training Log

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.

March 13, 2018 – Training Log

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.

March 4, 2018 Training Log

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.

March 1, 2018 Training Log

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.

February 16/17 2018 – Training Log

The last two days have been all about backstalls and nosework!

With the backstalls, the tricky part was figuring out how to reward in position with only one person! I started with cookies, but trying to reward over my head was unwieldy and I was ending up with Sei jumping onto my back and then immediately jumping off to get his reward. Then I got out the syringe of peanut butter, and that worked awesome! I started with me on my hands and knees to provide a more stable platform, a lower jump height and more margin of error. Today we started on me standing, but we need a lot of work there. Sei and I both need more core strength to do this! With me standing, I was trying to lower myself down so that Sei had a much lower height to be jumping off of, but our timing didn’t always work. Things progressed quickly from there.

Here are the highlights:


Nosework has continued for both dogs, with more of locating the hot box in a room. Perrin has the better search, while Sei has a stronger alert, but both dogs are doing really well! We will soon move on to the beginning of the container search.


November 4, 2017 – Training Log

Today Sei and I worked on some more basic shaping things. The start of leg weaves, go arounds, going into his crate. Outside we worked on some disc as we had a brief reprieve from the rain. We worked on Sei going around the back of me to set up for another disc throw, and he did great! My roller throws need to get a lot better though. Unfortunately it will be the last day for a while. Even today the yard was a bit too slick and we are going to get even more rain

Perrin and I worked on some heeling basics. He was SO enthusiastic today, I wish I had it on video.

Neither of the dog’s sessions were planned, and for that reason, not much concrete progress was made, but we all had fun and some energy was burned. I do need to get better at planning before I train though.

I need to just pick a couple of small things and work on them. Trying to come up with a whole training plan is overwhelming and feels really restrictive (even though I can just change it at any time). I’m thinking small steps will breed better habits.