Today started out with a walk in the park. The other half and I took both dogs for a quick walk, then worked on some attention and focus with both dogs. It is definitely going to be a very long time before I can take both dogs out together on my own. I don’t want Sei picking up some of Perrin’s bad habits, and its really hard to manage both of the individual needs at the same time. I guess that means more exercise for me! (And I need it).
Perrin has been missing his own work, so I finally got back on track with that. As the drum room was being set up, a bass drum mysteriously found its way into the dog training space, so I decided that would be a fun trick for Perrin. He is so fun to shape with, here is the whole process from the very start to the first success:
I especially love where he tries to see if a rear foot target is what we are trying. So cute.
Today’s trick for Sei has been learning some basic free stacking. I tried to take some pictures of him last night for tracking purposes as he grows, and it was a bit of a mess. I was working the camera while Sei was being lured by my husband. Sei didn’t know what he was supposed to be doing, but was happy to be getting peanut butter. So, back to shaping for next week’s photos. I am working through Puppy Culture’s Killer Free Stacks for this and we have done three little sessions today. I clearly need to go back and watch it, because I am getting a lot of sitting (something he has been heavily reinforced for). My first reaction to this was to throw a reset cookie to get him standing again, but I’m not seeing improvement in the amount of sitting I am getting. I need to go back and re-watch the video to see what step I am missing. I likely just need to reward him for standing, before pulling the food away and expecting him to hold the stand for a split second. This evening he did better when I was standing rather than sitting, so that will help moving forward as well.
Today was also the sign up period at FDSA, and I have decided to take my very first training focused class at gold! It is called Crucial Concepts of Competition, and I am very excited to improve my own skills.
Things are going to get a little sparse as the move gets closer and then is executed, but I will do updates as I can.
Yesterday Perrin and I worked on shaping a head nod, then went out for another round of SAR practice and an offleash group walk with the same four dogs as last week. I feel like Perrin’s social skills are improving, although his play style is on the rougher side and I don’t see that changing. He did a good job of disengaging and moving on when things got a little tense.
We worked on some group down stays. Perrin has a decent down stay, but holding one so close to other dogs is new, so I stayed close to him to keep the level of difficulty down. I also experimented with a reward schedule where every time a dog in the group broke and Perrin stayed, I marked and rewarded him in the down position. My thought process was that every time another dog gets up, Perrin would look to me rather than getting up to follow. Will it work? What unanticipated side effects will I get? I dont know. I will have to wait and see what the results are from that experiment!
I learned that Perrin has a problem standing by while I work with other dogs. He made quite the racket in the car while I was playing tug with his Lab friend. Perrin and I will have to work on that given that he will be getting a little brother this summer!
Today we went and did some training with Perrin’s lab friend. We mainly worked on settling as they both needed that today.
The best part was afterwards! Even though it was raining, we went out to the woods and worked on some SAR training for the lab where I got to play the victim. It was really good practice for the potential future, because man that dog can tug! My triceps still hurt!
We then went on an off leash walk with all 4 dogs, and Perrin did so well. One of the dogs with us isn’t always dog friendly but generally does well if left un-pestered. I was concerned that Perrin would make things worse with his lack of social skills, but he handled everything beautifully and with tact. Several times he disengaged from the border collie ‘stare’ that he has had trouble with in the past, didn’t escalate posturing gestures like he normally does, and left the pup alone for the most part even at a higher energy level/arousal state. I would have never guessed that he had that level of social skill in him. Hopefully he is learning! They all had a lovely run in the woods, getting soaking wet and even going for a brief swim.