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.
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.
For the past week, we have been working on Nosework. My husband is working with Perrin, and Sei and I are following along to provide any help that may be requested. We are all working through the beginner nosework class at FDSA.
We spent the early part of the week imprinting on the wintergreen oil, and have now gotten started putting a vented box with the scent in various parts of different rooms for them to find. Here is each dog’s first search:
Sei and I also worked on some homework for our herding foundations class. In this specific case, it was adding a hand signal to our existing down. He did really well for his first session, catching on to the hand signal after only 3 pairings with the verbal.