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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I have a tendency to make TEAM training boring for my dogs (well, and for me too if I’m being honest) so today I decided to try and make a really fun exercise. I set up the jump and cone in my back yard and figured I would send Sei between them, sometimes with an exercise in the middle. The universe decided to make it harder by adding a roofer on the neighbour’s garage. It was fun! And Sei did a great job playing even with the scary roofer. Sei did ignore the cone for the 5 gallon buckets full of peppers behind it, which was understandable. I just went with that one.
Perrin on the other hand….
I did not expect Perrin to have a problem. A look, sure, but not a problem. I was not correct! So Perrin and I just ended up working on focus/attention. He did do some marching position changes though!
I tried two run throughs with Sei today. The first one we had a platform malfunction (my top layer came off), and then I messed up the order. The second one went alright. I am holding my arms wrong for the fronts, but we got all the way up to the back-up before an NY in Sei’s behaviour. And look at that pivot! The beginning of that pivot felt terrible, but it looks alright on video. After this I did some work on his Go Arounds, because that seemed like a fundamental misunderstanding (where as the back up was more of a misalignment on my part).
I was also going to work with Perrin on a run through, but he just wasn’t feeling it today. It was already really hot by 9am. So we just did a few things he knows. I really have to get his platform fixed up so that it won’t slide. Putting the yoga mat under it won’t work for actual run throughs. I hate having to move it.
Perrin’s day off yesterday seemed to have refreshed him. He had been having difficulty with the transition from Back Up to the Vertical Target, so that was what we planned on working on. But he nailed it! So I just kept going. And we made it to the end! COLD! No pre-practice or prior attempts. Some mistakes on the human end (putting the cone in the wrong place, switching between two differently sized dogs is hard for my poor brain), but Perrin definitely understood each exercise. I guess we truly are at the point of just trying to put it all together now!
I tried using Sei’s original platform today. We have been using Perrin’s and it is really too big for Sei. He had some difficulty finding Front in the beginning, but he is starting to figure it out. I am having some difficulty figuring out where to put the platform for each exercise so that the camera angle is right, so Sei and I experimented with the first 5 exercises to try and get that sorted out.
I was going to wait until this afternoon to do our TEAM, given that it is a weekend and all, but Sei had different plans in mind. He came over to my desk all cute, set his chin on my knee, and WHINED.
With both dogs I tried to see if we could do some platform work with toys. It was a bit of a gong show! (But Perrin working for toys is always adorable). We moved on to the indoors to test some skills, and at that point Perrin indicated that he would rather go cuddle with my husband. So Sei and I continued on.
We did some practice reps of go touch (so enthusiastic! Even when I was using the wrong word..oops!) and circle, then tried a few run throughs of exercises 6-10. I think we did okay! The nosework would probably be a NY because at that camera angle you can’t see his nose hold. We are also making some really good progress on Sei’s set ups.
Not a great morning, all said and done. I worked on some more Go Around with Sei, which was a bit of a mixed bag. I tied it to the Jump, because Sei’s jump is solid. I learned that if I put Sei in a sit, set up the exercise and come back, I get all sorts of anticipation errors (he just goes out and jumps/goes around without waiting for my cue). These went away when I let him mill about while I set up and then got him into position afterwards.
For Perrin’s turn Sei refused to station, so I put him in the bedroom with my husband and a kong. Sei decided that was not sufficient so screamed and tried to batter down the door for the duration of Perrin’s turn. Perrin hates it when Sei screams, he shuts down and doesn’t want to play or work with me. I tried moving Sei and the treat n train behind an expen where he could see us , and that was even worse. So Perrin didn’t end up getting a turn and I’m not feeling the most charitable towards Sei right now. This is one of the hardest parts of having two dogs. It makes me irrationally angry that the well behaved dog ends up stressed and put off what he likes to do because the other dog is being an asshole. Yup, lots of unhelpful human emotion there, but this has been a long frustrating road.
Only in the past 4 months has Sei’s stationing gotten to a point where I can work Perrin at all again. And I had to spend a long time convincing Perrin that working with me was still fun after so many months of Sei screaming every time it was his turn. I was heartbroken to see how worried he was about working with me because his turn predicted the noise he hated. Perrin used to absolutely love any sort of training with me. On top of that, it has meant that all of Perrin’s training goals have been put on hold, because Sei can’t wait his turn.
Before he went to work, my husband offered to take Sei out to play ball while I worked Perrin inside. Perrin was really not interested in working by this point, so I just did some super easy pivots to try his old flat platform (worked much better than Sei’s taller one, it stayed in place) and then just gave him a bunch of cookies for effort.