This morning Sei and I did our engagement homework for that class, and did some bits for the pivot. Perrin and I tried some fronts and find heels with a pivot platform rather than the full one.
Doing the find fronts and find heels on the pivot platform was a poor exercise choice because of Perrin’s cone. It really messed up his muscle memory for how close to be and his path into heel. He was a good sport though, and did well considering that impediment.
With Sei I tried an exercise that I hoped would help develop some stillness during stationary moments on the pivot perch. I used the reverse luring/hand zen thing (still not really sure where this technique belongs, but it has come in handy for me in the past) to get some stillness on the perch. He is obviously not magnetized to the perch well enough yet either, but I find when I just work on that I get all sorts of dancing/prancing/extraneous movement and I am not fast enough to click the bit of stillness when he gets on. So I am hoping by trying to alternate between these two exercises, it might help that.
More pivots! Today I tried to slow the pivots down for each dog. Perrin had no problems. Sei had no idea what was going on. It really showed me what parts Sei really does understand, and which parts he doesn’t.
He gets the part about moving his back feet.
He had a hard time standing still on the perch, there was a lot of dancing.
Need to do some duration building on the perch in heel (he has no problem with still duration in heel off the perch). Yes Virginia, standing still is a payable behaviour!
He also anticipates the pivot before I move, which explains the large amount of over rotation we have been getting.
See above, I think that understanding will solve this one
No ‘magnetization’ to the perch, needs to be encouraged to get on it
Go back and shape just getting on it. Would actually be the first step to building duration.
We also worked on the cone wrap. The last few times I tried, we had cone thievery, so that was what I expected to work on. Sei didn’t have that problem though. He did seem to have some sort of understanding issue with it. Part of it was that I had cookies in my ‘pointing’ hand, but I never did nail down the entirety of what it was.
Perrin did his cone wraps perfectly, so I didn’t want to keep drilling it. I decided to try a vertical target, but set the target up before I set him up. This to test the theory that me going and setting up the target is his actual cue for this behaviour. I think I confirmed that. He wrapped the cone the first rep, and when I set it up for the second, he did a perfect vertical target. (I didn’t set him up quite right for this one because of space constraints, I do know this isn’t a ‘TEAM worthy’ set up.)
I had to wait until the evening to edit our morning video, but I got it done! Today we worked on heeling bits.
Perrin and I just worked on some one step doodles in the backyard.
Sei and I continued to explore pivots. We need to slow them down a lot! Sei really doesn’t understand them yet, and I haven’t split them down well enough. Sei tends to throw himself around a lot, which our current platform is not very forgiving of. So I tried a pot. It was better because it didn’t fly around when Sei started dancing, and it is a bit higher, which makes it easier for Sei to stay on the target. I think we will work in it for a while until Sei’s understanding gets a bit better. Tomorrow I will work on marking just first step, the movement from the sit into the stand/step when I start moving.
Feeling kind of stuck with this stuff today. We are 1/4 of the way through and feel like we haven’t made very much progress. We were kind of at the point where I had all the exercises and just needed to put them together, but then Sei’s pivots broke, and today his “Find Heel’s” have broken. I’ve been re-teaching Perrin’s find heels and find fronts with his pivot platform because his big platform is just enormous for indoor use, so that has set us back a lot.
Today Sei and I worked on pivots, find heel and find front. Pivots suffered from errors of enthusiasm all over the place, and his find heels are completely broken.
Perrin worked on his pivots, find heel and find front all with the same platform. This was the first time he had done the find front exercise with the pivot platform instead of the full one, and I think that went pretty well for a first try.
Today Sei and I tried to do some work in the laneway on a long line (tied to a post for security). He did alright for a first try! The lack of foundation on pivots is really starting to show, got to go back and train those properly.
Perrin briefly did some hold work before he got bored of that.
I have less time on Monday mornings than on other days of the week, so this morning’s training was quick!
Sei and I went out into a part of the driveway where we have never worked before and tried some pivots. I didn’t expect to get beyond acclimation and maybe a few find-heels, but he did great! Precision was not the point of this one, attitude was. So lots of ‘happy cookies’! I’m so pleased with how much he wanted to play the game with me!
With Perrin, I was going to do some retrieve work with Perrin, but he didn’t want to put the dumbbell in his mouth. That is really strange. So we did level 2 stays instead. These were 2 dog stays, because Sei was stationed in a chair behind Perrin. They both nailed it. I am so sad that my camera corrupted the file for some reason, because it was perfect. All I can do is be happy that it didn’t happen on a great run through or something!
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.
I knew I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to train this morning, so I was just going to do something easy: pivots and engagement. Turns out it wasn’t so easy. Perrin had started sitting when he reached heel on the pivot (not sure where that came from), and Sei was just bouncing off the walls and had very little thinking mind. I just tried a few things with each dog, gave them a kong and moved on. Tomorrow will be better.
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.
Lots of human learning this morning. So many bad angles due to prop placement. Cookies in the wrong spots. Bad cookie throws. My big heavy wooden platform I liked so much because it didn’t move? Slides all over the place on the tile. I think I have a yoga mat around here somewhere I can glue onto the bottom. Sei also likes Perrin’s flat foot target, but he is still REALLY struggling with the pivots after finding heel and sitting down. Perrin REALLY struggles with the set up for the vertical target, and I think it is because of the xpen placement behind him.
In general, Sei was very frantic this morning. So I did at least one smart thing and channeled that energy into working on super fast vertical targets. He make really good progress on the pivots despite all of my lumping. Next time I will make a better effort at marking the initial part of the pivot rather than floundering through the transition and marking the nice part of the pivot.