Dog-est August – Training Log – August 7, 2018

No video for today. I needed a break! Taking, editing, and uploading the video for 4 dogs on rural internet takes hours, and I would rather be training or playing with the dogs. We didn’t do much training time-wise. It was super hot out, so all the dogs spent way more time playing with me in the pond.


Nosework and more tunnels! I started curving the tunnel for the first time, and the very early testings of whether Sei is catching the verbal ‘tunnel’ yet. I did that by setting him up in positions other than ‘middle’, facing away from the tunnel, or off at different distances. The nosework went well, he is making slow, steady improvement despite my ad-hock approach to training it. I will be honest, I really don’t like doing nosework. So I can’t get too hung up in the clean training of it or it gets so not-fun that I will never do it. If we just bumble around, it is more fun for me and the dogs don’t seem to mind as long as they are paid appropriately and I don’t let them get frustrated.


I tested Perrin’s new platform for fronts and heel position, and did some more nosework in preparation for the scent discrimination exercise. Perrin will need some remedial work on getting his back feet onto the platform. He has no problem with his front feet, but the platform is just a touch narrower than his natural rear foot stance, so he has to think about it. He also wants to be quite far away from me on the fronts, so we will have to work on that too. His scent work is also coming along slowly but surely.


A tiny bit of nosework and some disc. He is a dog who uses his sniffer a lot, and so I figured he wouldn’t have too much trouble picking up on nosework, and that is definitely the case!


Dex and I just played today. A little tug, a little ball. His happiness is contagious.


Dog-est August – Training Log – August 1, 2018

Whoohoo! My tunnel came today!



Today Sei and I did a few different things. We did a bit of shaping practice, wraps, play, and explored the new tunnel! I am going to skip the video of the shaping practice, just because it is long and not terribly useful for me to review later. We didn’t work on shaping anything in particular, just practiced offering a variety of behaviours without frustration. It went pretty well!

The wraps are coming along. Nothing terribly notable here, other than the fact that there is a dead squirrel on the lawn behind where we are working. Sei is eagerly working for (and bringing back!) a boring old tennis ball, running past it several times on his way back. Sei thinks dead things are the best treat ever. This made a big impression on me regarding Sei’s inability to work with me in new places. It really cements my suspicion that it is based in concern/uncertainty in the environment rather than distraction. There is never a bigger distraction than a dead squirrel, and when we leave the house, I have WAY better things to offer than a single tennis ball. It was also really windy out, my tripod even blew over at one point!

I took some baseline videos of play, both in the house and outside, for our FDSA Bogeyman course. Sei does play with me when I am on the ground, which is a big step forwards! He used to only play with me if I were running/chasing. There are a few things I would like to refine for use in making Sei more comfortable in new places: 1. This sort of play doesn’t work well on leash, and 2. the biting!. I don’t mind some mouthing, but this is a little too much for me.

Finally, I introduced Sei to the tunnel. I didn’t really go out with a plan, I just wanted to see how Sei felt about it. The last time he saw a tunnel, he was terrified of it. Turns out he is fine with it now! I didn’t make the smartest training choices here because of my lack of a plan, but Sei isn’t scared of it, so we are on track to start with an organized approach tomorrow!


We didn’t work on TEAM today, rather doing some shaping and tunnels. I love shaping with Perrin. He is so enthusiastic. This is us working on two sessions of roll over:

Perrin also loves tunnels. Not so much straight ones (they are boring), but even they are better than no tunnels. He is happy to run tunnels just for the joy of it. I tried throwing a ball for him, but he thought that was stupid. Apparently my ‘tunnel bags’ double as water bowls.


Chance did great with the muzzle today! He was extremely enthusiastic about the whole thing! He was shoving his face into the muzzle so hard that I could barely keep his head where I needed it to manipulate the straps. I got the strap done up loosely today and Chance tolerated it extremely well. He was a bit obsessed with a tiny scrap of hot dog that I dropped on the ground, but that mostly kept him unconcerned about the muzzle on his face.


Today I tested out to see if Dex knew a down verbal. He doesn’t really, but someone has worked on some sort of hand signal with him before, because he knew that to some extent. So I started the beginnings of adding a verbal to it.

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 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.

November 6, 2017- Training Log

Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day coming up with 8 week outlines to work with to use Perrin and Sei as case study dogs for my canine fitness trainer course.


Its not quite done yet. I need to come up with the verbiage to fill in the specific goals section for a ‘general conditioning’ intention.


Today we did our prescribed exercises for the day and did the necessary recording, as well as take baseline photos.

Sei played in the laneway today! Sei’s play is awesome in the back yard (the floors in the house are really too slippery to be safe for much play), but I have known for a while that I really need to get out of that space and start building those skills in new environments.

From past experience in new environments, and having watched how Sei’s toy/play drive developed in a familiar environment as he aged, I knew that when entering a new environment the following would likely happen:

  • I would have personal play/chase me play first. This seems to be the last type of play Sei loses the ability to do in new and or distracting environments.
  • I would have chasing a toy. The next easiest type of play for Sei. He will chase a floppy tug toy, and lightly grab it, but with no strong hold or tug. A ball or a frisbee rolled on the ground would be chased and pounced on, but not picked up or carried around.
  • In really comfortable environments, Sei will intensely go after a tug/ball/frisbee following me and his toy around with strong focus, often jumping up, barking at me.

Each of those categories have ranges as well, from having to be convinced that the type of play in question would be a fun thing to do, to laser focused on that play and playing intensely.

For on-leash trips out, I had only taken a tug before, mainly for user-friendliness reasons. Right now, tug ranks above balls, but below frisbees. When out in the suburbs, he will chase them and bite at them, but he hasn’t done any good tugging yet (class settings is a different story).  Today I took a disc out to the laneway to see how that went.

At first, Sei was more interested in sniffing than me, but I got him chasing me around fairly quickly. Then I got him chasing the disc in my hand, then doing tiny catches so he had to move to catch it. And he really got into it! He did some spins and sits for catches, and by the time I had to run to get my bus, he was super in the game! We were only out there for 3 minutes! Whoohoo!