Dog-est August – Training Log – August 8, 2018

Today was a day off for everyone, except Sei! We did some incredibly disorganized tunnel and wrap work while out on walks. The wraps are not going well, and it is largely because of my toy mechanics. It was much better with the ball than the disc, I suspect because the prep to throw a ball is way less than for a disc, so Sei has fewer body cues to go off of. I also tend to move too fast trying to add distance or additional wraps. Got to get that figured out. The tunnel stuff went really well! I worked on setting Sei in a sit and walking away a few steps, then sending to the tunnel. Because they were there, we did a few unplanned no-bar jump/tunnel sequences as well, which Sei did beautifully at.


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 5, 2018


I had my Team stuff out, so I worked on the stay with distraction with Sei. Not well thought out, but Sei really isn’t any worse for wear. We also did some tunnel work, but it isn’t on video.


Perrin and I did a Pre-Team run though, and it went really well! I did one, and only one, and Perrin nailed every single exercise. This is an incredibly nice morale boost! Team came out about 2 years ago, and Perrin and I had already started on pretty much every exercise in it, but I have never had the motivation to actually go through, take stock, work on the things that needed work, and then try stringing it together. It is a lot of exercises to get right, not only for the dog, but there are a lot of things that I can do as a handler to ruin a run too. Perrin also struggles with fronts, and that is where we got stalled out last time we tried.

Not having Perrin’s platforms while we are at the farm forced me to work on the other exercises, and we are way closer than I thought we were! That is 6 of 10 exercises that we are pretty solid on! There are definitely some handler errors here that would NQ us (not holding the sit long enough, for example), but those are relatively easy to fix.


More muzzle work. I played around with other positions for doing up the straps. Chance didn’t like that much, so that is information that we need more work on both having the muzzle in different positions, and on CC touching the straps.


More fun with balls!

Dog-est August – Training Log – August 4, 2018


No video for Sei today, but after one rather spectacular freestyle disc mishap (for me, luckily, he is fine!), we just worked on distance throws for disc. Here is hoping this big nasty forehead lump goes down before I have to leave the house tomorrow.


Continuing on with TEAM, we planned to work on position changes, and backing up. I don’t have Perrin’s normal platform here, so I am using Sei’s mat. Perrin has had a back up behaviour, but I have broken it (seeing a trend here?), so we have been reworking it with a foot target. It turns out that both went really well! So we played around with all the other skills we have practiced this time around (wait with distraction, jump, around, vertical target), and they all seem pretty solid too! Perrin’s verbals aren’t the best still, and discriminating between ‘around’ and ‘go touch’ when both objects were in the same direction was hard. However for a real run through I could pretty easily set up my space so that I have them going in opposite directions. That actually makes 6 behaviours, which is what we need for PreTeam! They may be the least difficult behaviours for us, but hey, that is still 6 more than before!

Maybe one of these days I will try to film a pre-team qualifying run through! Looks like I also may have to get me some wintergreen oil and some scent tins, and rustle up a platform/foot target. We may get further than I thought.


Today was a disc sort of day! Chance very much wants the disc, and does not want to share. I also found out that he is not terribly interested in rollers. He is so great at tracking and catching though!


Dex liked his tug so much yesterday that I decided I would see how he likes balls today. Turns out that the answer is quite a lot! No interest in discs though!

Dog-est August – Training Log – August 3, 2018


We tried two sessions of tunnels, but it was too hot the first time. This evening’s session was fantastic! It looks really unremarkable on video (especially because I am out of the frame for half of it, oops!) but so many little things came together here:

Good Planning: I am working my way through the Silvia Trkman foundations DVD, with some of the ShapeUp course work thrown in where it makes sense. Right now in both courses, collar restraints are used for the beginnings of tunnel sends. Sei is rather uncomfortable with collar grabs, so I decided to use ‘middle’ to set him up for the tunnel instead. I tested this once or twice yesterday and Sei had trouble with the middle, so today I decided to use food to reward the middle in addition to the ball to reward the tunnel.

Marker Systems/Reinforcer Choice: Sei was able to flawlessly work for both food and toys here. No conflict!

Toy Skills: Sei was able to work for a toy, and bring it back! We are only able to do this with discs or a tennis ball right now, tugs are still a work in progress, but if we didn’t have that skill it would make this exercise really hard!

Good Judgement: I was able to make some progress on adding distance, but added it at the right rate so that Sei continued to be successful. I stopped the session while Sei was still ready to continue (not too tired or mentally done) and didn’t fall prey to the ‘just one more’ syndrome.


Today Perrin and I tested where we are at with the send over jump exercise from TEAM1. I was working on a straight send, and it turns out that I don’t have to. In TEAM1 you are allowed to run with the dog (and Perrin does a jump just fine if I run with him), and in TEAM2, you can choose to stand with the dog, at the side of the jump, or on the other side of the jump. Perrin will work his fluffy tail off over a jump I am standing on the opposite side of. So, I was making this much harder than it needed to be! But look at Perrin work for a toy instead of food!

(Also, look at Sei staying with the treat n train while I TUG with Perrin! Holy crap! Good dog!)


The muzzle training continues. Chance is doing really well. I messed up a bit today when Chance had the muzzle on. I wanted to move from sitting to standing in order to change the picture slightly, but Dex got in my way and Chance did paw at the muzzle once. I will have to start putting Dex away during Chance’s turn.


Turns out that Dex likes tugs, who knew! We played and lured some spins today. Happy boy.

April 3, 2018 – Training Log

Today was a busy day in dogland! Sei worked on tugging for our toy class, name game fun for our loose leash walking class, and his fitness routine for our case study. Perrin did his fitness routine for our case study, and came for a run with me. The entirety of our fitness videos are here, only so I have them stored in another place other than my hard drive in case of a catastrophe. The llw name game video is from yesterday, but we did the same thing 3x today.

April 1, 2018 – Training Log

I have skipped a lot of days of tracking so I won’t try and catch up, but rather carry on instead.

Today in addition to field walks and some casual fetch, I took Sei’s baseline toy videos for our toy class.

Unedited 2 Ball Game:

Unedited 2 Tug Game:

This one, I realized after taking the video that I am presenting the second tug at the wrong time. I am presenting it before he starts coming back, rather than marking with the presentation of the second tug after he has taken 1 step back in my direction. I will have to retake it tomorrow with proper mechanics before I submit it for feedback.


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 9/10/11, 2018 – Training Log

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.

March 7, 2018 – Training Log

Today we worked on lots of toy stuff!

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.

Our third try of the day was much better!