Friday, January 18, 2013

18 Weeks: Training - Day 20

Emma learning Lazy Leash

After a day of recovery I was able to wake with Emma at 7 AM and start our morning.  After our trip outside I brought her into bed with me while I drank my morning coffee and played with her.  She enjoys snuggle and play time in the bed, as does Dieter his tuck and cuddle time under the covers after a night in the crate.

Max joined us and Emma played a bit with him.  At one point Max was against my ribs sitting up with Emma pressed against his chest or standing on his ribs and he didn't even blink at her touch.  He's become accustomed to the new dog in the house.  She was gentle with him, not pushing her face into his and not bouncing off of him like a meth addicted rabbit.

After that I focused on getting Attitude to eat while the other dogs played in the yard for a bit.  Once Attitude was cared for we started our training.  I have been alternating who starts training in the morning between her and Max.  Max had always been "second" and I was seeing a bit of jealousy between him and Emma.  Alternating has helped him understand I am not playing favorites and he'll be "first" as many times as she is.

Max and I have a presentation on the 29th of January to a troupe of Boy Scouts.  I am teaching Max a trick for the kids so they can all interact with him without having to pet him.  Max is earning his whole meal on this lesson.  Emma spent the first half of her meal working on Target.

Today's Lessons:


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 4 Target.  Emma has shown she's comfortable touching different things with her nose, so I am working on her touching something that is not in my hand; a post it note.  I placed the post it note on the door of my fridge and shaped her to touching it.

She is starting to get the idea that she is being clicked for touching the note.  She is testing me by touching the ball hanging from the door or the door itself, but a majority of the time she is touching the note.  She worked for half of her breakfast on this lesson in three separate sessions.

Lazy Leash

Emma is working on Level 2: Step 1 Lazy Leash.  Since I have the upcoming presentation with Max and I would like the children to have a dog they can pet, I plan to take Emma with us.  What I would like is a puppy who walks, for the most part, properly into the building.  To achieve this, I am advancing her Lazy Leash lessons and adding some "walk with a distraction" lessons also.  Part of it will be tossing toys ahead of us and having her walk loose lead to them, the other will be lots and lots of pacing up and down the house on lead.

Emma finished her morning meal working on Lazy Leash.  She is still very excitable and will need a lot of practice on the lead to achieve the goal I have for her.  I want her to have the experience of meeting new people and being in a large room of people and want her basic skills in place so she can show off a bit for the children.

I filmed out session today with the Lazy Leash for you to see.  She did extremely well, but the distraction levels are very low.  I will continue to work on Lazy Leash with increasing distraction levels.


Emma has a lot of training under her belt for such a young age.  She's learned how to be polite with other dogs, though she has her moments and forgets herself, and she's learning how to properly behave with new people.  Her self control is on a thin thread and she still needs lots of practice learning to control herself when meeting people and dogs, but she's growing and becoming a fantastic dog.

I look forward to next weeks lessons.

Field Trip

This field trip was not filmed since it was also Emma's transfer to her owner for the weekend.  I met her owner at the Jazzersize class she teaches and brought her and Max in.  Emma was perfectly okay with the noise, the sound of people stomping on the floor and hands slapping; Max was not.  Max had no experience with such sounds and the scent of sweat in the air was thick.  I think it was all a bit overwhelming for him.

I spent a lot of time just inside the door, in a short, small hallway outside of the small exercise room and clicked and treated the dogs until Max calmed.   At one point I brought them close enough to look in the room and see the three people exercising (one teacher, two students) and then brought them back into the entry.  Max was nervous and needed to stop and think about what was happening.  After a bit he relaxed and settled at my feet.

Emma the entire time was tail wagging and happy.  The owner of the business was there and warmly welcomed both dogs. She had wanted to meet them and was happy to have them present.  After meeting the owner I took them through the back of the classroom and then out and into a small room next to the exercise room.  It was quieter in there and Max and Emma could see everyone working in the other room through a window.

I had Emma do Puppy Push Ups and Max do a down/stay while I worked her.  Off and on during the class we walked into the other room and out.  Max calmed more each time we did this and Emma enjoyed the adventure.  When Max and Emma both settled at my feet in the quiet room I took them into the exercise room and sat in a chair for the final two songs.

Max settled beside me and fell asleep and Emma laid down at the end of her lead and watched everyone.  By the end of the last song Emma had fallen over on her side and was napping.  It was a good introduction for both of them.

We let Emma and Max explore the room after everyone left.  The two students said their hellos to both dogs and then left and with just Emma's owner and I there we let them play a bit in the room and then left.

I suspect Max will need a couple more times there to be fully in form, but he did well with such a strange new experience.  Emma modeled the behavior for Max this time.  She had been to one of these classes once before and was not taken by surprise like he was.  Sometimes the younger bolder dog can help the older dog.

I noted on our ride home with Max that he was shaking his head a lot, so I also suspect that he may have something going on with his ears.  I put some ear cleaner in them tonight and will again tomorrow and see if that doesn't clear up the problem with them and help him handle loud noises again.

Level 1
Zen Target Come Sit Down
Step CompletedCompletedCompletedCompletedCompleted
Level 2
Zen Come Sit Down Target
Step 2 1 1 1 4
Focus Lazy Leash Go To Mat Crate Distance
Step 1 1 1 1 1
Jump Relax Handling Tricks Communication
Step 1 1 1 1 1

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