Wednesday, January 30, 2013

20 Weeks: Training - Day 28

She is just before Max so that one side of her is not blocked.
This is something she does normally and I will need to work with
her to show her she can be between Max and the chair and do
a Sit without concern.
Wednesday already!  It's hard to believe the week is going so fast.  Since Emma is no longer prepping for the Boy Scout presentation I decided to start our morning with a good snuggle and play and the work on a problem I've noted with her down cue.  She's unwilling to do a down facing my front door.  She becomes fussy and starts to shutdown if you ask for one, so I decided today to work on Max's "Park on a Mat" behavior while Emma and I did Puppy Push Ups by the front door.

She was still unwilling, to the point of not taking food, for a little bit and then seemed to break through and started to offer Sits and Shakes.  We slowly worked to downs by the front door and got into a good rhythm of Puppy Push Ups for her breakfast.

I realized that when asking her for a down she's between a wall and Max when it's time to go outside.  Once again, being blocked on both sides seems to really bother her, so when I was finally able to stand and work on Down with her, I moved the chair I had used to start the routine and set it where Max normally laid beside her when I was about to let everyone out.

She was able to relax and do her downs, but I think I'll spend the rest of the week working on her breakfast in that spot and turn Down by the front door into a fun game.

We have a busy day planned.  She has her field trip to Pet Smart, an early arrival at the Diamonds in the Ruff for a SD evaluation I will be doing and then class after that.    With such a busy day ahead of us, I plan to get a bit of computer work done early so I can focus on Emma's training.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Today's Lessons:


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 2 of Down.  This step asks I add duration to her down.  She was doing okay up to 15 seconds, but I started to notice that she was reluctant to do a down in certain situations.  Part of it is confidence and part of it is we had not taught it to her in those situations.  As a result I backed up and began re-teaching down in new locations from both a sitting and a standing position.

One of those locations happened to be facing the front door.  She's using Down to earn rewards, such as going outside or getting out of her crate, but she doesn't understand what I am asking for just yet.  Today I started by sitting on the floor, but she seemed to fold into herself and sit in my lap instead.  I decided to give her a picture she recognized and brought out a chair and sat before the door.

Once seated she seemed to understand what I was asking for and began working for her kibble.  I stood after about half of her breakfast and a short time later moved the chair to her side so she was between it and the wall on the other side of her.  She was reluctant again, but still working for her kibble.  We ended with her giving me a 10 second down in that position, but I see we need a lot more work on doing things when she's blocked on two sides.

I will continue working Down in front of the door and with her blocked on two sides with different items until she's confident and able to do a down without thinking about it.

Field Trip

Emma did fantastic today.  She was excited to enter Pet Smart and was friendly and appropriate with all the dogs she met.  She did extremely well with loose lead walking today.  As you can see in the video she provided 99% loose lead walking and performed all of her Level 1 behaviors.  Her ability to control herself is increasing and she's gaining confidence daily.  I was extremely happy with her outing today.  The above video is the unedited filming of her time in Pet Smart.

Later we went to Diamonds in the Ruff for a make up class.  This new class had older dogs and Max attended with Walter and I.  I had expected to meet a client the hour prior to the class, but the client didn't arrive.  Emma and Max spent the time in the building both playing and relaxing.  Just prior to class I worked again on Loose Leash walking with Emma in the classroom.

This class was different than I expected.  Two of the dogs were dog reactive (on the other side of the room from us) and one was very frightened and worried.  Emma was totally fascinated by the dog next to us and would stand and stare at him.  I spent a lot of time re-directing her to me to break her stare.

Max spent about half the class across the room from us, but finally hit his limit of being away from me that long and so Walter brought him to me and he spent the rest of the class beside me.  Emma practiced some new tricks tonight while Max watched.  She practiced Back Up, Rollover, Spin and Twist and Crawl.  She did well with all of them.

The class ended with her going over agility equipment.  She happily walked the board, went through the tunnels and hoops and weaved through the cones.  She was bold and comfortable throughout the class.  When two of the dogs got too close and a spat broke out she remained calm beside Max and ignored them.

Overall, her behavior in class was outstanding.


Emma is emerging from this fear period with a new level of confidence.  She still have areas that worry her, like when Dana entered the building wearing a hat and doing a cued down before being let out of the house, but overall she is doing well.

She needs exposure to people wearing hats, funny clothes and glasses or head covers.  She barks when she's concerned about something and her barking at Dana when he came in with a hat on tells me she's not seen enough of this to be okay with it.

Tomorrow we'll continue working on Down and Lazy Leash so she can progress to taking short field trips into new locations.

Level 1
StepCompletedCompleted CompletedCompletedCompleted
Level 2
FocusLazy LeashGo To MatCrateDistance

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