Monday, February 25, 2013

6 Months: Training - Day 45

Soon Emma will be doing this for her owner.
On Saturday, when Emma's owner picked her up, I mentioned to them that I had stopped putting Emma in her kennel at night in my home.  After several nights of being woken at 3 AM by a puppy wanting attention, I decided to give her a shot at a "bigger" kennel, which was my bedroom itself.  I gated my room for the last two nights of the week and kept her in my bed with me.  She did fantastic and I felt more rested for not being woken several times in the wee hours of the morning.

I made the suggestion they gate their son's room and have her sleep with him.  Eventually, her job will be to provide pressure therapy when he's having spasms or simply to calm him when he's having a rough night, so starting now when she's proven she can hold herself during the night is a good thing.  I suggested the pick up anything they don't want her to turn into a toy, such as shoes and clothing, and gate the room to prevent her from roaming the house at night when unattended.

Her owner reported to me that both nights sleeping in his room went extremely well.  They gated her in and she settled right in and slept until early morning.  She said Emma woke her by scratching on the gate at 6:30 AM this morning because she needed to go out and then cuddled with her a bit on the couch when she came in; but the overall report was Emma was clearly able to sleep in their son's room and that it had made him very happy to have her there in his bed with him.

I also asked they not bring her crate back here for now.  I am not using it and have other crates I can crate train her too and when they work on crate training at their home they can use the one they bought for her.  So, this morning I received just Emma when she came in the door.

She was clearly glad to be back and bounding with energy.  She waited at the gate, which I placed across the my door to keep her OUT of my bedroom while I shower (and away from the uncleaned cat box) with her nose against Max's (he was in the bedroom looking out the gate) when I came out.

Today we worked on some service task related skills.  She was ready and willing to work with the big bad board I had created for teaching light switches and closing doors.  I had tried to use it before, but it scared her, so I waited for her to come out of her fear period to work with it again.  She was curious about it, but not frightened.  We made some wonderful headway toward service skills today.

Today's Lessons:


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 5 Target.  In this step Emma is to shut a cabinet door with her nose. I tested her focus on targeting a bit of tape on the wall, which she was now doing without hesitation.  I then placed some tape on my "door" on my board and moved to the chair to work on her targeting it, and opened the "door" slightly so she could get the idea she could push it shut.  She is still using a very gentle nose touch on the door, but was targeting it and starting to move the door every so often.

She also noticed the light switch and would touch it with her nose as well.  I took breaks in her morning lessons and worked the board with Max, but had him working on the light switch.  Emma watched closely and would later tell me she figured out what Max was doing.

During her evening meal she worked the board again.  This time she shut the door with her nose several times, but then lost interest in the door and became very focused on the switch.  For the last half of her meal I put an extender on the light switch and had her push upward with her nose on it and turn it on.  Though she's almost got the idea, she's not fully there to put a label on the action yet.  She did, more than once, very clearly choose to push the switch on.

I will continue to work on the board and teach her to use her nose for given tasks.


Emma has hit the bratty teenager stage!  I knew it was coming and I saw it today.  I called her into the house and she came flying toward me and at the last second veered to the left and shot off the ramp and disappeared into the darkness as fast as she could go.  It's the "on my own time" stage of life she's moved into and I am seeing a bit of it in the house too.  On her own time will she return when I call her name or do a sit or a down.  We'll survive, but it's the harder stage of life with a puppy we've moved into - it's the stage I generally ask people if they would like a puppy for a while - jokenly - because I find most of my day is spent telling the puppy "don't stand on that Dachshund" or "stop poking the cat with your nose" or "get off of that German Shepherd".

And she's doing all of that too.  She's standing over the top of Attitude to see if Attitude will tell her to knock it off.  She's charging Dieter and pouncing on him or standing over him too.  She's walking up to Max and putting her feet on his ribs or batting him in the face with her paws.  She's charging the cat, bopping it with her feet or nose and then racing off.  She's also doing the same to me.

Welcome to "too much energy for her own good" stage of life.  At least she's not fleeing and hiding behind everything.

I brought out my small vacuum today and she slunk away and hid on my bed until I was finished with the floors.  Looks like it's time to make the vacuum and the evil noises it makes, into something not so scary.

Looking forward to tomorrow's lessons and class!

Level 1
StepCompletedCompleted CompletedCompletedCompleted
Level 2
FocusLazy LeashGo To MatCrateDistance

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