Thursday, February 28, 2013

6 Months: Training - Day 48

Emma practices loose leash walking in The Big R.
Today Emma started a game of wrestling with Max while he was at the edge of the bed and she was on it.  She got excited, wiggling and flailing on the bed, bopping Max in the face with her feet and doing rolls on the bed as he engaged her and made the mistake of trying to include Attitude, who had been laying on the bed against my leg.  She spun, stuck her nose into Attitude's face and in less than a blink Attitude pounced on her head, snarled a "knock that off" command at her and then held her there for about two to five seconds.  Emma got the clue.  On the next round around the bed with Max she turned, saw where Attitude was and quickly changed direction away from her.  I doubt she'll remember the lesson for long though; she just adores the adult dogs and really wants that tiny "puppy" to play with her - even though the "puppy" is ten years old and surly.

Today's Lesson:


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 5 Target.  I worked with Emma in the kitchen today to clarify her learning to shut a cabinet door.  If you watch the video you'll see the first time she shuts the door her ears pop a bit and she leans back a little.  This was a "oh, that might be scary" reaction and I gave her extra treats to change her mind and make it fun.  It worked, she wasn't worried about the sound after that.

I will continue to work on this lesson and fine tune it until she's bold and confident when she shuts the cabinet door.  If you note, Max moved in and shut the door with the side of his head.  He's comfortable with this task and wanted me to know he knew what I was asking.  Once Emma shows that level of confidence in the lesson, instead of repeatedly asking me if putting her nose on the door and pushing it is what I want, I will take her to Home Depot and work the lesson again there.  With time and practice she'll be able to close any cabinet door I ask without hesitation.

Emma has technically passed this level, but not to the fluency I desire.  We will continue to work on this lesson until she's fluent.

Lazy Leash

Emma is working on Level 2: Step 2 Lazy Leash.  Emma is learning to walk and stop with me and keep her position in the zone while keeping her leash loose.  Tonight I wanted to explain what the Zone was to her.  The Zone is with her head anywhere from beside my knee to slightly behind or slightly before it, but no dragging behind me and not leading the way unto the charge.  I decided to do the same lesson I did with Max in the morning and clicking whenever she was close to me and beside me and treating her for position.

Emma was confused at first, but soon started to get the idea.  Since she doesn't have the concept of where I want her when she's walking with me, and having her choose to be in the right spot without a lead will help her better understand this concept, we'll continue with this type of training in the house and slowly build up to her doing it outside in the yard when the weather is finally nice enough.

Emma is about ready to progress to the next step on this lesson.


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 2 Sit.  Emma is working on distance with the Sit cue.  Since she had so much problem with my moving around her in a circle while she sat I have waited on this step until she could handle my moving in any direction away from her without her breaking her sit or changing her position to face me.  Tonight she did a fantastic job of it and allowed me to walk around her in both directions.  I was also able to walk five feet away from her from the front, back and both sides.  Emma has passed this step and can now work on the next step.


Ms. I Don't Have To Be Polite When Mom Isn't Looking got herself tethered again when I went into the office today.  She decided to jump on the chair and rile up Dieter.  I believe it's time to start Leading the Dance with her when she's not activity training.  She's clearly testing boundaries and needs a clarification on human acceptable behaviors in the home.

I have another dog evaluation tonight, but hope to get in more training sessions with her today than I have for the past couple of days.  I would like to start working on Sit and Down again and build up both Duration and Distance with her.  She's old enough and capable enough now for the harder lessons that she faltered out on a month ago and I believe it's time to build up a solid set of behaviors that will allow her to explore more locations for her public access training.

Tomorrow I'll take her to Home Depot for her lessons on Public Access and work on Sit, Down, Lazy Leash and Zen while in the store.  Once her Lazy Leash has advanced I will begin to teach her how to make a smaller foot print in public while working by staying closer to me and pivoting with me when turning.  Please note the video attached to Observations which shows Max working on the same concept today.

Level 1
StepCompletedCompleted CompletedCompletedCompleted
Level 2
FocusLazy LeashGo To MatCrateDistance

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