Monday, March 11, 2013

6 Months, 3 Weeks: Training - Day 55

Jack, 12 months old, explores my house in the 2 minute lull
we had this morning.
It's Monday again!  What a morning I had.  I started early because I was expecting a foster dog to arrive for daycare.  His name is Jack and he's a black Standard Poodle.  He's 12 months old and a lovely, sweet, gentle boy.  He arrived about 7:45 AM this morning with the expectation he would go to a new handler who would train him to become a service dog.  At 8 AM Emma arrived with full blown excitement to begin a new week in my home.

Jack perked up when he saw Emma and wanted to engage her in play, but at first she was not certain she wanted to play with him and gave him the cold shoulder.  She snapped at him once when he got too close, but over time became comfortable with him.

Within the first 10 minutes after Emma arrived my phone rang for five separate calls and Max became Hall Monitor Max trying to keep Jack, who was trying to engage Emma in play, and Emma apart while Grumpy Dieter growled from his perch on my chair and Queen Knock That Off Attitude barked.  It was like my home turned into a madhouse.

I finally crated Emma, blocked my dogs (Max, Attitude and Dieter) outside of my bedroom with Jack in it by gating the doorway and finally got my shower!  After that I fed the dogs, trained Emma and managed to get Jack to eat about a cup of food for the first time since we picked him up on Saturday.

The person I was placing Jack with called and we arranged to get him to them in about 2 hours.  It was about 9:30 AM when my Mom arrived for a visit.  I had already taken the crew outside to play, put up my three dogs when Hall Monitor Max went to tell Jack and Emma that they couldn't play chase and watched Emma and Jack have a rousing game of chase around my yard.  I was just finishing up my cleanup from training when my Mom arrived and the houseful of dogs went into a spasm of barking and vying for attention.

After a brief visit from my Mom I then left my crew and Emma (crated) in the house and took Jack to his new handler.  It wouldn't be long before the handler would return Jack and thus I needed to place him again.  Jack is placed with my friend Ronda, who will train him to assist her with her back and balance issues.  He'll learn to retrieve, provide minor counter balance and forward momentum work on stairwells when needed.

This means, I will have a new blog about Jack and his journey to becoming a service dog.  He's happy with Ronda and follows her around like she's the best thing since sliced bread.  She had fostered him and fallen for him and I am glad the two love each other as much as they do.  I think Jack, who'll be spending his days here, will be a happy boy in his new home.

Emma will also have a regular playmate who enjoys the same games she does and can wear her out off and on with healthy and safe play in the yard.  I am happy Jack has joined our family.

Today's Lessons:


Emma has passed Level 2 Target.  Today I opened the cabinet door and Emma, with purpose and force, pushed the cabinet door shut.  She did this without hesitation several times.  I then moved her to a new cabinet door and with a bit of refresh and remind on what we were working on she did it again.  I then took her to a third cabinet door and with even less refresh and remind she closed it.  Emma will start Level 3: Step 1 Target tomorrow.


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 3 Sit.  In this step Emma is asked to sit 5 feet away from me for 30 seconds.  Today I used the microwave to time us and got up to 9 seconds several times and 11 seconds twice and 15 seconds once.  Emma will continue to work on this step.

She is staying in a sit and not dropping into a down as often as before.  She tends to break her sit by standing or walking toward me when she thinks the behavior is done.  I mixed up the number of seconds randomly between 3 and 15 to encourage her to wait for the click.  I will continue to do this.


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 2 Focus.  In this step Emma is asked to keep eye contact for 2 seconds.  I lowered my criteria with her when working on this since a new dog was in the house.  She was clicked several times for just looking at me and then for holding eye contact randomly from just eye contact to 2 seconds.  She is not consistent on the 2 second eye contact and will need to continue working on this step.


What a change a bit of play can make.  Emma was well behaved and tired today after the rousing game of chase in the yard.  She enjoyed herself and engaged and even encouraged Jack to play.  At one point she ran around the corner of my house and then peered around the corner at him to see if he would chase her; he did not disappoint her.

I believe having Jack around to play the way she enjoys will help build her confidence, improve her dog body language and keep her out of trouble she would otherwise find out of lack of exercise and boredom.

Level 1

Level 2
FocusLazy LeashGo To MatCrateDistance

Level 3
FocusLazy LeashGo To MatCrateDistance

Level 4
FocusLazy LeashGo To MatCrateDistance


No comments:

Post a Comment