Monday, March 18, 2013

6 Months, 4 Weeks: Training - Day 60

Emma is happier now that she isn't fighting me on
eating her kibble for her training.

I asked Emma's family to feed her just kibble this weekend and if she didn't eat it, to just pick up the bowl and put it up until the next feeding.  What a difference that made.  She came in ready to eat her kibble and train.  She was happy and excited and playful when she arrived.

Jack was already here and he was glad to see his friend arrive also.  They played a bit in the yard and then came in to continue training.  Emma worked happily with me for kibble today.

After getting some in her belly and giving her and Jack a break for a bit before training again they both decided to not work for kibble.  I put the food up and went about my daily routine, ignoring the fact they were unwilling to work for kibble.  They will get hungry again and we can continue our training.

She's bringing in teeth again and I am giving her plenty of appropriate toys to chew on while she does this.  Her confident and bouncy personality is so different from every other dog in the house she's like a storm in the house when she first arrives and I have to give the whole crew a few minutes to settle into the weekday's work.

This should be a positive week for us, since she's now working for kibble and I can get more work in when training her.  She's adjusted to Jack's being present and can focus to work also.  I look forward to her progress this week.

Today's Lessons:


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 2 Down.  In this step Emma is asked to stay in a down for 1 minute.  I am starting at Step 1, which asks Emma to stay in a down for 10 seconds.  I did this because Jack was in the room and was a new distraction.  I asked for repeated downs until Emma stopped popping up and then worked her up to 5 seconds in a down.  I will continue this until she can do a 1 minute down.


Emma is working on Level 3: Step 1 Retrieve.  In this step Emma is to open her mouth and try to take the pencil I offer in her mouth.   Emma is working on using her lips and teeth on the pencil now.  She is still doing primarily nose targets or hard upward pushes with her nose, but is starting to use her lips and teeth.  We got a bit further when she saw Jack take the pencil himself and tried to take it afterwards.  We'll continue to work on this step until she is taking the pencil in her mouth.

I spent the remainder of the day focused on Retrieve with Emma.  She's starting to open her mouth and use her teeth on the pencil a good 40% of the time, which is fantastic.  Once I can tell she's offering this behavior with purpose and 60% of the time I will begin to reward only when she's trying to put her mouth over the pencil.

Emma is progressing nicely on this particular skill and I am hoping to build her up to the next step by the end of the week.


Emma is starting to mature and focus on the games we play. She settles into training nicely and is thinking when working with me.  When I brought out a mat for Jack she promptly went to it to and stood on it.  This shows she's now playing my games by recognizing the environmental cues.

The biggest problem I have is she gets into this wiggle and sit with her back to me behavior when she doesn't want to play.  At this point, I am ready to walk away and let her know being out of the game takes my attention away from her.

I am hoping to progress on her training this week and move up a step on retrieve and sit before the end of the week.

Level 1

Level 2
FocusLazy LeashGo To MatCrateDistance

Level 3
FocusLazy LeashGo To MatCrateDistance

Level 4
FocusLazy LeashGo To MatCrateDistance


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