Thursday, March 21, 2013

6 Months, 4 Weeks: Training - Day 63

Emma after I groomed her today.
Emma is growing so fast.  Yesterday I got a solid 30 seconds of Sit while 10 feet away and up to 45 seconds once while I was 10 feet away.  She is offering extended sits more often and is more focused overall.  What a great advancement in Emma's maturity.

Yesterday was a warm enough I opened the front door for a while as I ran laundry and the combination of the dryer and exterior heat warmed my house to 86 degrees.  In order to avoid the furance turning on when I wasn't paying attention to the heat of the house, I turned off my heat at the thermostat.  What I didn't do was turn it back on before bed.  This morning the dogs and I woke to a home which was 54 degree and brisk as all get out.

I turned on the heating blanket and actually saw both Dieter and Attitude migrate to the heat.  Emma was chilled too, though not badly, and glad to see me awake.  I got her and the dogs out quickly and turned on the heat.  In short order the house was a warm 72 degrees and the dogs were comfortable again.

I again left Emma out of her crate when I showered this morning and found she had curled on the warm blanket to wait my return.  She is doing very well with these short periods of being left unsupervised.

Today has been a full and fun day and I am truly enjoying watching her grow into a smart and self contained dog.

Today's Lessons:


Emma is working on Level 3: Step 3 Zen.  Today we didn't focus on where she is in Zen, but a review of previous Zen lessons in a group setting.  Jack, like Emma, needs to learn Zen and how to allow me to work with one dog while not interupting.  I had this problem before when Emma joined us and one of my many tools of teaching space and respect for other dogs who are training was to do Group Zen.

This type of Zen reviews Level 1: Step 1 Zen and then Level 2: Step 1 Zen and advances to Zen with treats on feet and by feet and Zen with dropping treats.  I do with with 2 or more dogs to improve their ability to handle my treating each dog in turn and waiting to receive a treat without stealing one.  Emma recognized the game and calmly settled in without an issue.  It was a great review and should truly help her remember some of her earlier Zen lessons as a refresher.


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 3 Down.  In this step Emma is asked to stay in a down for 1 minute.  I am currently working Duration without Distance on this behavior and then will slowly add Distance with Duration.  Emma was able to remain in a down for up to 30 seconds before the click, though she became fidgety at 20 seconds on a regular basis.  When she was uncertain what I wanted she offered a Sit with Duration.  Very cleaver.

Emma will continue to work on this step until she's comfortable with it.


Emma is truly enjoying the warmer weather.  When allowed outside she goes into a race around the house and explores all the new smells in the yard.  At times when I call her she'll look at me and run to my and then veer off to play more.  She's truly enjoying the ability to play longer in the yard and just doesn't want it to end.

In the house she enjoys having a playmate that plays like she does and gets into lots of bitey face games with Jack.  Tonight I bought her a new chew toy and she gladly settled to chew it for a bit and then threw it about and got one of Max's long stuffies and tossed it about and shook it.

Even though she is maturing, she is still a young dog who needs a lot of play time to expend her energy.  She'a a funny girl who loves cuddles and running and just goofing off.

Hopefully tomorrow we'll get further on Retrieve and Sit and maybe get a bit of work in on Lazy Leash.  I am tired and sore after a full week of working the dogs and generally peter out by Friday.  I am hoping the warmer weather will give me a bit more energy to deal with the dogs before the weekend comes.

Level 1
Zen Target Come Sit Down
Step Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed

Level 2
Zen Come Sit Down Target
Step 5 2 4 3 Completed
Focus Lazy Leash Go To Mat Crate Distance
Step 2 2 2 1 1
Jump Relax Handling Tricks Communication
Step 1 1 1 Completed 1

Level 3
Zen Come Sit Down Target
Step 3 0 0 0 1
Focus Lazy Leash Go To Mat Crate Distance
Step 0 0 0 0 0
Jump Relax Handling Retrieve Communication
Step 0 0 0 1 0

Level 4
Zen Come Retrieve Target Relax
Step 0 0 0 0 0
Focus Lazy Leash Go To Mat Crate Distance
Step 0 0 0 0 0
Handling Communication

Step 0 0

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