Wednesday, April 3, 2013

7 Months, 1 Week: Training - Day 72

Emma says, "I hate being crated when she leaves!"
What a beautiful morning!  Emma now waits patiently for me to wake and doesn't fuss when she hears the alarm go off or the snooze hit.  She is content to wait for me to let her out.  This morning I let her out and stood on the porch enjoying the warmth of the early morning before bringing her back in to enjoy my morning coffee and a bit of Castle before taking my shower.  I don't crate her when I shower now, but instead gate the bedroom to keep her out of too much trouble when I can't watch her for the ten minutes I am showering.

After Jack arrived I took the crew outside so I could enjoy a second cup of coffee and let them play in the yard.  Emma was racing about the yard with a rope in her mouth when her owner arrived at the gate.  We chatted for a couple of minutes while her owner played with her over the gate and then we left.  Emma was overjoyed to see her owner this morning.

Today's training went extremely well.  Emma was engaged and willing to work on basics and her more advanced skills.

Today's Lessons:


Emma is working on Level 2 Sit Comeafters.  If you remember from yesterday's blog post, Emma is learning how to hold a sit on a new surface or when I step through a door.  Today I selected to work on the door Comeafter.  I used my office door and had her sit in the entry.  I worked up to 5 seconds while I was on one side of the threshold and she was on the other.  She did very well and we'll eventually work up to the front door and Emma holding her sit while I stand outside the front door.


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 4 Down.  In this step Emma is asked that she remain in a down while I walk 20 feet away and stay there for 1 minute.  Today I got up to 25 seconds while Emma remained in a down.  At times Jack stood blocking her view of me and/or one of the other dogs would walk up to her and sniff her.  Emma did extremely well with this level of distaction while I worked on this step.  I will continue to work this step with Emma until she has a solid 1 minute down.


Emma worked again on targeting a given location with her front feet so we could eventually work up to a good pivot lesson.  Today I brought out a book and shaped her to put her front feet on the book.  She remembered out lesson from yesterday and was quicker to play with the book and try new things with the book to figure out what I was paying for.  She finally got her two front feet on the book, but currently has no duration on the book.  I will continue to work this lesson until she fully understands I want her to keep her front feet on the book.

Lazy Leash

Emma is working on Level 2: Step 2 Lazy Leash.  Today I had a rare chance to work Emma with a much higher level of distraction then ever before.  The neighbor children were riding their bikes three houses down.  I took Emma into the street and worked on loose leash walking toward the neighbor children.  All of them were gentle and patient with Emma and gave her time to become comfortable with them before trying to pet her.  Emma was worried about the three girls and a bit about the bikes, so I worked on her keeping her leash loose and giving rewards for looking at and checking out the bikes and girls.  Even though she would sometimes duck behind me, she mostly was out and sitting beside me looking at them and accepting the treats I offered.

She let one child touch her without fear and went too and took treats from all three girls, which empowered her and helped her relax with them.  She then did a bit of loose leash walking while the bikes rode by her and even did a sit/stay while a child rode a bike in circles around her.  The bike was less than 5 feet away from her and though she was watching the bike, she was not overly fearful of it.  She did keep her sit and she did spend more time checking in with me than watching the bike.

It was an amazing amount of socialization to bikes, children and even passing cars while working her basic skills.  I am very amazed and pleased with Emma's polite and focused work.


Emma enjoys playing in the yard and has learned each time she goes into a rolling barking fit I call her into the house and she looses her outside time.  She's stopped barking at the children playing in the street and even stood at the fence and watched them play on their bikes off and on today.  Her ability to see things in the neighborhood outside of the fence and not react to it is getting better every day.

She did go into a bark fit when she saw a neighborhood cat, so I will have to ensure I have plenty of treats on me when we are playing in the yard and reward for looking but not barking at the cats she sees.

Like Jack, she's having a huge issue with my leaving her in the crate when I have to leave the house.  I don't hear her barking or throwing a fit when I return home, unlike Jack, but she does go into a full jail riot when I first leave her in the crate and prepare to leave.  I will work on her being quiet in her crate the rest of this week.

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

Level 2
Zen Come Sit Down Target
Step 5 2 5 4 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 2 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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