Thursday, April 11, 2013

7 Months, 2 Weeks: Training - Day 76

Emma did a 1 minute down today!
As I mentioned in Jack's blog, I woke to a flare of whatever is happening to me.  My balance was shot, my pain levels were at an all time high and I was so worn out mentally and emotionally that I couldn't think of training any dogs.  I also had an appointment in the afternoon, so I decided to just feed the dogs first thing in the morning and try to take it easy so I could get some training in during the afternoon.

Emma, like Jack, enters her crate now without a fuss, but once left alone puts up a howl that can be heard in all 48 contiguous states.  This means I will need to begin serious work on Emma's crate training to make the days I have to crate her for an errand or appointment easier on her.

I'll begin serious crate training next week to build up her appreciation of the crate and give it a large and rich reward history to make her crate a good place to be.  This week I am still working on her ability to pivot with me, which is progressing, but going slowly at this time.

Today's Lessons:


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 2 Focus.  In this step Emma is asked to keep eye contact for 2 seconds.  This is continuous eye contact without tiny flickers or glances away.  Emma is having problems with this again, which is expected, so I am building up from the brief eye contact to more solid and purposeful eye contact and then adding duration.  Each time I do this we spend less time working up to the meaningful eye contact and stay stabilized at 1 and 2 second eye contact with bouts of 3 and 4 second eye contact thrown in.  Emma is progressing nicely and we'll continue to work on eye contact.


Emma is working on Level 2: Step 5 Down.  Yes folks, she passed Level 2: Step 4 Down.  I timed her for 1 minute in a down at 20 feet from me with 4 dogs milling about her in the living room.  Great job little girl.  We'll start the next segment next week - she's worked hard on down this week and needs a bit of a break on it so she can process what she learned.


What an amazing girl Emma is.  She's still a bit of a Wilting Willow at times, but overall she's becoming bolder and more confident as she works through the duration and distance behaviors.  She'a approaching another fear period and I believe we'll just take it slow and build her confidence during this fear period so she comes out the other end stronger and bolder than before.

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

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