Monday, June 2, 2014

20 Months: Training - Days 323 - 326

Nice to see her looking into the camera.
Tuesday - Friday

Emma arrived at 8:09 AM on Tuesday and was in a happy mood when she sauntered into the house.  She didn't set the house off like the did the week before, which was good, but the moment she jumped into my lap for snuggles I had to ask her down to keep her out of my face.  She took it well and we spent several minutes with me rubbing her body and talking to her while she smiled at me.

I was sore and not feeling well on Tuesday, so we spent the morning with Emma and Malcolm playing in the yard while I tried to get the napalm burning in my joints under control.  The pain was bad enough I was on the verge of tears and knew if I tried to push through and train it would only result in a poor training session.  Instead, the dogs enjoyed their playday for the week.

On Wednesday Yoda came for his training and I saved off her training kibble for the visit.  Once Malcolm and Yoda were done with their training John and I worked on Emma's "Go Get Help" task.  It is hard to train it without someone to help.  I have a bringsel for her to use and after the months of teaching her to take items from me, hold them until asked to release it and carry it where I want her to.  It had a reason for that long process of training a solid hold and this task was just one part of it.

I had her take it when John was a foot away from us and had her take it to him.  We've played the "Go Give" game with her in the past, now it was turning into a new task.  She took it to John and he thaked her for it and gave her a kibble.  She lit up.  We played it as I increased the distance between us and soon I was in the bedroom and John the living room and she was doing an out of sight delivery.  Once she was stable on that leg of the chain I then had John ask her to "Show Me" and have her lead him back to me and reward her when she did.

By the end, though the task was shaky and we'd taken many breaks, she was doing the entire behavior chain.  It was a fantastic training session and Emma was overjoyed playing the game with us.

On Thursday Vanessa came over and we played the game again.  It took no time for me to get into the bedroom again and Vanessa, like John had the day before, changed where she was standing when Emma was out of sight and Emma had to "find" her.  Once she was, again, solid on the first part, taking the bringsel to Vanessa, she asked Emma to "Show Me" and Emma raced back to me and spun for her reward from Vanessa!

That night I took the dogs over to Ronda's for play time and found a toy a lot like a bringsel in the yard.  I handed it to her and sent her out to Ronda at a distance of about 50 or more feet.  Emma happily took it to her and when Ronda said, "Show Me" Emma raced back to me like a lightening bolt.  It was lovely to see!  She truly enjoys the "Go Get Help" and "Show Me" tasks!

On Friday I sat on the patio with Emma and rewarded her anytime she looked away from what was happening around her to me and she was doing great when we started.  She was, in the very beginning reluctant to eat, but picked up on it quickly and was really offering nice focus when between one and the next kibble she just shutdown and quit.  I accepted that she hit a stressor somehow and put the game aside and groomed her.

It was a short week, but we got a very nicely proofed task.  I am hoping by next week to build up her tug tasks a bit more and start on her light switch task.  Emma has another short week next week with her grooming appointment ending our week, but I think it'll be good for her so she regains her balance fully.

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

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

Level 3
Zen Come Sit Down Target
Step 3 Completed 2 1 1
Focus Lazy Leash Go To Mat Crate Distance
Step 0 Completed 0 4 0
Jump Relax Handling Retrieve Communication
Step Completed 2 Completed Completed 1

Level 4
Zen Come Retrieve Target Relax
Step Completed 0 Completed 0 0
Focus Lazy Leash Go To Mat Crate Distance
Step 0 Completed 0 5 0
Handling Communication

Step Completed 0

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