Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Day 2

Another day of government furlough, though the news is making it sound like we may be back to work tomorrow. We got a couple of little training sessions in today, between prepping for "back to work". This morning we played ... yeah, that's training, too! Bennett has decided that she is an avid tugger and found a little plush springy toy that she is fond of. We played tug, where I encouraged her to chase the toy before catching it, tug tug tug, then I introduced the "give" command. She's picking up on it nicely and I only occasionally had to crowd her mouth off of the toy with my hands before she would release it. Of course, the reward is getting the toy back! Give it up, get it back, and repeat. Most of the time, she will now release on her own when I stop tugging and say "give". We also addressed the concept of multidog play. How to play together nicely, appropriate levels of "fighting for the toy", as well as taking turns catching a tossed toy. This is just as much practice for Gio and Romeo as it is for her. Gio is the ever-tolerant play partner. He tugged with Bennett a bit, and is such a good boy, basically just holding the toy still and "growling" while she tugs. He could fling her across the room if he wanted, but he is so gentle with the little play buddies! Romeo is slightly less tolerant of her, and there was one minor snark moment. But, he is all noise and flash, and Bennett took it in stride.

Clicker session #1 we worked on more sits from yesterday and introduced downs. Bennett is readily offering "sit" now, even throughout the day when she thinks she wants something, she will sit nicely for it. Down was initially a struggle. She is the first of my crew that hasn't been "lure-able" for downs. However, when I tried the "under the leg" trick, she hit the dirt! After a couple tries, she was diving under my leg into a down position! That seemed to provide the light bulb moment for her, and I was then able to lure into a down without issue after that. By the end of the session she was offering downs all on her own.

Mid-morning we went back to the park for a long-line run. Schnauzer friend Jasper was there again, so she enjoyed some zoomie time with him. Then some toy tossing with Romeo. At the end of our park time, a string of ambulances drove past. Bennett was certainly interested in the sirens, but not nervous or afraid at all. Her instinct was to turn to watch the vehicles and sit at attention. Instead of allowing her to focus on the noise, I instead called her for some fun recalls and we worked some puppy push-ups for treats. This addresses two issues ... working amid noise distractions AND beginning to generalize "sit" and "down" outside of the living room. No problem!

We practiced napping most of the afternoon.

Clicker session #2 was a rehash of sit and down, this time with me standing. Previously, I was teaching as I sat on the floor with her. She had no problems with the change, so I upped the ante and worked on introducing sit in heel position. I used a small wicker box to serve as a guide to keep her in straight beside me and lured around it into heel position sits.

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