Monday, April 20, 2009

CBS Training - Some Good and Some Bad

Well I took both Ness and Kenzie out tonight instead of just Kenzie. I was interested to see if that helped her behavior. She seemed okish about approaching people before class and taking treats so things are improving there. She is still throwing a lot of stress signals/displacement type behavior in particular collar scratching in a big way. Had a chat to Deb before class started and she asked how she had been and how she had got on at the vets. Said she has been pretty good and was happily approaching Keith again yesterday at the trial.

Get to class time at at least we managed to avoid any major flipping out episodes. She was more distracted then normal though so I don't think she was particularly happy.

While we were waiting for Deb to show I practiced and was getting some lovely confident long distance sends to her mat and fast releases back to me to a tug - yee har. I think she really has a good understanding of her release command which means accelerate forward and drive hard and chase the reinforcement zone.

First exercise we did was close walking through a bunch of objects - buckets, baskets, chairs, some of which had treats on them. Kenzie's work wasn't as good as it has been. She was very distracted by the environment but also did think she was suppose to target the baskets. I cheated a bit and had food in the hand closest to her so a big slap on the wrist. Second time we repeated the exercise we had to get them to target certain objects that Deb told us to. Her heelwork this time was much better but her touching wasn't the behavior I was asking for. She would tentively nose touch the items rather than put her paws on them (even the items she was comfortably offering paw targets on last time). Kenzie was sitting next to a lab and she wasnt overly keen on having the lab watch back past and was a bit spooked by the shadows. I made sure I rewarded her while we were waiting out turn for sitting on her mat so she didn't have time to flip.

We did some target stick work. Having the dog touch the target stick and then putting the target stick in the ground and sending the dog. I only had the grey one that I had made and it wasn't particularly visible but she was still doing some very lovely sendaways to the stick from nice distance - 5-6m range and possibly further.

We did some recall work. Interesting her stays are really not to bad now but I am still going back and rewarding the wait just as heavily as I do the recall. I tried using her formal recall command of "front" and she came and presented but it wasn't overly enthusiastic. Send time I tried one using her release command of "break". Not only was it three times as fast but it was just as accurate.

Following on from the recall we did some work on our distance tricks. Kenzie has a lovely COP drop happening from a reasonable distance. Her sit I still need to be close with though but she is 100% at close range. Her spins and twists are still a work in progress at any sort of real distance as they still need rather large signals.

Retrieve work - I had her do 1 DB retrieve and she did a nice one minus a formal front but she waited while I threw it and then sent her and she went out got it and bought it back to hand. Yee Har - first one she has managed out there. Then we had to move to a toy because we were suppose to be getting the dog to place the object in a basket and Deb didn't want me getting her to place her DB in a basket - fair enough. Well the lab next to us was using a duck toy that made a duck noise and that was enough to flip Kenzie. I could see she wasn't happy so I didn't persist with the retrieve exercise and just took her away and fed her and then returned when we had completed that particular task.

Final exercise we worked on tonight was having them place there paws on a chair and start to move around it. The small chairs are a bit hard for Kenzie to move around as she isn't big enough to get over the back of it so I used one of the baskets. She did some lovely perch work but I need to work to make sure she will move in both directions equally. She definitely favours one over the other at the moment (just not sure which off the top of my head). She was giving me lovely full circles in one direction but no movement in the other direction.

So we had a mixed night of training tonight - not sure I'll get out there next week as we have a busy 3 days of the Sue H seminar but Deb said if I do get out there I better be prepared to demonstrate my unique and novel behavior next week - hmmmm still not to sure what I am doing but I am thinking I'll go with the fetching the mail or newspaper. I did have one idea of her fetching the mail and their being 2 letters and me taking the one letter and giving it back to her and then telling her to take it to Tash but will have to see if I can get Tash on side for that trick to occur. Maybe I could use Ness and she could take it to Ness hehehehe.

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