Saturday, November 10, 2012

Good puppy! Training update.

Instead of our usual drive to a new location, this morning's outing was around the neighborhood. We took an hour long leash walk around the reservoir nearby. Lots of practice in leash walking, not picking stuff up off the ground, and peeing outside.

Rather than doing the usual afternoon dog walking, it was one of my last few days of work at the daycare. Chimera was already falling asleep before it was time to go, since it was an hour later than I would have left him at home. I knelt down on the floor next to him, and he sleepily got up and wobbled over to me. He let me scoop him up into my lap, and for the first time, fell asleep there! He's usually too squirmy and doesn't find it comfortable.

During dinner, I challenged him by having his food on a little plate next to me, blocking it with my hand if he tried to eat it, and waiting until he backed off to give him a piece. We'd done this a few times before, but not in a couple of weeks, and after some confusion/frustration he suddenly remembered and offered lying down (and staring at the food) instead of trying to rush for it. I brushed him with one hand and used the other to guard the food and give him a piece after each brush stroke. With some more practice, I should be able to handle him with both hands at once (for example, hold onto an ear while I brush it).

He's been offering sits for a couple of weeks now, but he's having trouble getting the hand signal. He always jumps for my hand when it's above his nose, whether it's just above or a couple of feet up. He's started chaining jumping up and then immediately sitting. I like the enthusiasm, and I don't mind if he jumps and then sits (super cute recall), as long as he doesn't bounce off me with his front feet as he's jumping. So right now, I'm just trying to shape him to jump into the air rather than onto me, and I jackpot sits without the jump.

With the dumbbell, I did a few sessions in a row in which I held it in my hands, because he had started to paw at it playfully and that's self-reinforcing. With his options limited, he started to catch on that mouthing it, especially in the center, was the right answer. Today I had it on the floor again, and he caught on that he should still put his mouth on it instead of batting it around.

I love clicker training, partially because I enjoy looking for and celebrating these little successes. (Also I think that it's often the best training method for tricks, and nearly all training is teaching tricks!)

No comments:

Post a Comment