Sunday, June 23, 2013

Our Week in Training

Ah - summer break!  We trained quite a bit this past week and made a lot of very nice progress.


Speedy and I did several sessions here in the house.  We did a lot of heeling through the house, with twirls and spins mixed in.  I focused on reinforcing him for maintaining side position, as that has been a life-long weakness of his.

Speedy is making nice progress with the reverse circle around me.  If we should try Rally FrEe by video, he is going to be good to go with that exercise!

We also did some paw work, with particular focus on paw lifts in heel and side.

Dean Dog

Dean also worked on heeling through the house, and circles and reverse circles around me.

Yesterday we focused on paws and I had him paw target a wooden spoon.  I would like for both him and Tessa to get to the point where they can lift each paw on verbal, whether standing or sitting, in any location.  So, I am going back to really solidify those cues.

Dean also got to go to Rally FrEe class on Monday, where he did an excellent job!  For one of his Free Choices, I had him work on circling around me backwards.  This is something I really need to take some time to focus on.  He sort of knows it, but we never really finished the behavior.  It is far from fluent.  But he can perform it with a lure, so we are on our way.

I am still on the fence about continuing with him in Agility.  It is clear that he has come to love Rally FrEe.  He very obviously adores the high precision work that we are doing in our training for that sport.  Agility . . . I don't know.  We did do a jumping exercise in class, and he liked that.  If Agility was all about skill drills, he would love it . . . .


Yes, Sammie!  He rarely gets training sessions, but he did this week.  I was inspired by some reading that I've been doing to free shape the Mat with him!  He is the only one of my dogs who is not Mat trained, so it had to be him.  Sammie has done a little clicker work but not much, so this was very new to him.

We started in the kitchen with the mat and I clicked and tossed a treat for him just looking at it.  He has had enough clicker experience to quickly progress to walking toward it, and even to putting a paw or two on it.  From there I had to be very careful not to lump!

On the first day, we went no further than one or two paws on the mat.

On the second day, we progressed to usually two paws on the mat, sometimes even four.

By the third training session, he actually offered a sit and even a down on the mat!  I was pretty surprised.  I did not expect him to get it that quickly!!

I am looking forward to this coming week and seeing where we go with it.  Sammie clearly enjoyed the training sessions, and I am considering getting out the Intermediate Tricks list to see if he might be able to work up enough of those to go for that Trick Title!  He already does have the Novice.

So, good things going on with my nearly 14 year old "just a pet" boy!!


I saved Tessa for last because, of course, I have the most going on with her.

We started off with Rally FrEe class where we finally met the lateral!  I haven't really done any lateral training with Tessa, so this is our newest endeavor.

In our training at home we focused on the pivot platform and transferring the pivot in front behavior from the platform to the floor.  That is progressing slowly.

We also did the same paw work that I did with Dean, using the wooden spoon as a paw target.

Tessa rocked at Agility class!  Where I am not sure if Dean is really enjoying himself, Tessa is having a party!  Courses, skill drills, anything - she is eating it up!  The weaves were wired in class, but I was reminded, I need to get to her weave pole retraining very soon.

On Friday I rented the building to run through her Heelwork to Music routine.  Unfortunately, I don't like it.  I don't think Tessa is feeling the song.  That leaves me exactly one week to come up with something else.  I don't like going into something like this unprepared, but at this point it is what it is.

We also took some time at the building on Friday to start working on laterals.  I am using a rather unusual method, but after trying several lateral approaches, I believe this one will be the best for Tessa.  I do have video of our very first session with this . . . . 

I worked on this with her at home yesterday and she did even better!

So, we have quite a lot of training going on and I mean to keep it up this coming week.  Updates coming soon!!

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