So we worked some place he had never been before, so a new set of distractions. We got ‘un-focused’ only once this time. Placed from 6 ft and away, and did lots more stands. He was very well behaved Didn’t tire him out quite as much as this morning though, and he was a little terror playing and running around like a maniac! :p
So we are actually going to use this new motivation of ours. We went out this morning and did some training. We took our place board and heeled our way over to an open area. He did pretty good on the heeling, and the sit were really nice in the beginning too. We place from a little past 6 ft today, and he was good at it as always. I am still a little impressed though just because we have been practicing inside and I though we would have to move in a little closer since there would be more distractions, but instead we moved further away! We did three places each on two sides of the place board and we switched it up and did some stands…and lots of them.
He did really well, which also surprised because last night in class he wasn’t helping me at all with the stand, but today he was. Once we started to do the stand the quality of our helling went down a bit. I have been very naughty and being a little forgiving when he sits crooked in heel position, or a little in front or back…but not anymore. When he sat too far forward, my next step was a right about turn. When he sat to far back, by next step was running. By the end, he was a lot better. He is pretty smart so he didn’t need to many of those types of corrections to figure it out.
About half way through the stands he saw something (not sure what) and gave a couple of barks, and insisted that he must sit in the direction facing whatever it was just in case he needed to protect himself *rollseyes.* Well another thing we need to work on is the barking. I know some of it will go away just by us working, but I think I need to be a little more proactive with it. Since Rugby is very concious of getting stepped on, I just kept moving into his space untill he decided maybe it is a good idea to pay attention to where this human is. If he got to foar away, I turned around and asked for a heel. I think it really helped a lot. He did this a second time, and I handled it in the same way and he was much faster about redirecting the attention back to me. I was pleased….we just have to change his priorities.
When all that was over we went back to the place on the sides we did not do. When we first went back, he again became distracted and ignored the place command…he was corrected for that and did not do it again. 😉 Next time he went very well. It wasn’t 6 ft since we were on a path, and we used up the sides of the board that we had 6 ft on either side in the begining. :p I decided to call it a day since we had done so much.
On the way back home, he decided to try his luck again with sitting to far in front, so a few right-about turns fixed that and he sat straight a couple time before we got inside. He is one tired puppy.
Just to side note…this litte crack head has THREE beds in this room and he is sleeping on the FLOOR!!??? What a silly boy, maybe I can convince him to move onto one of his beds. lol
Rugby went to class again tonight. We were a little ball of energy so we weren’t quite as good as last time. We did a couple stays, comes, heeling, a little bit of standing and a tiny bit of backing. To work on…we really really need a stand and a down. I am getting frusterated with myself for no doing the stand enough with him. So 2 times a day for at least the next week! Once we get the stand He can go to the down, because that is even more important but one thing at a time. We also need to work on our comes a little more too. Today he came, but came and stopped about two feet away from me. …thats not going to work. :p SO we have a lot to work on, and hopefully we will be plenty prepared by next week.
Oh, and Rugby needs a negative space! HAVE to get on that!
Rugby only worked the tiniest amount yesterday. When we in the basement cleaning a little bit and found a couple of different things for him to place on. I had left his leash upstairs so if he decided he wasn’t going to it would have been a little difficult to enforce it. Luckily I didn’t have to worry about that! One was this little roung piece of wood or something, and we did it really close because I am not so much a rish taker and he went right on turned around a sat and stared at me, like whats next? :p So then we placed on this little stool that was there, and he jumped right up there like a pro!
His random sits are sooo sooo much better too. It makes me happy for all the work to finally pay off.
So Rugby has had it easy the past couple of days with halloween and all but it is time to get back to the training. Yesterday at a friends house, I was able to tell him to sit while he was on the couch and I was at the table. This is really good, as we have only worked on our random sits a couple of times and Rugby was under the impression that if he wasn’t in heel position…he didn’t know how to sit. He has also proved his random sitting skills a couple of time today.
He was backsliding with the standing since I hadn’t really been working on it enough. So I decided it would be best to start over than to really confuse the heck out of him. So we are back to no command, and me just placing him in the stand over and over again untill he does it voluntarily (which he is already starting to do but I think I am going to wait longer this time to build up a stronger foundation). We practiced a few today as well and he was very cooperative.
We place for the first time in a few days this morning, and he did very well. I tried moving back to 5/5.5 ft but he wasn’t quite ready for it. Although he did have enough of an understanding that when he was half-way there and not sure what to do, all I did was give the place command again and he went to the board.
I have to say that our heeling and sitting has improved since the halloween class. I have been less forgiving when he takes his time or doesn’t sit at all. I have been using the sit command in place of our automatic sits when we halt to build up the word a bit and I think it has contributed to his success with the random sits.
He still stays at the front door when we come in and gives us time to put our stuff away. Today I took him to class with me, and we were walking around campus a little afterwards and there was this squirel that stoped right in our path about 20 ft ahead of us, stood on its hind legs and just stared Rugby down for a good 30 second. Luckily I saw the squirel first and put Rugby in a sit stay before he took off chasing it (even though he could only get the 6ft to the end of the leash). Man…that was the hardest sit stay of his life. He WANTED that squirel! It was wayyyy wayyy cute seeing him sit there and try his hardest to controll himself. His tail was wagging, and he was whining….lol When some of the other people wanted to give rugby a break and finally chased the squirel away I returned to him and when I reached down to praise him (as always…before we do our exercise finish) he broke right away and didn’t wait for me to do the exercise finish. I couldn’t help but laugh at the little stinker.
He was sooo sleepy from helping me train this afternoon and walking around campus he slept for a good 3 hours, and just now started waking up again and searching in his ‘toy box’ for an appropriate toy for this evening. (he is torn between the tennis ball and the pumpkin ;))
No formal work today, instead we went to a halloween party. Rugby was soo brave, especially with the multiple great danes there. He did very well though and made lots of friends and also had lots of admirers. We have a picture from the photographer there, but I snapped a few snap shots of a couple of the dogs costumes before we left. I will put those up this weekend after I *hopefully* pass my calc exam! He is now officially worn out from meeting all those people and dogs and passed out on the couch next to me :). Rugby is going to a halloween class tomorrow, and then trick or treating friday. He has much to look forward to!
Oh, and he did end up going as a panda in the one that is too small. The good didn’t go over his head, and it didn’t cover his whole back, but that was okay…he was still the cutest. Joy was able to fit the bigger one, so they were a matching pair. The other dog that went with us, a cardigan corgi was a bat.
Rugby practiced his places somewhere new yesterday, on a more elevated place board. He did really well, and we were able to get further than 4.5 feet (to 6 ft), although I would not say it is ‘solid.’
It was quite amusing though one of the times he placed he caught a glimpse of some little white dog in the mirror, and had to tell me about it. When I called him off the place board we went over to investigate and you should have seen how confused he was when he found ME in the mirror! He would look at me through the mirror, then look straight up at me….then look at himself in the mirror. He was quite confused! :p
Later we practiced some stands which he ‘forgot’ how to do. So I just went back to helping him up and we did it over and over again. He did towards the end give me one where I didn’t have to help him, so I am not sure if he really had a brain lapse or just didn’t feel like it. :p
The attention it still there, he just stares at me while we work. It is a really good thing!
You can see how sleepy Rugby was after a nice long training session….
Yesterday Rugby was trying his hardest to chase the neighbors away by barking at them through the front door. I was all the way in the kitchen, and I though…might as well try and knelt down with a ‘Rugby come.’ Much to my surprise the little stinker spins around and runs as fast as he could to me! I was really happy with him. Those ‘comes’ off the place board are starting to pay off.
Yesterday Rugby and Duke the doberman went for a walk together. We worked on our heeling, sits, stays and stands. He was really distracted, but was able to hold it together. His stands are getting really good :). He did have to work more than usual because he was distracted, and he was soo tired by the time we got home. He just curled up in his bed and took a nice long nap.
Rugby and I skipped today, and went down to the farm. (This was very stupid of me as I had just given him a bath the morning, but hindsight is always 20/20 right?) He ran around like crazy and played with Joy, the jack russel. We worked on our recall a little, not ‘formaly’ but when I actually needed them. I found that it is hard to get his attention if he is paying attention to something else (like a really good senct), but once he realizes I am talking to him he is more than willing to oblige, and come over to me.
Tonight we went for a little walk and worked on our auto-sits and stands. I am not sure if the two are related, but every once in a while when I halt he will not sit, but instead just stop and stand beside me. I can not figure out if this is because he is forgetting to sit, or he thinks I am going to ask him to stand anywayz. Either way, he has to sit but it would help me better deal with that if I could figure it out. I am leaning towards the “forgetting” reason, just because every time we stand, he has to sit before and after in order to make the stand ‘distinct’ in hs little head. lol I will have someone watch us tomorrow and see. The Stands were pretty much the same…maybe we moved up to an 87% from an 85%? Slowly but surely…we will get there
We were very productive today to make up for the lack or motivation/time yesterday. We did some places which he did very well at again today. It was earlier in the day, so we had some dogs and kids and people walking by for distractions. He did bark at them, but he did it all while keeping all his paws on the place board, so I let him. Also, I have been trying to release Rugby off the place board most of the times with the come command since I haven’t quite figured a good way to incorporate it into our training otherwise.
We moved on to some stands, which were also improved. They are there with only my fake helping him up about 85% of the time. He just need lots more repetitions, and he has got it!
Rugby decided though, that since he has to learn all this new stuff–he will only sit when he thinks it is a good idea. I have been slacking a bit on practicing random sits, etc but he has no excuse not to do his automatic sits, and sits when heeling. Sooo–Rugby was reminded how fun it is to sit.
I am pleased with how well he did today, he got better at everything we worked on (just not all at the same speed).
Rugby didn’t do anything today He was just my little buddy when I was running around today but we didn’t do any work. We might practice a few ‘places’ later tonight, just so he doesn’t feel bad for missing a day.
He saw those shi tzus that we watched all last week again today and he got so excited. He likes having friends.
This morning Rugby practiced his heeling. He was quite distracted, but got along okay. We did a few stands but they were a little dissapointing.
This evening we did a bunch of stands untill he figured it out again. (has been a while for this too). Now he will stand (most of the time) just when I put my hand down under him (without me lifting up for him). We will do a few tomorrow and hopefully he hasn’t forgoten by then! :p
Rugby has been getting scared of silly things lately, and barking at them. I guess it is just his age. Today the wind blew over a potted tree we have out front and when we went out to potty, you would have though the world was ending. Rugby couldn’t believe someone would just throw a tree in his yard like that! And this evening in the middle of our stands I took my jacket off and threw it on the couch. He thought that was really scary too. I guess it is just the age he is at–luckily he gets over it quick enough. Fun times.
Tonight Rugby was re-introduced to the place. We started before, but haven’t worked on it for at least a week. He did wayyyyy better than expected. He not only remembered, but he really out-did himself. By the end he didn’t need the initial “leash pushing,” just the direction with my hand and he went all by himself, and sat down on the place board. *amazing*
When we were on the third side, working our way around, three times in a row he went on without me telling him to do silly boy. He just realllly wanted to be on that place board. He did have to keep trying untill he waited for me. 😉
I am going to try to build up some distance, and work on getting Rugby a negative space. What a smart boy he is!
Okay, It is time for me to make Rugby an official training blog at least to motivate me be consistent with the training 😉 As an introduction– this is him. He is 5 months old now.