Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunflower Kennel Club trial 2010

I really need to work more on impulse control on this puppy! He is a wild child, especially in a crowded trial situation. Everyone is his best friend and every dog loves him or so he thinks. My forearms are killing me right now from dealing with his lunging to go see whatever or who ever. I think we may have to have a little visit from the pinch collar. I don't think it will take maybe one or two corrections and I think he will get the point loud and clear. We had a couple of coming to jesus meetings this weekend and that would work for a little while and then his brain would switch back over to "I know this person wants to pet me really, really bad!", so who knows. We did some work at the trial but I was so busy with either miller or helping tony that I really didn't get in as much work as I had wanted to do. He has great focus when food is in the picture so that is nice that I have a weapon. Toys are 50/50, some times he will focus on play an other times not but I don't think that is a stress issue, more of just a brain gone, want to go play with that dog or person instead of the mommy. I have a feeling that we will be having some visiting going on in his first few novice runs. It was so nice to watch so many people start their novice dogs this weekend. I can't wait to be doing that too! That is if we ever get to get on equipment again due to this crappy weather! Lori's puppy is already working on a running dog walk and a-frame and poor Deuce has only been on a couple of contacts period. Oh well, his foundation should be solid when we get started.

Funny story, when I got back from the show, I had gotten a second wind and decided to pick up poop from the backyard. Now, I haven't done this in about three months so it was super bad. I picked up two tall garbage bags full of poop if that tells you anything. Anyway, deuce was outside just running laps and playing either with harley or by himself and in the process got covered in mud. He did this for two hours and when I finished I had decided that I wanted to take a shower. Tony thought it would work to just put deuce in the tub with me while i showered. Well, I am happy to report that it did work and I did get all the mud off of his feet and legs and he didn't freak out too bad but harley decided to join us shortly after deuce got out of the tub. Needless to say, the water got super cold and I still had to wash off as I was then covered in mud! I now have two white legged dogs but who knows how long that will last since our yard is still pretty muddy.

Deuce is worn out and sleeping under my chair and I am hoping he will sleep all night and not be restless. He is a very good boy at shows 99% of the time, just sleeping in his crate or watching. He doesn't seem to get too hyped up watching other dogs warm up or run (other than miller) so I am pleased with this. Maybe he has a little shred of impulse control! I was hoping to get to see his brother this weekend but sherry didn't bring him:( She says that Deuce is bigger, both taller and heavier so can't wait to see them together again. Deuce did get to play with some of the other dogs at the trial and we did do some waits in the kennel with the kennel door open and me sitting back down and waiting for a while till I released him. We even worked on releases with different words and using body motion instead of the word okay and I was very pleased that he was waiting for the proper release. Funny thing was, I would always make him sit before opening the door in or out and I would wait to release him and he would explode through the door so wonder if that is how he is going to come off of the start line? YIKES!

Okay going to bed now. Can't believe I am still even functioning. Didn't get much sleep last night and then had to get up super early since it was tall to small today. NEED SLEEP!

Friday, January 15, 2010

deuce is in the house

I took Deuce to a friend's indoor softball facility last night. I mainly went to work Miller but thought it would be good for deuce to go and we could work on impulse control (YEAH RIGHT). I will have to say, while he was a barking lunatic when Miller was working and while he didn't want to hold a stay to save his life, i was overall pleased with his behavior. We got some great agility work in for sure. We were working on jump chutes with a curved tunnel. It was great work to just have deuce stay at the start line, be relased and then do some baby jumps. We have been working on go jump and go tunnel so having several jumps for him to do was great. We had them super low so i am not worried about doing any damage to his little or should i say big growing bones! He was sending very nicely and of course with little speed bumps, he was super fast. I did have him doing some here's out of the tunnel instead of just running back down the jump chute for control work. The next skill I need to work on is pulling out of the jump chute and coming "here" instead of just taking everything in front of him. He needs to listen! We also did a baby teeter that was very loud, so loud that even Miller jumped. I had him do the bang game with lots of treats and by the end he was banging it down, no problem. He is a little heavy to be on it as it was built for little corgis so we only did a few full teeters. I really enjoy getting him on different people's equipment as this broadens his little doggy horizons.

As usual, deuce's impulse control was at 0%. He got so excited to see everyone and would practically go nuts whenever anyone would come near him so that they would pet him. We seriously have to work on greeting people. Maybe next time, we can work on that more. I did take him to my vet's office today and worked tricks and stays but it was just me and him in the waiting room, so no distractions. Need to go when they are busier cause that is when he is the most distracted. We did play find it and he didn't seem to get it. He has a little stuffed chipmunk he plays with so i hid it (within sight) and then told him to find it. He sort of would search but when he found the toy, he would not get it or bring it back. He hasn't really showed any retrieving skills yet. If you throw something, he will go get it but won't bring it back. If you call him back, he will come back but will drop the toy. I haven't really worried about this but do want to track with him at some point so would like him to want to find stuff. I did put food on the chipmunk but that didn't seem to peak his interest. I guess I need more yummy, tempting food to get him to look harder LOL! The vet's wife, Kim, helped me work on greeting a stranger although she is not a stranger at all to deuce and he dearly loves her which makes it way harder for him to not jump on her. We worked on us approaching each other and him sitting while she gave him a treat. He was allowed to get up when she started petting him but if he jumped up, we stopped and i walked away. We need to do way more of this!!!!! I need to have everyone participate in this exercise. He is 40.4 lbs now so he is leaving bruises on me when he bounces off of me and could injure someone in his enthusiastic greetings. He is also still peeing a little bit when he sees someone he loves so poor Janelle and Jan got pee all over their shoes last night.

I did get some attention work in while other dogs were working. He was doing great with that, really didn't seem interested in the other dogs running unless they ran very close to him or it was miller. He still has a long way to go before he is really reliable on this and I do need to reward way more for good behavior. I also need to drag a crate up there so he can rest in the crate when not working. I am really excited to have this place to work and look forward to working with my new training buddies!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More training videos and teeter training

So this is our video of beep-beep, back-up Deuce. I have been working on back-up and my friend Ami had her dogs back up the steps so I thought I would try it. I am eventually going to fade out the back-up command and just call it beep-beep. I taught him this in about 5 minutes. I did have to put some pressure to get him started by mostly shaped his behavior. I also cheated and used the command back-up, which he knows, so not true shaping, but oh well! I have been doing lots of trick training with him since the weather has been so crappy here lately!

I did get out today and work the table, the teeter and a very low jump. I have already linked the teeter with his toes command and he is doing okay but I do have some concerns. I have him do a behavior before we do the teeter such as here (touch my hand) or sit or down. I then have him go walk it and ask for toes. Most of the time he runs to the end and bangs it down into position, but he is starting to go a little too fast, bang it down and keep on going. He realizes pretty quickly that he missed toes so he immediately turns around, bangs it down with his front end and then puts his back feet on it. While I do like the fact that he knows he is wrong and he tries to fix it, I am not sure I want him to do that as his behavior as in, do the teeter, miss the toes, go back and fix it. I need to talk to Lori and see what she thinks about this. I am at this point not rewarding this but going back and starting over and then rewarding when he does stick it. I may have introduced movement or distance too soon to his toes command so I will work backwards and then start introducing movement and distance again.

I also worked on table today. I have been shaping his table or "load up" in the house with the bed in the house, so he is transferring this behavior very well. Today I decided to add the 5 count so he gets use to hearing that and also adding movement on my part into the equation. He did break the first couple of times I started moving, but he soon realized no reward if I don't hold my position. He also got to do some tugging today instead of just treats so that he gets a varied type of reward. I think he is starting to get out of the must have food as a reward attitude, thank goodness.

Lastly today, I worked a jump with the bar very, very low. We just worked on "go jump" with me throwing the food tube and restraining him so he was driving to the food tube. We are doing much work yet with the jumping, still got lots of growing to do.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Okay so I have been trying to upload a video of deuce and all of his tricks for like two weeks now and I can't get it to upload so I am giving up. I will try and shoot another one as he now knows: sit, down, here, touch, roll-over, dance, spin, turn, out, speak, back up, put your butt in the air, shake, wave, high five, wait, and we are working on whisper, sit pretty, and sneeze. No clue why this blog program doesn't like my video, shot it with my digital camera as it seems to upload those better.

So what has been going on lately, well a whole lot of nothing. We have had three pretty significant snows and it has been bitterly cold so most training has been going on inside. I am still working on alot of foundation skills at home and have been taking him to Petco and my vet's office to work on impulse control. This is going to be a huge hurdle for him because unlike my other aussies, he LOVES people and will just about turn himself inside out to go see people. He knows he needs to sit and wait for them to pet him but he just can't control himself. He still also pees a little bit on people's shoes when he meets them because he is so excited. I am hoping that when we have trials again to go to, I can work on his impulse control issues. We have done very limited work on the teeter as the backyard has been covered in either snow or ice covered snow. He is now doing a very nice teeter with a two on two off at the end. We have also been sequencing the table in to work on baby front crosses and rear crosses while he holds his contact position but that is about it. He is going through a phase right now where he we only work for food, not praise and not toys, but yesterday he did work for a toy. I hope this doesn't disappear completely because I was really excited to have a dog that previously was motivated by many things, not just food. I have been doing alot of clicker training with his trick training and he loves that so i will continue that. I found a list on Susan Garrett's blog about 100 things to do with a puppy so I am working my way down that list.

Deuce is growing up and getting so big and so much more dog like and less puppy like. He is going to be a very handsome boy as his markings are very striking. I hope the desire to show him in conformation doesn't creep in too much. I haven't really worked on his stacking or his standing as I had previously thought I would, but since he is such a clicker trained dog, it shouldn't be hard to train if we decide to do something. I had also wanted to start his tracking training but it has been so bitterly cold that even I have been venturing out.

Well, that is a good update for now, got to go eat lunch. Being stuck at home due to snow has its advantages, it makes me want to write!