Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Training! The Beasts!

I've actually done a little bit (emphasis on "little") of training recently but apparently my record button was broken.

Rivet: Mat

Today was day #2 of working with Rivet on shaping a Mat. The first time we got to the point where she knew to put her front feet on the mat. This time we started off with about a minute of mugging the treat bowl and barking at me but then she looked at the mat, the lightbulb went off, and she stepped onto it. Bingo!

I just had a bowl full of treats and was having a grand time c/ting her for 4 feet on the mat and flinging the treat (she pounces with both front feet sometimes - cute as anything) when I realized I was clicking for motion. We get what we reward, right? So I paused to see what would happen.

Oh my... She got on, she got off, she got on from the right, she got on from the left, she came right up to me and backed on... For a dog that's had maybe half a dozen shaping sessions she is very willing to try! Finally I clicked for 2 feet on when there might have been a moment of hesitation in her movement and then I c/ted about 6 times in place before I tossed the next treat.

We repeated that twice more and I quit. In a way we're back where we started but I'm pleased with the session.

Rivet: Crate

Counted out 10 treats, c/t for entering the crate, tossed treat into crate, waited for her to come out again on her own. I should have timed this as she caught on very quickly. This was the first time working on this with the clicker although she is crated daily and quite happy in there.

Caiman and Kona

Quick session of front with Caiman, rewarding Kona for staying on a mat. Didn't go too well but it was the first double session in a long time. Caiman offered a nose bop to my belly a number of times which cracked me up.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Believe it or not...

Rivet actually got trained yesterday. I took her to the new PetSmart at 17th and the Whitemud. It was very quiet there - New Years Day and all - which was perfect for little Miss Undersocialized. She did great! A couple of things needed to be watched carefully for a while, and there was a little bit of nervousness, but she also took treats the whole time and was interested and playful for most of it. She also wagged over to anyone who showed interest in her. I realize that a quiet day at PetSmart is not the same as a busy show building but I'm still pleased with how comfortable she was. We'll have to do this again on a busier day too.

Before we left I went into the training area and worked on Doggie Zen for a while. I don't think we've done this at all before but she caught on very quickly and was leaning backwards away from the treat to make me click by the time we were done.