Friday, October 8, 2010

An evening of spontaneous training.

À la plan once, train twice, except this time it was plan none, train once. Either way, it was fun!

It all happened because I suddenly had an idea, which was to write the Steps to Success onto business-sized cards. And then I had L1, L2 & L3 Zen to work on, right there in my pocket!

So, after the humans had dinner, off we went.
TL1 Zen: Step 1 - Dog moves away from a treat in seated partner’s hand. Pass.
TL1 Zen: Step 2 - Oops, I overlooked this one.
TL1 Zen: Step 3 - Dog stays away from a treat in partner’s open hand for 5s. Pass.
TL1 Zen: Step 4: - Dog stays away from treat in dog dish in hand. Pass.
All of these without reaching for the treat first!

Then, on to Level 2 Zen.
TL2 Zen: Step 1 - Dog moves away from uncovered treat on floor. Pass.
TL2 Zen: Step 2 - Dog stays off a treat on the floor for 10s. Pass.
TL2 Zen: Step 3 - Dog stays off a treat on the floor for 30s. Fail. She began offering, Sit, then Down, then Chill & then she decided she could have the cookie. Haha!

Then, as I was fumbling with my cards, Luna looked at me, went over to her dog dish, PICKED IT UP and brought it to me! Hahahahahaha! That was hilarious! So, from there, I decided we’d just work on some Cue Discrimination, as that’s pretty poor as well. No to mention that we have no Stimulus Control whatsoever, demonstrated by all the behaviours she’s offered up to this point.

But, Cue Discrimination. She is DEFINITELY getting better at this! Dare I say she was 90% correct? I think she was. Let’s say 80%, for the sake of being truthful and not overestimating her ability. I asked for Sits (Park It), Downs, Stands (Sta), Touch, Chill, some Chin (Kin) and Nose (Snuit) once.

Then we did some more playing with retrieving the food bowl into my hand, & I added some Zen because as soon as she’d eaten the treats she’d pick the dish right up again. So I started asking for Leave It before asking her to Give it to me again. She did this very nicely! Once she got it, after 2 reps, she Sat & Stared when I said Leave It. Good girl!

Last but not least, I decided to try some more Zen-type stuff. I’d say Leave It as I dropped about 5-8 treats on the floor, she’d do that EVERY TIME and then I would ask for another behaviour (Touch, Park It, Down, Chill) before clicking & releasing her to eat the treats on the floor. When I asked for the Chill, she said ‘but there’s treats on the floor!’ So I asked for something else. The next time I dropped the treats to one side of her so she had enough room to do Chill without lying down amidst the kibble. She did it!

Then, I had er put her dog dish back where it belongs, cued another Leave It, dropped her remaining kibble in her bowl, waited for her to commit to Leaving It, and then I let her finish her meal.

This was definitely a VERY cool, VERY fun session!

The picture is Luna at 14 months, all curled up in Cedric’s (a West Highland White Terrier mix) dog bed! Isn’t she CUTE?!

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