Monday, February 26, 2007

Straight Fronts, Upright Sits & Squirrels.

I'm trying to straighten Laev's fronts, which are, um, imperfect. :-) She sits close, but crooked.

Our Schutzhund helper recommended teaching her to bump and hold the dumbbell against my torso, which is only possible to do correctly if she's straight. We'll see how that goes, and I hope it will carry over to fronts without a dumbbell as well.

In other news, Laev seemed to relapse during obedience to earn a bite today (obedience in high arousal), complicated by a few errant clicks (I have someone else click during this exercise because I know I'm not capable of accurate clicking while handling a lunging dog!). Confused, she went through a half-dozen or so reps without getting reinforcement, because she wasn't meeting criteria. Our criteria was a correct sit -- upright, not leaning forward ready to lunge -- within 2 seconds of the cue.

Frustration was building. She got hotter and hotter, figuratively speaking. And then I dropped her and said, "Sit!" and she bounced stiffly into the position with a distinct air of, "Click the #*@&$ clicker!" We did, and she earned her reinforcer, and after that she seemed to do better, even getting down to a 1 second latency occasionally.

Not a finished product, by any means, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel....

I need a way to control the local squirrels! so I can do this work with them. Laev is such a nice dog, and I really love her, and the ONLY time I want to bash her head in is when she's focused on squirrels! :-) If she's on leash or working with me, I can interrupt before she gets in The Zone and is mentally gone. Today, though, she was loose in the multi-acre yard, and when I went out to collect her, she had no brain for anything but running from tree to tree. /sigh/ Such good training, right....

1 comment:

Shawndra said...

Surely you could clicker train those squirrels to do something useful. Then send 'em over to my house. ;)