Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Scales & Tails

I was extremely proud of Laev on Saturday. We attended an event called Scales & Tails at our state museum, where Laev worked nicely among LOTS of dogs, cats, ferrets, raptors, lizards, snakes, and the public. I was very, very happy with her self-control around the kittens in training (who helped by staying nice and calm), even when they were inches from her nose (never loose!).

She did a couple of demos on training, nothing fancy. We showed how to teach nose targeting and then how to use that to get loose leash walking and easy handling for vet exams and nail trims. The kittens showed beginning cat training (just nose targeting; they'd come from a shelter only two days before and weren't far along) and Shakespeare happily volunteered behavior for audience members who got to try shaping for the first time.

When we first entered the building, Laev got a bit overwhelmed by the crush of excited dogs and people. I glanced down as we were en route to our area and saw her quiet, but hackled. (Remember hackles can be simple arousal as well as fear-aggression!) We paused, I spoke briefly to her, she glanced up and gave me a wag, and the hackles went down. Off to our spot, and she was fine all day after that. I didn't give her a chance to get riled about the kittens (she had not seen them before) which were crated next to her; I took her from her crate, immediately clicked her for looking into the kitten crate and noting them but BEFORE she could get excited, and quickly got her looking at the kittens as a visual target. She offered a down and glanced happily but calmly at the kittens. Yay!

Overall, good behavior at the museum.

That night, however, Laev depressed me during our training session. She had MUCH better things to do than recall from distractions. Finally got her working, but ugh. Still in remedial school on some things!

1 comment:

Deborah Leão said...

Awsome! Congratulations for the both of you! Yay, Laev, for keeping calm in the presence of a kitten, and kudos for you, Laura, for acknowledging her stress and dealing with it before it became a real problem.