Current Training Plans

I've decided that in 2010 and I'm going to post more often on my little training sessions with the dogs.  Not because I think any readers care to read about it, but I think doing so will help me keep on track with my training.  No more slacking!  So here is this weeks (months?) priority list:

1. Touch vs Whack- Still working on having them discriminate between verbal cues for nose touch vs paw.  Both dogs can near 100% some sessions but then get in crazy guessing where they just swear I must really want a paw (Vito) or nose (Lance).

2. Fronts and Finishes- Vito is getting much better about not stepping on my feet as he pivots to heel.  He is however doing it in almost a 2 step motion as he pivots to my side and then very quickly scootches back into proper position.  It's not exactly 2 distinct steps as there is no pause, but the backing up looks odd.  I have no clue if this would be points off or not so I will have to ask my instructors when classes resume for the new year.

I am also reworking f&f's with Lance now.  Mainly his finishes as it is not uncommon for Lance to end up in a forged position by a good 4inches or so.  Since Lance is my first dog when I started training him I really had no clue where proper heel position was.  I did most of his training before ever joining a class and thus have ended up with this forged finish (and really forged heeling in general).  Not all the time, but a decent amount.  Once I discovered where proper  heel really was I just never made it a goal of mine to fix Lance's position.  I didn't really care too much since I didn't know how far I was going to go with his obedience work.  But now
I've decided that I DO really like training for obedience and maybe I will try to shoot for a UDX or even an OTCH with him some day.  So back to reworking his basics!

3. Praying-  This is the current trick that I am really focusing on.  You can see it in the December portion of our recap video, but there is still a long ways to go.  I started having both dogs "pray" from a stand position but then decided that looked too weird so now I"m going back and asking them to do it from a beg position.  Vito needs me standing behind him right now for support or he reverts back to his stand.  Lance is doing a modified prayer as I didn't think he could put his head in between his stubby paws.  So Lance's job is to just rest his head on the couch.

4. Other Random tricks that I occasionally practice (rarely) if I have any remaining kibble left-
Retrieving a hot dog- we've been working on getting a good hold of a frozen hot dog.  Recently started to put the hot dog on the floor.

Limping- Vito is working on it with his front right paw.  He currently rests his paw on mine as we walk and we've progressed to about 5 steps.  Lance is starting over with his front right paw (already does front left) and we're just on step 1 of keeping that paw in the air.

Cross and Pose- I am redoing this work with Vito as he doesn't have a hold where one paw remains over the other paw.  Plus on the "cross" (right over left) Vito loves to shift his left paw sideways as he moves the right paw over it.  Lance is working on getting a foot signal for cross as he already knows the foot signal for pose.

Hugging a toy- (holding a toy with paws while in a beg). This is just with Lance right now and the current goal is to get Lance to press his two paws together over the object; I am using a very thin toy.  Lance still likes to spike the toy down and doesn't fully understand this concept.  I have thought about starting this work with a pole but so far have been too lazy to go find a pole.

Scout 'n Freyja  – ( January 1, 2010 at 6:14 PM )  

Our momma has always wanted us to learn to pray - now it's on her mind again and I can see it now - school will be in session☺

Crystal  – ( January 1, 2010 at 6:44 PM )  

Maisy also forges by about 4 inches. I blame it on being short more than anything else- it just sort of naturally happens when she makes eye contact. It doesn't HAVE to happen of course, and like you, I didn't really have a good understanding of heel position when we started training.

Arwen  – ( January 2, 2010 at 4:17 AM )  

Actually I do really enjoy reading your detailed training reports - I'm still learning about clicker training (and don't have a dog yet) so it's fun to read about the hitches and surprises you can run into, and how the individual personality of a dog influences how it all works.

The holding-a-toy trick sounds too cute for words :-)

Mango  – ( January 2, 2010 at 8:06 AM )  

My drama queen nephew, Oliver, has that limping thing down already.

We love your training posts, especially when you show us how it is done because The Mango must learn things in very small increments.


achieve1dream  – ( January 2, 2010 at 9:35 AM )  

I'm glad you're going to start telling more about your individual training sessions. You have no clue how helpful that can be sometimes! Besides I love seeing what you're doing with them.

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( January 2, 2010 at 4:16 PM )  

ok Mango, is there anything in particular you want to see a "how to" on? There's a ton of videos on youtubes that break down a lot of tricks which is why I usually don't post how. But i suppose every dog learns differently and therefore each trainer has their own little twists...

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