Early February Training Plans

Update for how I did the past 2 weeks on mid-January's training plans:

1. Finishes-  I got kind've lazy and stopped practicing them that often.  But both dogs are doing really well.  Lance isn't forging as much and Vito steps on my foot maybe 1 out of 5 times now.

2. Random stays- also got lazy.  I haven't completely abandoned them, but definitely didn't make one every day.  I did figure out though that Lance can not handle it when I train the cat first (yes, I'm training the kitty now, will blog about it soon!).  Whether in a stay or not he trembles uncontrollably the entire time!  Apparently I crossed some sort of line and Lance can barely contain himself.  Hasn't broken the stay yet though.  But this type of stay doesn't really count under my "random stay" criteria since the dinner bowls and presence of the clicker means training.

3. Go Outs-  This one I actually practiced!  As previously mentioned I am switching Lance's criteria, and starting with Vito, to a paw touch on the wall.  We haven't worked on adding any distance over 10 feet, and usually stick within 5ft.  But I introduced the concept of taking a straight line, a quick paw touch to get their click, and then a sit while I walk over and present the treat.  Vito is doing beautifully.  Lance is starting to understand that I just want one paw touch instead of both paws slamming at the wall.  When I switch to a baby gate this helps him somewhat, but he still doesn't really care if he slams the baby gate to the floor. 
   For those not in the obedience world, a go out involves the dog going the length of the ring in a straight line away from the handler.  When the dog gets a far enough distance away, the handler cues the dog to sit whereupon the dog turns to face the handler and sits awaiting further instructions.  The hard part is teaching the dog to go out to essentially nothing!  There are many ways of teaching this skill but since all rings have a barrier that the dog will run towards, many people teach their dog to interact with the barrier in some way.  Then in a trial the handler simply tells the dog to sit before the dog reaches the barrier.  Of course there are a ton of issues that crop up but that's another story!  Lance is my first dog so we will learn our mistakes as we go :)

4. Tricks- again didn't do much with tricks.

Ok so I really only focused on 1 out of my 4 planned goals.  But I did do a lot of work on side (heeling on the right) which was an unexpected and unplanned goal.  I simply had no idea that Lance and Vito had no clue how to pivot on my right.  Already posted about all that though :)

The New Plans for early February:

1.  Go outs- start to add in distance.  Make sure that Lance doesn't start arching in herding dog tendency.  Continue to practice on lots of different walls, baby gates, whatever so help them generalize the behavior.

2. Side- actually teach my dogs how to heel on the right.  This includes straight line work, pivoting, side stepping, everything.  Use a high rate of reinforcement and don't try to add in too much duration.

3. Random stays-  Recommit myself to actually doing random stays around the house.  Lance needs more work on me going out of sight in these random stays since he is doing much better with the normal ones.  Try to be creative in where and when he does them.

4. Tricks- Since I sucked at trick training in January I think I'm going to pick only 1 trick to focus on.  I may do other tricks but in my normal whenever I get around to it type of way.  Lance's trick-  Hugging a toy.  Vito's trick- limping.

achieve1dream  – ( February 5, 2010 at 9:22 AM )  

I think you're doing fantastic even if you got a bit sidetracked. I admire you simply for the fact that you're training TWO dogs consistently at the same time! :) Have fun with February.

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