Obedience games on the road

Vito is continuing to progress, in some ways, with his obedience training.  Still working extremely little on actual behaviors and focusing completely on engagement.

Progress is hilly with the first test.  The ability for Vito to start training on the first attempt with 100% of the attitude I want is mostly getting better.  But it can still take multiple exits and restarting on occasion.

The second aspect I just started working on with Vito is very short sessions of no food or toys.  Success in this is HUGE in many ways.  With Puppy Vito this was very easy to do but as his anxieties started to increase after his 2nd birthday I lost this ability.  The pushing and shoving I would do suddenly became too much pressure and only served to shut him down.  I've been slowly building it back up by trying very hard to insert myself into the use of food rewards, doing lots of relieving of pressure through backing up and/or running away, and creating high value for his hand touch and chest vault tricks.

Today I walked to the park with Vito to see how he would do with this game in a "new" place.  Vito's been to the park a lot for some off leash sniffing and we used to practice disc there, but he hasn't really done much obedience work there.  Here's me acting like an idiot:


I'm giving our session two thumbs up!  Pushy Toller appeared and he happily engaged with me for a full 4 minutes of play/work!  I did give him two treats in the last minute but I'm hoping they were the bonus cookies they felt like rather than bribe cookies to stay connected.  Our play was definitely obnoxious and I will eventually work on toning it down so that it could actually be useful in the obedience ring.  But for the now, the scratches on my arms and belly are a fun reminder.
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Riley and Stella  – ( October 6, 2013 at 7:26 PM )  

Love it! Nice to know I am not the only idiot running around acting like a fool with their noisy dog in public :). I really like that move he does where he leaps off your body.

Ximena  – ( October 6, 2013 at 9:46 PM )  

That just made me so happy right now.

Elli and I worked on obedience in a Walmart parking lot the other night. She was definitely struggling with distracted/fearfulness for the first two rounds, but really lit up on the third. :)

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( October 6, 2013 at 11:04 PM )  

Thank you guys!
The chest vault trick is actually very easy to teach if your dog already has a dog catch! Start by sitting in a chair, invite the dog up on your lap and then throw a treat off. I draw the dog up and off with my hand/treat. Gradually stand up straighter and straighter with either pillows udner your butt or squats on a wall :)

Ximena- That sounds like fast progress with Elli! I feel like it's taken so long with Vito but now we're finally making steady and real progress.

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