Cougar's Last Week of Training

We're down to Cougar's last week with us.  She's 5.5 months old now and really has been an easy puppy.  Laid back, cuddly, and confident with everything.  Of course that self confidence does get her in trouble!  But Cougar really is starting to "care" and pay heed to our warnings.  Our house is never clean and Cougar doesn't pick up objects to chew on as much anymore.  She's starting to come the first time she's called.  And Cougar did finally tone down the constant wanting to play with Zumi.


Training wise the biggest feat I think I accomplished was getting Cougar to think around food.  My first goal with her was getting her to understand that staring at food did not ever cause it to land in her mouth.  It was all about moving away from food in order to get it.  I have no problems training with her food bowl on the ground anymore and she doesn't get nearly as stuck anymore with shaping.  Still a work in progress but I'm happy with her progress in such a short time!

Other tasks trained:
Heelwork: Great pivots on a perch and mostly is pretty good about doing tight pivots off the perch and a bit of side stepping on both my left and right side.  Does tend to cheat still at times and that pesky auto sit she had can get in the way.  I think I mostly succeeded in breaking that auto sit ;)  We tried some heeling backwards but she's not quite ready for that.

Fronts: Lured between my legs to teach her to come close, straight, and do a tucked sit.  We are now working on getting her position slightly less between my legs.  Cougar is working on angled fronts right now but struggles often.

4 Feet in a box: Something we played with early on but haven't done in a while.  A very hard exercise for Cougar!!!  We struggled with the big box, finally succeeded and never got the smaller box.  Controlling her back legs is hard!

2o2o: Cougar learned that back feet on an object pays.  She can back up to 3 feet to get into position but this is a very hard exercise for her and it makes sense considering how hard the 4 feet in exercise was.  Cougar has only recently started to learn coming forward into the 2o2o position on her box like she would for beginning agility foundations.

Out around a cone: Cougar is working on distance and can still get stuck staring at a cookie in my hand.  Her max is around 8ft but usually we are sticking around 3ft to build more confidence.  Just recently I started rear crosses on the cone and sending sometimes to 2 cones before rewarding.
I found it fascinating with Cougar that it has been difficult getting her to run on either the send or the return.  Even with me running away or throwing the reward she just happily trots after :)

Beg: Just started this last week!  Cougar likes it because she can stare at the cookie.

Reverse through my legs: I started this trick to help with Cougar learning to backup in heel position.  Cougar has a solid 1ft backup to end up between my legs and we're working on both distance towards me and maintaining backing up once she's between my legs.

Scootch: Cougar offered backing up in a down her second week with me and I ran with it.  We had a short distance built up but I haven't visited it recently.

Retrieve: Here is where we made the least progress.  When we first started she of course wouldn't move away from my food hand to interact with an object but we worked through that.  Progressed from nose touches (and quite a few paw attempts) to biting.  And she was just starting to get tiny holds and then we stalled out.  I think her teething played a big role here so I put this on hold.

Moving Downs: Just started!  I think yesterday's session was her 2nd introduction to the concept of lying down from a walk.  With the help of a food hand to keep her focused and I ended up pushing my hand slightly in towards her chest to get more of a fold back as Cougar wasn't consistently folding the way I liked.

Here is a long video of Tuesday's training session, just edited out the times I went to grab more food.

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.- Roger Caras

Email: lkwaudby (at) gmail.com

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