Friday, March 1, 2013

Interesting Differences :) And How Foundation Is Important...

 The weather has been good, really good actually. Times like this the barn is a great thing to have. Just to be able to work the pups for 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there. It's worth all the hassle and expense of the barn (they are NOT CHEAP! And very labor intensive for the footing at times!).

Gator appreciates the effort thought :)
Things are going well with his A-frame. He hit a bit of a snag for one session when we went a different direction. TOTAL BRAIN FART. But, one session working on it, got things back on track!
I am now adding it into sequences so he is learning how to take the A-frame at different angles and speeds. He is doing a great job of adjusting his stride. We are still at 5'6". And I plan on staying here until he is as close to perfection as possible. He's already really doing a great job. 90% or more in all the sessions. I want to make sure I throw all I can at him...and only then will I raise everything up. Meticulous...yes. A bit over the top in regards to preparing him...possibly. But I want to minimize failure. And the more solid his foundation on this new behavior...the better the fading process will go on the box. Or so I hope :)
I gave him a day off Wed...and all he did was stare at me and this...
It was an annoying day...I was happy the next day when he got worked...
So was he :)
Onto Even Steven :)
SO...I have been working the Dawn Weaver stuff...and it's quite funny how I encountered issues, not with the method! But with my dogs learning situation and her amazing ability to self reward and choose other things to work for.
For example...took her to the livingroom. We were working on her interacting with a box...she did a little...but then left to get a toy to bring to me so we could tug...Uhh..not exactly what I had in mind :)
It's not her fault...Even did clicker training as a young dog up until she was 8 months old...then she got injured and was on crate rest...then the YEAR it took for then the rehab. And then she has been herding since then! So over 3 years since I have asked her to clicker train!
First issue: Food drive LOW
Second Issue: When not clicked for a behavior...she will IMMEDIATELY seek out outside rewards.
Third Issue: Likes to just stare...and not offer.
First Issue: She now has to work for her kibble. She has always been a good I didn't see this coming. deals with the behavior they get :) So...doing hand touches, spins left and right etc etc. Parlor tricks is what I call them :) Value in work combined with value in food. FIXED :) Is she as food driven as toy driven? No, not yet...can she switch between both now, yes :) I like having both food and toy drive...really makes things easier!
Second Issue: This one required a BIT more work. Removal of ALL TOYS (I am so used to my dogs working with toys laying all around...they stay with ME)...And I also put her in the guest bedroom (sterile environment as far as distractions) to work first sessions...slowly introducing toys (low value then working my way up) during work for her to ignore...NOW...she is working no matter what :) Cat, other people, toys, etc...FIXED :)
Third Issue: Just fixed that with the super easy tricks we worked on. She knows LOTS of tricks...but hasn't actually had to LEARN ONE in years! She was super rusty! Now...she is an offering MACHINE.
I just assumed she would be like her sister Lynn...who, has had several years of training, shaping etc....OOPS. MY BAD :) that the foundation for learning as been set. Things are going well :) Funny how we forget those things that have to be solid BEFORE we start training. Makes the act of training so much easier!!!! LOL
Thank you Even, for teaching me yet another thing :) You are NOT your sister ;-)
You are much more odd :) And we love you so much for it! Not odd in a scary way...but odd in a "makes you laugh because she comes up with the funniest things!" way :)
Like laying on the back of furniture like a cat...first dog we have that does that :)

So far I am liking the method...clear, very easy to mark...and Even seems to really be understanding the method. I think it is great to learn new methods. And on top of it support other trainers. I know first hand it can be tough to support oneself training I have no issues supporting other trainers that I admire and respect. Some people have asked me why I am not going through the method. Because it is her method...and she makes it easy to learn through her online classes. And she needs to make a living too ;-) So if you are interested...please go visit her website and sign up!!
On top of all this going on, plus teaching, plus working on upcoming seminars...lambing has started :)
We had our first set of twins a few days is doing well, babies are doing well...things seem to be going ok. I am hoping this continues. We have lots of first time others going this year. Which, for me can be nerve wracking...but. I took the entire month of March off of seminars to focus on the sheep.
With Klink and Zip, I am set to handle just about anything...
Spring is getting closer and closer!!!!!!!!!

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Hey I just wanted to say that you do an amazing job. I have been following your blog for the last couple of months cause I wanted to get my puppy in agility. You posted a while back about doing an online course to see what new things you could learn. I just wanted to say thank you!! You gave me the courage to sign up for an online class as well. You rock, keep up with the awesome work!!!