Friday, August 19, 2011

Kipling's Training Journal: Part Three

Now 17 week old Kipling is really starting to loose his puppy looks - sometimes I look at him and he looks like a real dog, other times I can still see the baby-dawg. I missed his 16 week old training journal entry so we have a lot to catch up on.

Waits and Stays
Leaps and bounds in the last two weeks. He's got s super sit stay in and out of sight. Probably a minute in-sight and I have not pushed out of sight stays more than 10-15 seconds for now. I have about the same (perhaps a bit more) with the down stays, still doesn't have the ability to hold a stay for the duration that it takes me to make them dinner or breakfast (even though said prep is basically just scooping ground chicken (and veggie) parts or tossing some necks or a back into a few bowls). That will come - I have no doubt.

Kipling is now tall enough and long-legged enough to climb out of the ex-pen if he chooses to exercise that option. I am under no illusion that my perfect little puppy will continue to willingly remain where I put him! I really only need the expen option when he's eating, I'm cooking (yeah right), I'm having dinner or during the morning scramble (dog-potty, my shower, laundry, getting ready for work, etc). So I have been putting value into respecting boundaries. Cheerios for settling in there for chewies, toys for staying off the side of the ex-pen when dogs/people walk by and waiting until he downs (and stays down) before he gets let out. It's working so far!

A funny thing happened just yesterday evening. Kipling was loose in the house, he had been chewing a bone - the cat sauntered up to him, mmmmmuuuurrrrrr'ed at him and then ran away. I was on the phone at the time so when Kipling jumped up to follow the cat (at high velocity) I didn't say anything right away. To my surprise he got about two strides away, turned around and came barreling back at me (I still hadn't said a word). Wait a second! We've got a behavior chain here! Touché Kippie, Touché. So I've added a bit to the don't chase the kitty rule, subbing in a new default behavior - down. In the span of 24 hours Kipling is already downing when the kitty entices a chase. (Kitty entices all three dogs to do bad things when he's hungry).

Recalls/Attention/Name Recognition
We have really good days and we have not so good days with the name recognition/recalls. I'm still not using the word come unless he's already moving towards me and I'm still holding the collar for a few seconds before releasing him to play/get into trouble/be Kippie again.

I'm still not doing a lot of formal agility training with Kipling - but I am working a contact board with him. Basically flat (8" off the ground on the up side), running the plank, stopping at the end.

Stand and Gaiting
Both are coming along, he's a really good sport about the exam and holding still. I'm playing with some free-baiting and he's really getting it.

Kipling had another super-successful weekend on the road with us. He's still respectful and quiet in his soft-crate, he's walking nicely (99% of the time) on a leash. He's big enough now to have earned his own comfortflex harness (which arrived yesterday, didn't fit - boo-hiss), his replacement will arrive on Monday. I like getting the leash off the collar for 90% of our walks, we still need to work on the collar for sure, but the harness really makes my life easier.
The trial last weekend was a long day. Dinner for Kipling (and Murphy and Teller) was well after 6pm on Saturday and close to 9pm on Sunday. Part of the glamorous life on the road my friend...He actually handled the change and late dinner better than Murphy - who even at 7 just can't understand why dinner is EVER late!

In all the other things going on and to learn we're still playing retrieve or fetch. I'm working on sending him into  places where there are more than one toy and rewarding him for bringing back the right one. He's up to two decoys and one 'hot' toy. Attention span being what it is, I'm not going too far too fast with this skill. He's doing great on retrieving to hand, really good on the give - even with forbidden objects (my shoes). He saw his first serious dumbbell session this week, I'm not asking him to retrieve one yet - at this point just take it and hold for a second or two.

Still shaping the 2o2o on the board, I also added a new prop this week a cookie (chocolate) tin, ideally I'd like to get an offered 2o2o (rear feet) on that this week too...

Get on the ball
Kipling has slid into the peanut routine with the other boys, once again no fear and a can-do-anything-for a cookie enthusiasm.

1 comment:

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