Thursday, August 04, 2011

Kipling's Training Journal: Part Two

Kipling is now 15 weeks, where does time go?
Family portrait.  Left to right: 
Teller (23.5" tall ), 15 week old Kipling, Murphy (25" tall)

Kipling continues to do well, we had a local three day agility trial last weekend which means that he got a lot of puppy exposure - but not a lot of formal training time. Kipling spent the weekend in to soccer facility in a noz crate. Sometimes covered, sometimes not covered. He was pretty quiet all weekend. He'd get up when I walked back towards the crates, but he also settled right back down again when he realized he wasn't coming out.

Exposure to new things
At the trial he met a bunch of new people, a couple of new dogs and I got to show off my puppy! Kipling is growing a lot right now but so far he's growing really evenly. He looks really leggy to me right now, but he's balanced front to rear. A friend pointed out that he now looks like a little dog instead of a puppy.

Kipling has earned a bit more freedom in the house in the last week, he's bombing around 'helping' me from time to time. I'm paying him when he chooses to check-in with me and I'm really not letting him roam without me knowing where he is. In the evenings he's been able to settle with a chewie with the BIG boys while I get some work done on the computer/have dinner - this has been one of the hardest things for him to "get" - he could be out and about with the boys and he doesn't HAVE to be playing, poking or exploring.

Doggy Manners
Kipling HAS decided that Teller's rule of "no climbing on me" does not pertain to Murphy (who absolutely WON'T correct him) - so I've had to step up enforcement of the no-paws on dawgs rule. He has a guilty conscience though and will often stop in his tracks and give me this "I wasn't thinking about jumping on Murphy" look. 'Thinking and not doing' is preferable to 'thinking and doing' (anyway), or 'not thinking and doing' - so that's certainly something!  :-)

Gaiting and standing
Kipling is gaiting really well,  has a nice little down and back - without even trying really. We are working on stacking, free-stacking and a stand on cue. I'd very much like to get someone with breed-handling experience to work with him a couple times a month...if there's anyone out there who wants to swap obedience/agility/training lessons (or cookies) for gaiting and stacking they should be in touch :-)

Sit, Down and Duration
I worked a lot of waits this week, mostly in the sit. As a result I've lost some of my fast-downs. They'll come back with some work - tonight for the first time I put all three boys into a fastest down 'competition' - asking for a down and rewarding the fastest down. Kipling got the idea and I got some nice speedy drops from all of them.
Duration of sits and down. I've got 30 seconds of duration now on his sit and his down. I've started adding some distance to the sit - and now get about 20' away and back (walking around behind him back into heel position). I have similar distance and duration on the down stay. I need to start adding some duration on the stand next week.
I had a great opportunity to really proof the stays/waits last Thursday night when we took all three boys (and three border collies, two rough collies and a Rottie up to the hill for a photoshoot. I put Kipling in a wait and he was really good at holding it while four photographers twittered and chirped at him. He was a super-star baby dog

Shaping Games
This week I introduced a FitPaws pod. They come in a set of four and the idea is for dogs to get one under each foot in a stacked position. I had one out on the floor aiming for one rear foot on the pod. It became apparent however that in choosing the pod I'd chosen an object that was small enough that we really didn't have many accidental offered behaviors. I ended up putting the pod away for another day. I think we might work on a paint can first, then move to the much smaller pod.

I did put him on the pods this evening as a stacking exercise (physically placing the pods under his feet) - he did a great job - even with the weird nubby tactile surface.

Kipling remains my easiest dog to dremel, we're still doing nails every other day. Right now I'm flipping him over on my lap and while he's on his back, I'm doing an entire foot at a time - cookie, then the next foot. As his legs get longer though it's going to get harder and harder to dremel this way.

Leash Walking
This is coming along. We had some moments at the show this weekend where he was really pulling - and it took a lot of patience (from both of us) to work through it. We did, but we're still having good days and bad days keeping the leash loose. Last night I did a bit of 'choose to heel' at the agility field after I'd worked Teller, once he figured out the game he was staying right with me.

Don't Chase the Kitty
This week Kipling has really taken an interest in Q  and has been tempted (and successful) in giving chase. I'm trying to prevent the chase as much as possible. Q is complicit in this chase/be chased scenario though, so I have to keep an eye on who is starting the game - it's not always the puppy.

I had people over for a BBQ last weekend, Kipling and Teller were invited at various times (Murphy was uninvited pretty early into the party when he proved himself unable to keep all of his feet on the ground). Kipling did keep his feet on the floor and even demonstrated some pretty sweet swimming skills!

This week I've combined recall with the collar game. Kipling! (he starts to head my direction) Come! (click as he's moving towards me) and when he comes to me I'm treating him and taking his collar, holding the collar for a few seconds or a minute and then releasing him. The idea is that coming to 'mom' doesn't end the fun, collar games are good and that he'll likely get to go play again. This is all preparation for going for walks and runs off-leash. I need to be able to get a hold of him if we're in the woods and we run into people or other dogs....

More updates next week!

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