2010-10-10

Shaping Workshop

We had "training group" today and it's really a get together for us friendly dog-friend/nerds to socialize and kinda train our dogs.  I ended up bringing Buzz today and he was oh-so-happy to go!

Elizabeth and Beckett were there, Brian brought the adorable Ms. Maisy Jane, Jane brought Finn, and Robin had her NEW PUPPY Via!

Buzz and I have been working on crating more than half-heartedly lately, trying to determine if his poor crate behavior is due to a lack of training, or possible cognitive issues.  The last two nights he has settled nicely after a walk and some down-time before bed time.  When we arrived at training group this morning, we took a short walk with Beckett and then he crated up nicely at the training center.  Very few barks and only in one instance.  I'm trying to keep better records of his behavior in general, so this is definitely something I need to pay attention to.  When, why, and for how long does he bark.

After crating adult dogs so we could PLAY WITH THE PUPPY, we actually got to work.

Robin had us do a warm up heeling/loose leash walking on both sides activity.  Three dogs milled around with their handlers and nobody had a collision.  That impressed me.  I thought for sure I'd hit a pole or a dog or someone else, but nope!  (Confession time: I've never been in a group obedience class...)  Buzz had quite a few no-sits and I was trying to work on my clicker mechanics (don't reach for the treat until after clicking) so then we stopped movement exercises and worked on semi-stationary exercises so I could focus on less.  Robin tagged me for remembering to click THEN treat.  Mannn was that challenging for me!  It's something I should work on at home a lot more and just... don't!

Scent Articles
--where we ran into the problem I always have.  How to mark a deaf dog from a distance!  I utilized Robin's expertise and extra hands to try solving this problem.  Buzz was working the "pile" (2 leather, 2 metal, plus my scented leather) nicely but not committing to the correct article, so I wanted to mark when he indicated.  The lights I brought with did not have the distance or direct-ness (I'm sure there's a better word I can't think of right now) it needs.  Robin's going to bring a laser light next week to see if we don't get better results.  I do have to admit to telling him how adorably wrong he was when he got confused one time and just started picking up articles and throwing them at me.  I never know how to handle it when he does that, so I normally call him away and just start over.  I have yet to find a way of preventing the pick up of the wrong article... ideas?

Elizabeth and I traded dogs.  She worked with Buzz on muzzling while Beck and I worked on head turns and paw lifts.

It was grand fun and I'm very sad I missed out on the first session.  I'm going to bring Buzz again next week, and I may actually bring both and trade out--I haven't done THAT in forever either!

Buzz and I miss camp.  Not that this picture has anything to do with dog training, other than it was taken at camp.

Oh, dog training fun... I just wish we could get together more often, then I'd actually have well trained dogs.

9 comments:

Eliz said...

It was so interesting training Buzz with the light. It was a completely different experience then training with Beckett. I have to admit, the reason I suggest trying to switch dogs, is I was hoping to observe differences in Beckett having him learn from someone else, I didn't realize I would be learning as well.

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Well there is always the traditional method of tie downs, but I'm sure that's not your style :)

I personally don't make a big deal out of it if the dog gets the article wrong. I quietly take it, say nothing, and the dog returns to work. I think articles are all about confidence and I don't want anything to prevent them from picking up the wrong one and doubting that moment they make a decision. If the dog is failing a lot, I might go back to putting a dab of cheese on it, or reducing the number in the pile.

Crystal said...

Brian had a great time. I think he's kicking me out of class. :(

Megan said...

First-I adore your dog Elizabeth. You've created such an enthusiastic learner it makes me laugh. He was SO silly when I was working on head turns. And--I wanted to watch you work with Buzz more, which is why Beckett and I sat next to you, so I could! You worked so well with him and figuring out the "light issue" and wondering about his peripheral vision makes a LOT of sense in every day life now too.

Laura--I did just take it and we re-set the pile then re-sent. I just want to capture the first time he works the pile. It's beautiful and methodical and exactly what I was looking for. The following sends are never as beautiful. I'm debating only doing one then taking a break but haven't thought it through enough yet. Input?

Crystal--it was fun with Brian there, but I missed you! Will you be there next week?

Crystal said...

I will be there next week. Unless Brian steals the dog. Which, he tells me, is a distinct possibility, although I think I got him to agree to SHARE the dog instead.

Megan said...

I think this means you need another dog (of course I'm kidding... but it'd be nice, right)!

Crystal said...

Well, right now Maisy is MORE than enough dog. Maybe after her meds kick in we'll feel differently?

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

If he is always having issues with the 2nd send, then yeah I would only do one for awhile. Lance and I were having the opposite issue as he gets more confident with each send but the first one was rough. But I know some others who dogs start to doubt/overthink/whatever the more they practice so they usually only do two sends. Really all you need is 2 in the ring, so I would just do 1 for now and get him really happy and confident about articles.

Megan said...

And really all Buzz needs is 1 metal (and that's if I work on the other behaviors... hah). We do this for fun, but it's been a training challenge that I want to tackle in case the same problem arises with a future dog (or, as I said... we work on the other behaviors necessary).

One it is for a while!