Thursday, October 9, 2008

Training Update - Riley

First, a cute story... Riley has learned to sit and down. The other night we were all standing at the back door. Stephen and I were putting muzzles on everyone. Reagan had a boo boo I had to take care of, so I had a treat in my hand to give her after I had messed with it. Riley had smelled it, so she plopped herself into a down in the middle of everyone hoping for a treat. It was very cute. I love to see the wheels turning in their heads.

On Tuesday, Stephen was kind enough to come video some training sessions. So this is Riley at just over 2 weeks of training.

This video is of Riley working on sits and downs. Riley responds to a sit and down hand signal without food in my hand and she is learning to maintain the position while I move around and to wait for my release word. I stress this in my classes, but it is very important to reward hand signals with food you then have to reach for (pocket/pouch/container/etc). Otherwise you train the dog to respond only if the food is under his nose.

This is Riley working on eye contact and name recognition. I stop her from sitting because I do not want her to think that is what we are working on. I am mostly just waiting for eye contact, saying her name, and clicking & treating for it. Occasionally, I say her name and click & treat for the head turn towards me.

This is Riley working on recalls. Its important to start recall training on leash so you can make it happen. A week ago, I had to use the leash to show her what to do. Now the leash is there as back up if she ignores me which is bound to happen at some point. Since we are in a safe area, I do drop the leash a couple of times, but again it is there if I have to correct her. I also want her to know that I will grab her collar, so I put my hand on her collar each time she comes in for the treat.

Stephen also helped me start her on tunnels. She was very easy and very willing to give it a try. I have also started her on jumps.