Friday, October 10, 2008

Random training results

Sooo we are trying some new things with the wild Miss Liz to keep her training moving along. One thing we are doing is to have her play agility with Alicia, our awesome instructor, and I have been fortunate enough to have Pickle run with me so that I can feel how it feels to have a dog that really understands their job, so I can handle Liz with more confidence. WE have also went back to decreasing her distractions, and gosh we had some beautiful work this week. Liz really likes to play agility with Alicia. I found having someone else run Liz had some very big benefits,
1. I can see what Liz is doing that are mistakes because of my handling and what she just isnt understanding.
2. I found it VERY useful to see how Alicia handles Liz, she is very upbeat and very exciting and I found it really neat to see her use that with Liz and see how she motivates Liz with those type of skills, I think that will help me a lot. I have also been understanding lately that I do not have to be worried about Liz level of excitement, it just has to be handled and directed and Alicia does that really well with her. Liz is getting way more used to working with a higher level of excitement and I think if we can get her trialing that will be a good thing. Watching someone else who is of course going to have different tools is very useful to see different ways to handle things and how they work.
3. I think it will give me more confidence with Liz to see that I can trust her more then I do at times-although I totally love her but there are times when I should trust her more but because I am trying so hard to make sure she does well I do not give her as much a chance to shine as I could.
4. I would guess that working with more then one person will help Liz to generalize her job and understand what she is doing even when there are slight differences in how different people cue the job.

SOOOO for the rest of my dogs, and any new puppies I think that having them learn to work with other people will be something I am going to make sure to add to my little list of things I would like to teach my doggies. I was soooo proud of Liz, I knew she would work for Alicia, but I did not know she would do as well as she did. I was sitting right next to them working and the first minuete she was not sure what she was supposed to do but then she understood that Auntie Alica has good things to eat and she knows how to use a toy, then she was more then happy to hang with her and play agility.

ON the other side of the equation, I got to run a little with Pickle. Pickle is my hero and such an awesome dog. It did feel really neat to be working with a dog that so totally understands his job. I think that my experience with him will really help me back off and let my dog do their job and run with more confidence. So THANKS Pickle for putting up with my learning experience.

Sooo the other thing that has happened is I pulled my back. Man am I a hurting puppy, and now for some reason my knee is killing me too. So I have been just hanging out moaning and groaning. Sooo this afternoon I deceided to do a little clicker training with Liz and Breeze. I didnt want to get up and let one outside so I was trying to think of something to teach them both at the same time that I could do without moving around a lot. So.....bored minds can react weirdly and I deceided to see if I could teach them both to target each other at the same time-to sort of give each other a kiss..... My poor girls-I am sure they would like the SPCA to know some of the things that go on around here. Anyway, it turned out to be a very fun experiment. It was really neat to see how each dog was learning just a tad different. First they are so used to shaping that when I got out the clicker and the treats they very quickly started to figure out that I was clicking for their noses getting closer to each other. It wasnt that easy to think of something that I would be able to have criteria for both dogs that I could click at the same time for both and so it was a little more challenging then I might have thought. At first they got really spastic because they had never targeted each other so they were pawing, nosing and batting at everything they could see that possibly be the key to getting their click. You could see the wheels turning that they were thinking hummm, it seems to have something to do with touching my sister, but how could that be? Finally I think Breeze totally had that she was supposed to touch Liz's nose with her nose,, and I think what Liz was understanding was to turn her nose toward Breeze and let Breeze do the nose touch on her nose. Anyway, it ended up with a very sweet kiss looking behavior and when I left off we were putting it on cue. It was a way to pass a little time and kept my girls busy for a short while, and I just love doing fun little training sessions because I am always so amazed at how quickly they pick everything up and figure things out now a days. Just seems the more we play with shaping the quicker they get it, and now they are so quick.

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