Sunday, August 22, 2010

Challenge Week #3

I did do my challenge this weekend! In our recall course one assignment was to have a STRANGER hold our dogs leash for some restrained recalls. I went to four parks but it was hot and the first three parks were totally empty. There was one man and his kids but Breeze started alarm barking and acting weird so I did not feel it was a good idea to ask someone to hold her,....not that they would with her acting like that. I opted instead for doing some recall games with the man and his kids close by.

At the last part I was able to find a guy who would hold Cricket and she did some fantastic recalls with him holding her. I started with some really close recalls in the playground full of screaming kids. She was pretty over the top seeing the kids (happy, she loves kids), but doing some close recalls got her mind in gear and got her excitement level to where she could work. Cricket was able to do some nice recalls and then play some games with me around the kids. I also used a few people that I let Cricket wander close to then I recalled her. I really think some dogs are fantastic naturally at recalls and Cricket is one of those, then I have worked on them since the day she came home, and so who knows what is responsible, but even at her age I would totally trust her more then any other dog I have ever had, even when there are HUGE distractions she is normally fantastic, and I am used to puppies her age being pretty spacey, but not the incredible Cricket.

Lizzie was so overstimulated I did not even ask if anyone could hold her leash, she was just too over the top stimulated. I am thinking that Liz's default behavior the behavior she defaults to when she is really nervous/unsure is to go hyper, start sniffing, disengage and calm herself with running and movement. I am trying to work to give her different options, so I was trying to think how am I going to manage in this situation. One of her FAVORITE games is the little recall game where you throw a treat one way and then call them back, give them a treat, throw out a treat to get them to go away and then call them get the picture. Well, to my surprise she got really happy, I think she got a job that she totally understood to occupy her mind and so she did not have time to think about getting over stimulated. She happily played the game with two little toddlers yelling and running about two feet from her and several screaming children on the playground equipment about eight feet away and lots of parents about thirty feet away. Liz also loves kids, but they just get her so excited. Only Breeze thinks little kids are aliens sent to do horrible things to her so she has to guard against them!

A LATE very happy development in the blogger world my Japanese friends have made a couple of comments but there appears to be a new feature on the blogs and none of their comments made it to the web page, they went into the spam comments folder and apparently I could over ride that if it was a mistake by going to the spam folder or just permanently delete them, how cool is that, that is the only spam I have ever got and now it looks like Blogger took care of it, THANKS BLOGGER!!!


Priscilla said...

Great job on the recalls.

I've always been looking for ways to teach your dog recall.
Eva is an independent dog (and I know that's not even an excuse) so she only comes when nothing else is interesting. ...which is TERRIBLE! Because recalls are meant to work on coming when something else is more interesting.

I have no idea how to teach her to come. We do recall games all the time, but she's not THAT interested in food or squeaky toys. Once there are cars, nothing is more interesting.

All dogs are different and it's great to know what they all are like.

With Mika, you can call him anytime not be worried because he WILL come to you.
Eva is just too spoilt!

Kathy said...

I feel for you Priscilla--I have never worked as hard to teach a recall as I have with Liz and hers is the worse I have ever had in a dog!! With her it is a stress thing, but we have to work through it ;-). It is getting much better, but it is still a work in progress! Kathy

Sara said...

Great job! I'm most impressed by the fact that you are doing the challenge with all THREE of your dogs. Plus, you have to adapt the challenge for each one. That makes it really interesting to read about.

I've been trying out the toss the treat ahead and then call game. Oreo will not turn toward me/look at me until he's done eating the first treat. The game feels like it is in slow motion. Any ideas? Should I try low value to toss, high value recall? Maybe you could post a short video of liz playing? I could be doing the whole thing wrong! LOL.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Great job with your training challenge!! I too am so impressed that you are doing it with 3 dogs! Cricket's recalls sound amazing! And hurray for figuring out a game that Liz loves so much she will keep her mind on it and not stress out! It's so difficult to figure stuff like that out but you did it and are having great success! Congratulations!

AC said...

Impressed with all your work and impressed with your dogs!! Those were some serious distractions. I too, would love to see this toss treat, recall game!

Sagira said...

Sounds like you are doing a great job with your challenges. Keep up the great work!

Diana said...

I do think some dogs are just good a recalls. Not to say you havent worked at it. I used to have a springer spaniel. I never really worked on things that much. He new a few tricks like, sit, down, beg and paw. But he always came when called. I would walk at the park, let him off leash to run and then just call him and he would come right back. I could have him off leash out front of our house and he would just hang out with us. Never tried to leave. Now I struggle to get my dogs to always listen and come when called. How does that happen?
Sounds like you had a great recall session with your dogs. Diana

Marie said...

I never cease to be amazed at how different training each of my dogs is. You are doing such a great job of adjusting your training methods to suit each dog. It sounds like it's paying off too. You seem to be getting some really great results. :-)