Well we survived another Christmas. Here’s what went down that week…
00:00 – Pan Hot Hunts a piece of string.
Pan, our Boston mix goes nuts for a piece of hanging string. She’s a serious hunter.
There was a cat toy attached to the string that Pan really wanted to put some hurt on. She worked this toy until I wound it up around the sprinkler system.
The guy hanging out with us is Kenny, and he’s super cool. He makes a yearly pilgrimage to Michigan to see family around the holidays, and Apryl is on his short list of visits.
01:13 – Doing Nothing is Hard Work
Our dogs have been classically conditioned to go bonkers when someone walks out on the astroturf in the studio; they know that exciting things are going to happen. And most of the time they are correct.
One thing that you can do to remedy this is to belie that classical conditioned understanding. If the dog believes something is going to happen and has a physiological response because of that belief, don’t go there. Have a problem with a bonkers dog walking to the Frisbee field? Walk out there and don’t play, just chill out, then leave. A few reps of the dog not playing at the field can have massive impact on the classically conditioned state.
This session was supposed to be about doing nothing, which is not really that easy to do. Here I am giving it a shot. Looks like I make it about 20 seconds before I toss Hops a ball. I did manage to keep it super low key.
Notice how the game changes when Leilani (border collie on the couch) gets excited. I really blow the session by allowing the energy to get away from me.
04:34 – Ballwork for Dog Catch
Apryl and Lexi use an exercise ball to assist with early dog catch training. Lexi is a pretty simple dog and is quite the athlete. Once she figures that out, she’ll be dangerous.
This is a really nice bridge between ballwork (Top, A Stall has the dog leaping up and chilling out on the handler’s back. Stalls are great for showmanship and for presenting a dog to the crowd. They create a dramatic or emotive pause amidst the craziness of a disc dog freestyle routine.... & Rebound) and dog catch. You can see Apryl using reward placement to set Lexi’s approach and Apryl’s giving a ton of cookies in the Dog catch.
At 5:33, you can see her balk on the right to left side. Dogs don’t often like to work both ways, and handler’s often only use their right hand to give cookies. So the dog works in one direction. Work the strong side way more than the weak if you have a problem with this as a team. It’s more important to make the dog catch valuable and achievable first. Once you have that, you can get the other direction fairly easily.
Apryl starts with the Stall cue and quickly moves to “Dog Catch” as the cue and she also starts to generalize the handler position by standing up after the catch. She wraps it up with the finished dog catch.
08:08 – Skratty Hugs
Apryl & Skratty work on a new freeshaped skill – Hug – thanks Georgios!
This skill is a duration behavior. Apryl will bookend it – cuing the skill, paying while the behavior is happening and then making it to the release. Duration is defined by the release.
The frantic nature can be combated by a more constant flow of cookies.
The session ends with Go Do Dog Stuff... Dismissal means that the handler is off limits. It doesn’t mean the dog has to go, or that work is finished, or stop doing that behavior, it just means that the handler is off limits now and the dog has to occupy her own time. This is a powerful concept that can be leveraged to manage....
10:15 – Daily Life @ PVybe – Going Outside
Typical going outside chaos. I think we have 8 dogs going out here.
I work threshold with my crew at the x-pen gate and the door. Eye contact is what is being marked at each threshold. We come in and work a downstay for a while after this. It’s kind of standard operating procedure when we have guests.
15:33 – Daily Life @ PVybe – Group Down Stay
So mean, turning on the vacuum cleaner while they’re staying, but that’s life here. Notice pan still working the string @16:11.
20:38 – Early Over with Lexi
Notice that Lexi has a hard time doing this skill from Apryl’s right to left. Left to right is pretty easy, but there’s not enough value in the left hand for her to commit to it.
Apryl tries a flag and flash over which Lexi wasn’t quite ready for, and then wound up moving to a kneeling over to generalize the skill a bit.
More bitework would be helpful.
23:30 – Special Art with Apryl Lea
Apryl Lea whips up some special metal art…
These are the prizes for the Spooky Jam, custom made “Grateful Jack-O-Lanterns” by Apryl Lea.