Doing more little bits of things with Chip.
Lately we’ve been working on our targeting. His hand targets have turned out very very strong, so now we’re working on transferring that to a clear target. I’m going at it pretty blind, and just went back to read Shaping Success for some clarity.
Training some new always starts out like this for me. We get “so so” success and I get frustrated because I feel I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m ready to give it up and train what I know how to do. I know how to teach a stop at the end of a board just by itself, and Chip has learned it during banging the end of the teeter. But from my own experience with Derby, and watching everyone else, only training a 2on 2off on contacts can erode SO easily. In fact I think it’s almost guaranteed to when you couple it with human behavior. So the more criteria he has to do his contact, the more likely it is to stay intact. So on the dogwalk and teeter he’ll run to the end, stop in a 2 on 2 off position and nose target until released.
We started playing around with some teeter. He already has a good understanding of hopping on the side, and riding it down in a down position. We just started leaving him in a sit stay before the teeter, I go to the other end and hold it up. He runs all the way up starts tugging, then I lower down. After a few sessions of that, he was dropping it on his own. After training Derby I never worry about speed in the beginning, I know once they develop confidence even more speed will come. But Chip was getting a little sticky of not driving all the way to the end of the teeter every time. It’s amazing what a change in reward will do. Swap the riot stick out or a deflated soccer ball and bam! faster Chippy!
Other than that we’ve been doing A LOT of control work. I’ve started leaving him in a sit stay, putting his toy behind him, calling him to me, then releasing him back to the toy. The better he gets at it, the more complex behaviors I ask of him when he gets to me.
Circle work is improving. I’m working on holding the toy in different positions while we run : hand closest to him, opposite hand, swinging in the opposite hand etc…. After a few near misses of tripping over him when I held it in my opposite hand, he’s actually doing really well!
One week his sit stay mysteriously went missing, so we’ve been putting extra reinforcement on that. After watch Success with One Jump, I’ve started working on tossing the toy back to him, then releasing him to it. That’s been working well, and hasn’t been an issue since.
I’ve been working on putting commands on things, since he’s been shaped to offer lots of things, but I haven’t put words on most of those. Sit, Down, Give and OK are really the only commands he knows. We’ve been working on adding a “get back” to his walk back that he offers regularly.
Can’t believe the little Choo is almost 1 year old!
This week Greg and Laura Derrett are here doing 4 days of seminars! Derby gets his turn to work, then 2 days of a UKI trial! Time to work on our contacts, the are nonexistent in trials.