a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Chip Training 3

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chip Training 3

SUMMARY: More random notes from the last few days.

  • Bedtime: The dogs seem to be working things out overnight. I do tell him to get off the bed if one of my dogs is looking displaced, but often I wake up with 3 dogs on the bed. So much for that.
  • Nose touch: Have been doing a few click-treats randomly here and there, but put some effort into it this evening. He's catching on--going back and forth from a light touch at the edge to a solid touch in the middle, then sitting abruptly and scratching (stress behavior, natural as he figures out clicker training and how to figure out how to figure out what I want!). He's so circumspect about it, though, and he also chews the tiny Zuke halves each time, so it takes a bit. Need to cut up more hot dogs so as to work it a little faster.
  • Lawn mower: I'm guessing that he's never encountered a reel push-mower before. First he was concerned about it, then cautiously inspected it while I held it still for him, then wanted to bark at it, which I discouraged each time he started. By the end of the lawn mowing, he was watching but not barking. Don't know whether that'll last.
  • Barking: He is very vocal. I'm afraid that he's spending a lot of time in the yard, barking, when I'm gone. As soon as I hear him when I'm here, I open the door and tell him no barking, and then he runs happily into the house (I'm not calling him; he just does that). Must be careful that I'm not teaching him that i pay attention to him when he barks, bah, don't want him using that against me! This afternoon it looked like he was checking to see whether I was looking after he barked. Hm.
  • Sit-stay, down-stay: I'm practicing these at random times while playing or doing other stuff. He's pretty good now at waiting for my release to get his meal after sitting. Duration is getting better already.
  • Agility obstacles: Have gotten him to run through a full-length curved tunnel two or three times, chasing after Boost. After that, he trotted back and forth through it on his own, then around the outside, then back through, as if he were trying to figure out how it transported him from one place in the yard to another place with a different orientation (because it's curved). Pretty cute.  Also am getting him to go over a very low jump by tossing a toy, and he's just fine with that. Still hampered by not being able to line him up using his collar.
  • Collar grab/leading him by collar: Spent a bunch of time the last couple of days doing more desensitization of those things in various ways, just trying to get him to not dodge away when I reach for him, and to move forward happily with my hand putting pressure with his collar. I think we're making progress.
  • Recall: Haven't worked on that a lot specifically. Tried again at the big schoolyard with him loose on a long line; he does run after Boost a few times as she chases the frisbee, but too many other interesting things for him to come back every time. Sorry to say that I lost control of him twice--once I was standing on the line when two tween-aged girls came running by, and he ran straight at them, barking, and somehow the line pulled out from under my feet (it has a thing at the end to keep it from sliding through, but it must have pulled sideways). They stopped running immediately and he just wanted to check them out. I apologized, said it was a new dog that I was fostering and was still figuring him out, and they said they completely understood because they had done some fostering of dogs. Whew!  The second time I thought he was coming to me, then suddenly took off alllll the way across the huge field towards the blacktop area, barking ferociously--there were skateboarders on the far side of the blacktop, so far away that I hadn't even noticed them, but he did.  Fortunately he stopped at the edge of the blacktop and just stood there barking, so I could collect him.  I need to work on his recall, but so many things to work on!
  • Snuggling: He seems to like snuggling. Did I say that already? he does this funny cute thing with his head upside-down.
  • Playing: Today is the first day that I didn't see him and Boost playing and wrestling together--I was gone part of the day, but I also think that Boost might be having enough of it--she *is* 9, and I wonder whether she gets a little sore from that. 
  • It's been three days since my last post, so I'm sure we've done more than this. Will add more if I think of anything later.

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