Sunday, December 4, 2011


I mostly post about agility but I do train other things.  One of the games we play is giving the dogs the choice to try and steal their own reinforcement (food from the floor etc.) or be rewarded for making the good choice to ignore it. I had played this game with my dogs somewhat halfheartedly since they were pups.  They were very good at it BUT they knew when I was playing and when I accidentally dropped something that they could get to before me.  I've never really worked too hard to teach a "leave it" command because that assumes that I see something before they do.  Last winter Engineering Dad dropped an advil on the floor by accident.  Before leave it had left his mouth a dog had scarfed it down.  I had both dogs vomit immediately and in for blood tests a few days later.  It turns out it was Rylie that got to the pill first as his tests came back with elevated kidney levels.  They did even out so all is well.  Anyway I decided I had better redouble my efforts with the It's Yer Choice game.  Yesterday I accidentally dropped Rylie's probiotic pill - it skittered across the floor in front of both Max and Rylie who only looked at it and did not make a move towards it.  Now you do have to understand that Rylie gets this pill as a treat.  I was pretty pleased with our progress.

We went back to the dog park yesterday.  This is the time of year I tend to go - the weather isn't always conducive to getting in our daily walks during the week and I can stop in there while doing errands - yesterday it was nail trimming.  What I forgot was how much rain we got this week.  Rylie was a muddy mess and needed to be hosed off.  Max needed his feet hosed.  Both Engineering Dad and I needed a full change of clothes.  We did meet another Cavalier though.  He was 10 months old and looked like a Mini Max.

Today was class day.  Max and I had class in the morning and then I switched off dogs and brought Rylie to a practice group that we have.  One of the other trainers in the group is also doing the recallers course.  After practice we played some of the games with Rylie and Jam.  I am so stoked that I got to play with Jam.  He is a young Golden Retriever (not quite two).  He was totally awesome - he came when I called him even though he doesn't know me from Adam and I was even able to call him off his toy.  I know his trainer has worked really hard with him and it shows.  Rylie was able to sit in his chair while I played with Jam - holy distraction Batman!  When it was his turn to play he caught on to the game a bit too quickly.  "Gee momma will give me a treat - the nice lady will call me and give me a treat, then mama will call me and give me a treat.  Maybe I can make this treat business happen faster if I just run back and forth between mama and the nice lady).  He is pretty smart - when we were practicing sequences this afternoon I kept messing up my positional cues.  By the third try Rylie had the sequence aced so it didn't really matter what I did!  Maybe if I let him watch the video he can get it right the first time!

1 comment:

Riley and Stella said...

It's so wonderful when we see the training and hard work paying off.