Saturday, 5 December 2009

8th and 9th training session Bill

8th training session
Started to add in default. He responded really quickly.

I was quite amazed with how quickly he got it. It is always like that, I find, that if you do the foundation work properly then the rest is really simple and becomes very clear.

Later in the evening I showed Andrew and despite the distraction of him being there Bill still did the behaviour on cue.

9th training session
It was not really a planned training session. Bill came with me shopping. A bunch of children surrounded me, asking all sorts of questions about Bill and dogs in general. Then they asked me if he could sit or something. So I thought to myself, yes, why not, I might as well try it and see if he does it in this environment. No harm done, if he hadn't done it - I would have known that it was stretching it a bit much.

So I tried and I used my release word instead of clicker since I did not have the clicker with me (I had treats in my pockets though :-)). He did the behaviour every time on cue apart from once when he did it without cue. He did the default really well and guess if it was a success amongst the children! I think Bill has done some good advertising for dogs today, which is very well needed.

Continue proofing the behaviour. Add in length to it.

Friday, 4 December 2009

7th training session - Bill


  • No target stick
  • Cue: Pointing at him with two fingers


  • 2X10
  • First set, every time when he anticipate going up on his back paws, I give the cue
  • Second set, introduced default


  • Worked really, really well. I would say that he definitely has started to get the cue after this training session.
  • Proofing is still needed
  • Delaying so he stays up is on the agenda after that

Sixth training session - Bill on back paws using target stick


  • To lessen the target stick and possibly fade it out
  • 3X10


  • 3X10 + 1X10 later
  • Started with a few nose touches when he is still on the floor
  • Moved on to raise it again so that he comes up on his back paws
  • No problems here at all, he anticipates the movement every time and could start fading the stick
  • The last set I did with no stick at all, I pointed with two fingers at him.


  • Continue doing the two fingers, if hesitation, possible have to go back to stick a few times.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Found and old unpublished note about Elsa tracking (from March!)

Well, I published it but it looks a bit strange since it suddenly is added in to Bills target training :-).

Search on the label you are interested in if you would like to follow something specific.


Tracking, Down stay, Recall, Group, Jumps

Sunday 15th of March 2009



Serpentine track, not too long. Food in every foot step. Not opened Ceasar dog food in the end, hidden. About 10 minutes.


Group of people watching, good for Elsa and good for me. Had her sitting before I let her go on the track. Happy tracking, a little bit confused at times but comes back to it.


I laid too narrow bends in the serpentine therefore she got a bit confused. However, she solved it and got to the end without that much struggle.

  • Need to do bigger swirls if doing serpentines.
  • Good to have people watching.
  • I should could lay much longer tracks.

Down stay


  • Lay her at the club while other dogs are training.
  • Reward when head is down.


  • Quite a long down stay, probaly about 10 minutes. Other dogs doing sendaway, playing and just generally training.
  • Rewarded her while head down.


  • She is very stable.
  • Need somebody else to click while head is down. Otherwise she goes on my command and/or my looking at her.



To see what she does if I recall her from a down position on a 30 paces distance.

Stop in the present position.


Laid her down and called her to the present position.


Need shorter distance for a little while since she started to swing a little on her way in.

Heel work around group


Just walking around a person, reward while concentrating on me.


Lost concentration first but gained it back. I backed out of the situation and we started again. This time a lot more successful. We stopped really close to the guy that helped us. I clicked and rewarded her with pulling game with the "kong".


Need bigger groups as soon as possible.

Fifth and sixth training session

Fifth training session
YES! I think we are repairing the biting/chasing now.

From clarity to clarity, Bill just got it and went like a little clock - nose touch, click, treat - nose touch, click, treat.

I left it after 2 sets.

Right thing to go back and sort out our little hickups.

Sixth training:
To higher it so that he has to raise up to touch it.

First set, got it straight away.
Second set, started to work away the stick which he responded really well to.

Decided to go over hand signal to verbal signal. So next session, lessen the stick and move over to visual cue - two fingers pointing at him.

Fourth training session - 2nd of Dec


  • 3X10
  • To try and repair the damage I did by raising the criteria too fast. (Sigh!)
  • The way to do it was to go back to having the target stick very close to him every time so I do not accidently trigger chasing/biting. Setting up for success.


  • 3X10
  • I'm sitting down in the kitchen.
  • Slow down tempo.
  • Target still so no biting/chasing occurs.


  • Some slight biting in the last set as well even though it constantly became better.
  • Next training: exactly the same until no biting occurs at all.
> Reason for being so meticulous about the target is that I might want to use it for other things in the future so I want the target work to be as clean as possible.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Second and Third Training Session - Bill - Stand on backpaws on Cue

Second Training Session 29 Nov 09

  • 1X10
  • Stayed on just nose touching the target stick. The session were more to show off to my husband, Andrew, how clever Bill is so I decided to not raise the criteria :-).

Third training session 30 Nov 09

  • 3X10
  • On the first set I decided to move around in the kitchen.
  • On the second set I decided to raise it a little bit so that he had to stretch upwards in order to reach it. All of this went fantastically well.
  • On the third set I decided to slowly moving the target stick in order for him to follow it.
  • I added a last set of 1X5.


  • I raised the criteria far too quickly on the third set. I almost immediately got grabbing it with his mouth and sometimes he did not fully understand what I meant.
  • Therefore I added a last set of only 5 repetitions where I had it still on his level in order to try and mend anything that might have gone wrong.
  • Results will show in the next training session.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Bill is learning to stand on his back paws on cue

Goal: To do it both on a hand signal and on a verbal cue. Idea is that he should remain there until new cue or finishing cue.

General steps for shaping the behaviour:
1. Capture the behaviour with nose target
2. Work away the target little by little
3. When anticipating clearly add visual cue -hand signal
4. Add in default behaviour (standing in front of me), click and treat for that

Phase 2:
1. Reward for staying up, add time slowly.

Phase 3:

1. Proof in different situations

Phase 4:
1. Add verbal cue where distractions are low
2. Mix with default
3. Mix with default and visual cue
4. Proof the new cue in different situations

First training session- P1
I thought he might do it as a behaviour he would offer naturally. Why I thought that is because he is often doing it in various situations. He has got an amazing balance and is so agile. He is contact seeking, he is alert and he is so keen to learn things. He has got a lovely balanced temperament with a good ability to concentrate in my opinion.

So I thought I would like to develop some of his ability and see what we can do. I was very pleased with the first training session.

  • He did not offer the behaviour.
  • I instead introduced a nose target to him which he more or less got straight away.
  • We did 3 X 10 of the nose target and the last session we started to move it to different places and heights.
  • All went very well and he worked really concentrated. Very quickly you could see him deliberately choosing the target rather than sniffing it out of curiosity.

Plan for next training
  • To start move it around to teach him to follow it.
What a lovely dog he is. Of course I already knew this but you know how it is when the feelings just overwhelmes you and you feel like you have the most clever, fantastic dog in the world. I am sure you all know what I am talking about. He is so lovable and we always have so much fun together :-). Looking forward to next training session. Will be my rewards for writing concentrated on my Assignment in Animal Behaviour for a while :-).

Thursday, 26 November 2009


Finally found out my password and username to this blog. Was not too hard actually :-).

So what has happened since last time? A lot.

Things that comes to mind at this late hour:

1. Started Animal Welfare Studies at Anglia Ruskin University
Feels like a natural and interesting way to go in order to go into Animal Behaviour on a more academic level. I really enjoy it.

2. Been to CAP3 training course in July in the Cotswolds at Learning About Dogs. Kay Laurence Clicker Assessment Program in this case led by Helen Philips, author of Clicker Gundog. Fantastic course. I so thoroughly enjoyed it and now Elsa and I are working away towards our CAP3 award.

3. I do not train with Dave Martin any longer which means that I do not have anybody I can do regular bite work for the Schutzhund training with :-(. Together with everything else that happens I therefore have put the Schutzhund training to one side. At least for the time being.

4. I am planning a boxer litter this spring. I am very excited about this!

5. I have applied to the Championship Show Judge course given by the Swedish Kennel Club. I have the Schnauzer-Pinscher Club recommending me as well as Mr Bo Skalin.

6. Charlie and Bill are both qualified to Crufts 2010.

7. I have started to do some Charity work for RSPCA. At this moment in time I am giving a puppy training course to the volonteers and to some new owners.

8. I have successfully worked with several boxers on one to one basis . I have also worked with several other breeds and cross breeds but mainly Rottweilers, AmStaff mixes and Mastiff crosses.

These are the things I immediately come to think about.

Hopefully I will let you know what happens soon again.

Ewa xx

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Updates on its way

Hi dear blog,
I have not updated you for quite some time now even though Elsa and I have been doing training. She is coming on well in the bite work and we are now waiting for the right Intermediate sleeve to arrive. I cannot wait to see how she will react to it.

Tracking has been going a lot better too. She is much more concentrated, however I feel it is quite a lot of work left. Main thing, just keep doing it.

My thoughts are to write about our last sessions here soon so that I keep the blog/training diary up to date.

Elsa is in season now so it has not been much training lately since no clubs in this country would really welcome a bitch in season. She has, to be honest, been quite low as well so I have just done little things inside and on walks.

The weekend coming I am off to Slovakia and ATIBOX IPO World Championships to support my Swedish friend, Tobbe, who competes. I do not think there are anybody else from Sweden competing, but I will know when I get there. I wish Tobbe and Kaxe the best of luck!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Default, Present and Articles

Pure clicker training theories applied
1. Refine the Present position (sitting in front of me)
Elsas default position is standing in front of me. From there I can ask her to do the things she has on cue.

I am trying to refine the present position since I have noticed a little bit of a confusion there for both her and me, to tell the truth.

So a lot of training on the default position. Click, throwing treat, click feeding in front.

I make it fairly easy for her to never throw the treat behind me so she has to round me when coming back into the default position again.

Default is something we worked on before but not so much lately.

Such a good training in order to refine the cues for different behaviours.

  • Strengthen default
  • Add "Come" which always will mean coming into present position.

  • Three sets of 10 repetitions.
  • About 7 default and 3 "come" out of the 10 repetitions.

  • My god, why do I not do this kind of training more! It has such and effect and it makes it so, so clear to Elsa and actually myself as well.
  • She got it quicker than I thought.
  • Will continue to strengthen default for many reasons: one for the training goals for competition level and one for having her 100% ready for the CAP3- week for Kay Laurence in July.
  • I am going to change "come" to "hit" because I use come in so many other situations.

2. Laying down for tracking articles
  • Make the trackin articles a cue for laying down. I start with the leather and I assume that she quick will generalize to the other since they are always the same shape.
  • Show her the article - say lay down "Ligg" - click and throw reward (chicken) behind her to get her moving up and down for many opportunities to train.
  • 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

  • First she had a willingness of sniffing and possibly biting the article. I held it away from her so she could not reach it. I have the feeling that sniffing or biting in it would be very rewarding in itself therefore I avoid that totally.
  • I show her the article and then say Lay down "Ligg", click and throw a piece of food behind her.
  • Just after a few times she lays down directly when she sees the article.
  • I put it on the floor and she lays down immediately when she comes close to it.
  • A few times she was a bit too close and I moved it away from her and rewarded her for laying down.

  • I will not move away the article and reward if she is too close. I still think it was good to do at first since she needed strenghening in that she was doing the right behaviour. I did not want any confusion there.
  • I will instead take it away from her sight and start again. Idea is that she will understand that if she is too close there is no reward, same with if she is too far away of course.

Another thought is that I should really use the labels on this blogg to organise the training to be able to follow up what I did last time within a certain behaviour. No shit Sherlock.

Harder Pillow

Thursday 14th of March
Tracking and Bite work

Scent pad, wiggly track, about 40 paces, food in every foot step and Caesar yummy food in the end. Controlled start. Play with Kong after.

About 20 minutes old.
Dave laid a bent track (for Swedish readers - serpentin eller slangespÄr) with a small scent pad to start with then wiggling away for about 40 paces. Food in every foot step. A Caesar food, half open, in the end.

Controlled start. I lay the lead underneath her, between legs and I sit her down. She loves tracking and I start her by giving her the command "VarsÄgod". She knows exactly what the pole means and what the scent pad means, she left the scent pad for the track before she had eaten everything in the pad. That is good. Shows she is more interested in the track than the pad.

The wiggly track was very good for her, I could clearly see that she assumed the track would continue straight on. She did well, I must say. She is calm and happy and works her way to the end.

A couple of paces before the end she got the smell of the Caesar and wanted to go there with high nose. I stopped her and quite immediately she put her nose to the ground and sniffed the few steps that were left.

  • Do not need scent pad any longer.
  • Caesar food should be closed since the smell is too much at this stage.
  • The ready made chicken tit bits I used are really good for tracking. Possibly slightly bigger pieces.
  • Controlled start is very good for focus.
  • Wiggly track is very good at this stage, gets her to concentrate on the track more.

Bite work
Introduce harder pillow. Cap her concentration by laying down. Also try a few bark and launching in.

Mixed outcome really. I was so happy she bite the harder pillow like nothing. She had no problem with it what so ever. That was very good.

1. Cap - laying down and bite

We wanted her to cap her concentration and bite from there. We have seen from earlier trainings that she does that best from laying down. We want her to bite on Daves' movements.

I told her to lay down at first, she got too disturbed by that and did not bite well.
When she instead did it herself a few times she got the bites really nice, full and hard.
After that I could tell her to lay down and she got it right.
It was a little bit uneven. Sometimes she got it really good and sometimes not. After a while she had a consistency of good bites about 3-4 times in a row and we stopped there.

2. Barking first and then bite the pillow when Dave moves

My little polite girl thought it was a bit strange at first to bark at Dave to get him to play with the pillow.
However, she got the picture fairly quickly. We made it easy for her with just one bark and then bite. She tried to cheat a few times but I think she also got that after a while that it is not until Dave moves she can take the pillow. I just held her back when she tried to cheat.

  • She gets more and more concentrated and her drive to bite the pillow becomes stronger the more we work with her. I did not expect anything else but you never know. I am happy about that.
  • Need more training on the cap and full bite.
  • Need more training on the bark and full bite.
  • Next training will be on this pillow again (the harder one) and we will mix some barking and some capping then again.
  • Next step will be an intermediate sleeve. Probably next week or the week after. I did buy one, Euro-Joe, but it is too fat and does not look anything like the full sleeve.
  • Must buy a Gappay (spelling??) intermediate sleeve and return the other.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Obedience training

Training Wednesday 13th of March, Ranmore, Equestrian centre, Dorking, UK
Nice down stay amongst other dogs doing heel work. I was close to her but very relaxed.

Warming up and then some jumps. These jumps are for Working Trials so they look slightly different. She did the clear jump very nicely and she cleared the long jump with ease. Not the full lenght I should say but soon I would say she could be there. I have not paid that much attention to the long jump since we now are doing Schutzhund and that does not exsist there. However, fun training that does not interfere with Schutzhund training.

Lovely contact and willingness to work. It was a little while ago since we were amongst that many dogs and also in an equestrian centre with all smells. So I could sense a slight insecurity but also happy to be there. She did nice heel work with good position and contact. I would say that 30 paces feels very secure now. Working on further and she is coming on well.

We did sit on the move and lay down on the move.

Introduced recall from laying down. Totally new since I always, always have come back to her. She was ok with it.

Still working on the present positon - when she is sitting in fronto of me.

Coming into the side is coming on very well. I have had a help with my left hand and I now do just a little finger movement. She sits straight when she is coming in.

Sit from heel needs a little work on. She sometimes does not sit straight. On the other hand, must be fair to her, I cannot remember I actually have worked on that very hard. She sat down quite naturally from the beginning when I stopped so I have left it as such.

Lie down on the move needs a little work on as well. She is very stable, does it every time, wherever we are etc but it is not really as fast as I would like it.

Then we have our retrieve. She does it but oh, I need to work on her holding it properly. Feels like a little wind could blow the dumbell out of her mouth. I will actually build in some pulling games around it and exchange for kong and then exchange kong for treat. With previous dogs I would never have dreamt about building in such much fight and pulling game atmosphere around the dumbell. However, with this little girl I have the feeling she will still give it up easily but it will possibly make her hold it more firmly. As it is now, it looks like she is going to spit it any second. She doesn't but it is very close. She looks like she really doesn't want to have it in her mouth.

Over all I was very pleased with my little girl.

Bill was taken to the baby class the hour before Elsa does her training. He was as good as gold and I really cannot complain about much at this moment in time. I train him to keep kontakt and to be confident around other dogs. I also train him to stand for show. Neither is a problem. He is such a happy little fellew. He has lost three teeth now. Little baby boy.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Watching BH test

Today I went to the Trial at South Valley Sports Dog Club. I watched the BH test. It is the first one I have ever seen and it was very interesting.

I realize that, apart from our concentration problems in the heel work that I am already addressing I also need to train with gun shot during heel work and during down stays.

Then it is just little things like training her to have a group of people stepping in towards her in a very tight circle while she is sitting down beside me. To be honest I do not think that will be a problem at all but at least I can train her for it anyway.

Tomorrow Andrew and I are going to watch the Schutzhund I-III obedience and protection work. Also that will be the first time I see it live.

I received Elsas performance book today.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Back on Track

Elsa is all fine now, no antibiotics and from what I can see she is fully recovered. A bit out of shape down to a couple of weeks on just lead walking but apart from that she is well and good.

Still decided to not do the BH test on Saturday due to us being a bit behind on the training. I take it as a good learning experience for myself and I will be there watching every move :-).

Today Dave, my training mate, laid a track for Elsa. About 30 paces and then a 45 degree corner. Treats irregular but in the corner.

Elsa is so keen to track. Happy and carefree. Lovely attitude to the task.

Follows the track nicely but tend to not sniff every foot step and she can loose some concentration at times.

I think:
Train more.

Dave thinks:
I guess he thinks "Train more" but he also gave me valid tips on what to do.

Reverse a bit in the training and lay a scent pad a few times and let her work her way in to that. No preassure, just for her to realize where the food is. Lessen the size of the scent pad and then move on to curved track with food in every foot step.

Personally I think I have moved on a little too fast, especially from not been training very much lately.

Fortunately with positive training methods it does not matter that much, I just reverse a bit in my training and catch up from there.

I hope to do some track training on Saturday after I watched the BH test.

Concentration work.
I did sitting on the side, click, play.
Walking around people, click, play.

Need to continue working on concentration. To make it longer and longer for reward. I actually would not trust her concentrating well for 50 paces. Not good news. Really need to dig into that problem. Actually looking forward to it.

Her position on my left side is very good. I have that down to that I was so meticulous about that when she was younger. I walked along walls and before I started walking I had her sitting beside me just looking at me. I also did a lot of walking away from her and when she came up on my left side exactly where I want to have her I clicked her and played with her.

Protection work
Rounding the little tents (please, could somebody tell me what they are called in English?:-))

She is now about 25 meters from the "tent" and rounds it on my command. She is keen and happy, and sort of shines up when she sees the "tent". Good news I must say. Especially since we have not trained it for several weeks.

I click her when she is on the other side, rounding it with enthusiasm. I give her the kong for that.

I will continue with the same training since it looks promising at the moment. I want to move further into the middle of the pitch gradually.

I wish I had my own pitch to train on and why not a club to go to that is open for training every day. I really miss that from Sweden. When I had it I did not appreciate it. Well, I guess I did, but I just did not think about it that much. The club was just there, well, several clubs within an easy driving distance actually. All the equipment ready to use more or less any time, any day. Always people there to chat to and to discuss things with. Now, what happens, I sneak around foot ball pitches when nobody sees me and I discuss with myself on my blog... Lol. No it is not strictly true, I have my friend Mari from Sweden I discuss IPO/Schutzhund things with on msn and I discuss with Dave here in England. I highly appreciate our training time and I so respect his experience and knowledge. Thank you Dave!

Bite Work
Today Elsa did the best bite she has ever done! I was over the moon and so was she regarding how long she held the pillow for afterwards. Dave trains her to only win the pillow (still on puppy pillow) only on full bite and bite in the middle. There she was today, shooting into the pillow, grip in the middle, no fiddling, just gripping, full on and with a lovely drive. We have had her laying down lately to get her to concentrate on the bite. In the beginning she just launched herself on to the pillow without opening her mouth! Bless her. What a Schutzhund. Lol. Anyway, that behaviour soon disappeared when the pillow disappeared. I hope to build on from there. I have bought the harder pillow and a puppy sleeve that I soon will receive. Training looks promising right now and it is so much fun!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

"Listen to your name" (part of a multi dog house hold necessary training)

I hope to be training some bite work and to lay a track for Elsa tomorrow. She is still not 100 % and still on anitbiotics. Planning to train carefully, short track and just a few fun bites in the puppy cusion, more for technique than anything else. Poor girl has so much energy, just wants to come out and do something fun.

By the way, I have written an article in coming Boxer Quarterly regarding "myths about bite work". That can be useful to read for them who has an aversion against Schutzhund/IPO/VPG. I can't say any more since the magazine is not out yet.

I have bought the harder pillow and the puppy sleeve. I hope it will arrive soon so we can continue the training on them.

Today, I did some "listen to your name" training in my kitchen with Elsa, Stoli, Ida, Simon and Bill. Bill, being only 4 months old, is not the best in the world on waiting for his turn and to listen to his name :-).

The exercise looks as follows:

Call all the dogs to the kitchen. Have them sitting in a half circle around you. Drop a yummie treat on the floor. Wait. Call one of the dogs names + OK.

Knowledge each individual dog need to have fairly well first: Sit on command, drop treat, wait and take it on "OK" or whatever word you use as a finish word.

I am quick to reward the untrained dog for sitting when another dogs name is called. Almost push them back with a treat when they want to go. In this case I really only needed to concentrate on Bill. In saying that Ida tried to cheet a few times :-), my cheeky little girl. Full of fun despite being in the middle of taking care of five babies. Bill got the waiting bit very quickly but he still thinks every time I call any dog I must of course always mean him. That does apply in all situations, not only in this excercise :-). Little wonderful baby boy. Half trimmed with a fluffy bum. Poor boy. Hopefully I will do the rest this evening:-).

I give all the sitting dogs treats for sitting still while another dogs name has been called.

I raise the criteria when the group is more stable in the exercise - I stand behind them, threw a treat, call one, treats to the ones that are sitting still. Other variations can be - call a dogs name, do not say OK, instead say Lay down (if they know what Lay down means) and then OK. Or just Lay down and a treat for that while calling another dogs name and give OK for the treat. There are a lot of variations.

Important to not raise the criteria too quickly so you loose control and the dogs are taking the treats and possibly even fall out over it. If you find yourself trying to catch or having to say "No" to dogs that are trying to get the treat you know you have raised the criteria too quickly. Rewind and make it easier so the whole group understand what you want from them. You need to stay in control, make it easy in the beginning, both for yourself and your dog pack. If you do it regurlarly and hurry slowly (can you say that in English? or is it only a Swedish expression...?) and you will find that your dogs love it!

Very efficient exercise for individual listening training which is necessary when living with a pack of dogs.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

sit in front and update on elsas condition

Elsa is getting better for every day. I think she will be well very soon to be honest. Have therefore not given up the trial totally but I really need to check where we stand since we have not been able to train for a while. We needed these last couple of weeks to get in gear. I must be critical, if I do not think we stand a very good chance of passing, what is the point for us?

Anyway, if we are not doing it, I will definately be there to watch so I receive a clearer picture of what is expected from us. The club, South Valley Sports Dog Club, had a BH test run through today for all of us who has not competed in IPO/Schutzhund. I really appreciated that, I really appreciate how engaged these people are and how wonderfully they share their knowledge and experience.

Training today;
Coming in to sit in front with one hand up the air as added distraction.

She was very good, stared at it at first on the hand that was up the air, corrected herself and came in beautifully. My thought is to continue the distraction training, and when she figures out what to do I click her and give her reward. She is such a little thinker which make her so much fun to work with.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Elsa - "Operation" and the Hood

Well, well, well, you just never know what is around the corner. I am a great believer that success contains of hard work, talence, intelligence and luck. If you lack in any of these fields you will be behind. If you then are working together with somebody like a dog for example both of you that need to have all of the above criteria to succeed.

So what do I want to say in that; Elsa is not recovering from the Anal Gland Abcess just by anibiotics and anti inflammatory, she needed to be put under general anaesthetic and have it flushed and drained. All of it was done today. So she will, wheter she like it or not, be walking around with a hood on her head. Poor girl. This will take at least 2 weeks. I also feel a bit sorry for myself since we had planned to do the BH test the 7th of March at South Valley Sports Dog Club:-(. I do not believe we will have a remote chance to be ready for that now. We really needed those last two weeks to polish things.

I will anyway go and watch a friend of mine tomorrow doing protection work. And on Sunday I am going to look at a BH test run through for new people like myself. At least I can continue my own education within this even though Elsa is not fit.

Regarding the hood; I let it be out on the floor, everytime she nodge it with her nose she got a treat. This proved to work really nicely and the evidence was of course today. When I left her at the vet this morning, she wagged her tail and nodge the hood as soon as she saw it. Change of emotions around the hood.

Sunday, 15 February 2009


It looks like the abscess is getting better with the treatment so I hope to be able to train again in a couple of days. She has not got any temperature, however, I can see she is upset by it. It itches and annoys her. Therefore I don't want to do any training until it has gone down.

Elsa and the hood

Realized already yesterday that Elsa panics about the plastic hood. Tail between her legs and does not want to know about any hood. She runs away and hide. This is extremely unusual behaviour for Elsa. She normally trusts me with her life but not when it comes to the hood. When Stoli, the labrador, had a hood last autumn she didn't want to be near him. If he came closer she fled. Proper fleeing, doesn't want to look at the hood, tail between legs and try to get as far away as possible from it. Why does she need a hood now? Because of her anal gland abscess. However, she doesn't seem to need it at this occasion but I am pretty sure that at some point in her life whe will need to have a hood on.

I am trying to connect it to food in order to change her emotions around it. Swedish meat balls (from IKEA). It was not very successful yesterday, slightly better today. My plan is to have it on the floor, feeding her, holding it, feeding her and praize her. I am planning to do this later on again today and tonight. I will report further.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Training diary

Hi All,
This blog is not created for others as much as it is for myself. The reason for publishing my training diary via a blog is because I know there are people who are interested in what I do with my own dogs and how I think and train. This blog is first of all a training diary for my boxer Elsa (Thatledome Pride'n Joy) and our training towards different goals. At the moment it is high concentration on passing the BH test which we hope to do this spring. Welcome and I hope you will enjoy the diary.

General plan: PTA - Plan Train Analyse

Thursday 12th of February
-> See where we stand in concentrated heel work.
-> External rewards for heel work
-> See where we stand in sit from heel.
-> Sit in front.

-> Good, worked happily by my side. Lovely left turns and the right turns are really coming on.
-> I can have her sitting beside me and click her to go while concentrated. I cannot walk without a lot of negative demands.
-> Surprisingly good I must say. I don't know what I expected but I thought she would not be as quick to sit from heel. I have never really done it before so that was good news´.
-> Ok. She comes in and sits slightly far away and not really straight.

Heel work
Need to do a lot of work on the heel and still keep it fun. I know from before that if I am the slightest nervous, which I, believe it or not, become quite often, she reacts with calming behaviours, looking away etc. She reads me like an open book.

Two ways of getting over that, hopefully I will have the opportunity to do both parallell:
1. A lot of heel training so she feels very, very confident with what to do when she hears the word "Fot". That I believe will make it easier for her to retrieve what I expect even if I am nervous.
2. I also need to do a lot of work with her when I actually do feel nervous, short distances and rewards coming. I normally do get a little bit nervous when people are watching so I am trying to take that opportunity as soon as I can.

External rewards
She loves her ball on a string and has clear difficulty in letting it go from her eye sight. So far she can sit beside me in the heel work position until I click her. It is a struggle but she does it. Needs a lot more training. This is important since it lays a foundation for coming protection work as much as in general working concentrated even though distractions are there.

Sit From Heel
Remember to only command "sit" when the heel work is really, really good. So that it becomes a route to reward for really good heel work.

Continue to work on fast sits outside the heel work. Reward with ball behind her.

Sit in front
I have used my hands as targets before and I am now trying to work them to be hanging on the side. I do it bit by bit. Backlash is that she wants to be further away and she wants to look at the hand that rewarded her last time. I need to think through where and how I will reward her. Want to have her thinking straight on, almost through me but I want her to stop and sit down. I want high pace. She did well, considering the lack of training without my hands as targets. I will just continue the type of training. Lots of clicks and rewards when in the right position.

Also working on finsihing - So far with my hand as a target. Still need a small movement with left hand. Just continue that type of work and work away the helping hand bit by bit. Click and reward more for just sitting in front to avoid leaving that position for heel position.

13 Feb 2009
Idas puppies were born! 5 gorgeous ones! 2 girls and 3 boys.
Elsa got an anal gland abscess. Jeck! Hope for her to be well soon so I can continue the training.