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!