When we went home between classes I played a long game of tug and “fetch” with Hops. We worked in the bedroom again and I am seeing some improvement. There were only two times when he did not bring the toy “back” and the second time I was able to get him to go back and get the toy by pretending to throw it again. There was only one time I really had to convince him to “bring the toy back” instead of lying down and chewing on it so that is an improvement as well. So the way it went most of the time was: we played tug, when he lost the toy I asked for a sit then tossed that toy or another toy and released him to get it. He ran out and grabbed the toy and tried to run past me with it. I either grabbed the toy and played tug with him or played with a different toy and he dropped the first one to play tug with me with the second. So it is not a retrieve yet but there is improvement!
Hops has starting stalking the boys more. So when it is not playtime and he stalks them (mostly happens outside) I have been calling him to me, rewarding him, then releasing him. So far he has come every time.
I did another go to bed shaping session with Hops this afternoon. I turned the mat over so it was different and trained in a different room to help generalize the behavior. I started by clicking and treating him on the bed for putting all four feet on it and progressed to waiting for a down on the mat before rewarding. He did great with that and he was able to move away from me or move toward me and down on the mat with no cue. After working on going to the mat and downing I worked on distance then distractions. I was able to walk 10 feet away, toss cookies on the floor, put cookies right in front of him, and walk all the way around him while he stayed in a down. Good puppy!
I had some spare time at work today so Hops did nosework for the first time at work. I started with boxes in a line. The first 3 times I rewarded at soon as he got to the odor box and then I could see it click, oh, it’s this game! And he was off on the hunt for birch. He did great with the boxes, never moving on if he caught the odor and downing sometimes at the odor box before I could get a reward in. Then he did three interior search in the office, all low and in a floss container that blended into the ground. He was amazingly focused and easily found them all. Then I did a little shaping with perch work (put your front feet on something and move your back feet around in a circle). It is very difficult for me not to mold this (move into him so he moves away form me and moves his feet) but I resisted because I want to shape this, have him thinking about his body, not just responding to pressure. He did well, easily offered front feet on and did offer some side steps for me to reward. I rewarded away from the direction he stepped to help. We then visited the other side of he matted area between classes and he played with a young doodle and greeted an adult dachshund. Next I took him over to the rehab room in the hospital and had him play on different things in there. He took right to walking across boxes of different heights that wobbled, walking and balancing on wobble boards, doing pushups on a small peanut, balancing on a doughnut (he needed support on that one!). Then we went back to the matted area and he played a little with Casper, an aussie/bc mix and did great down stays on the table. For the last class of the day we were on the turf side. Hops did some recalls and running around with me before class started then did a rear cross on the flat demo and showed off his table skills while we discussed the course. He was passed around for a little while then was put in a big crate for the rest of class and did great. He watched quietly, chewed on toys or slept. Good puppy!
We just watched as Hops climbed up on his two stools that were stacked by the backdoor and sat and stood, sat and stood. What is he doing we wondered. Then he jumped off and started jumping up and down at the door handle. Oh! Good puppy! He needs to go out! We let him out and he pooped and peed, what a good puppy!