Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 39

This morning I was stuffing kibble into toys for the dogs and ended up dropping a bunch. Immediately, all three boys froze, waiting to be released. Wow, what good boys! Hops then had a long training session for breakfast. I started with shaping back up, with the same set up as before. He was very purposefully backing up this time. By the end of the session he was aiming for the mat, knowing he needed to reach it to be clicked and treated, he was backing mostly in a straight line, was backing four or five feet and was able to do it’s your choice (staying with his back feet on the mat until I released him while I tossed a treat). What was interesting is he was backing with his head down… Then we tried shaping take. He still does not like this game. He would put his mouth on the ring but while glaring at me! I have hope though because he thought the find the hole game was pretty stupid to start with and today (that was the next thing we did) he was enthusiastically putting his head through any hole I offered. He was even holding the nose loop on his nose by himself for several seconds between cookies. Big progress! I then had him do some roll overs and face’s, naming both behaviors. I tried some moving sits and downs with release to come play tug with me and he did the first few well then started stopping but not sitting or downing... I switched to food and he did them well again, I think he was still hungry. To end with I grabbed one of his favorite toys, a tennis ball on a rope and played fetch with him (still in the living room, throwing the toy toward the front door). He did great, retrieving at least two dozen times. Half the time he came right back to me and dropped the toy for a treat, the other half he brought it back two thirds of the way immediately then took some coaxing to get him to bring it the rest of he way. Good puppy though, it sure felt like a real game of fetch!

Taffy came over for another play date this afternoon and they had los of fun, playing inside and outside.

On the way to preschool tonight I stopped by Home Depot and took Hops in. We walked around for about 20 minutes and he did a great job. He heeled nicely through the store, wagging his but at every person he saw. He was petted by several different woman and three kids. I spotted the kids down one aisle so I headed down it, rewarding Hops all the way. At about fifteen feet I stopped and had him sit and rewarded him for watching the kids. He was curious but a little unsure. When the kids spotted us and asked if they could pet I said yes but to come closer slowly. They were really nice kids, calm and followed directions. They gave him lots of treats and petted him. He was pretty good with that. When we all stood up and they approached him again he backed away but calmly, not frantically. So he still needs work with kids but he is improving! He also met a big black lab there. The lab growled at him when they first passed but soon they were sniffing noses. Hops had great focus there, heeling, sitting and downing, doing hand targets and rolling over, climbing up and down metal steps, he was great!

Hops also was great at preschool. He played a little with the other puppies, of course did sits for lots of people and he was able to play tug with me. We started class with impulse control exercises and Jeremiah was able to get multiple cookies on Hops’s front legs while he did a down stay. He did line ups with zen cookie easily, so to challenge him I tossed some kibble on the floor and then tried to have him line up next to me. Boy was that difficult for him! He did not want to leave the cookies on the floor! I did not say leave it, just waited, if he looked at me at all I praised, which of course focused him back on the cookies. When he was finally able to move away from them and come into heel I rewarded him in heel then released him to go get the cookies. Both Jeremiah and I worked on this and it will need more work! Then there were two different short tunnels that all the puppies ran through tonight and Hops did great with both of them, working for both Jeremiah and me. While the other puppies took their turns going through the tunnels I had Hops going to his mat, where I worked on naming it and him staying on while cookies were tossed on the ground. Then both Jeremiah and I worked on him backing up to a target that was first 1/2 inch high then 1 inch high. He could back up a couple of feet and stay with his back feet on the target while a cookie was tossed in front of him. He was also quiet whenever we put him in his crate and if he was not in it and the door was open he would offer to go in. On our way out of class he very happily said hello to a very fluffy golden puppy. He is such a good boy!

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