Hops is such an amazing nosework dog! We had some friends over to play and boy did he show off! He did great with searching both in the garage for the first time and with luggage for the first time. He even downed at the odor bag the second time through. Then we did five interior searches, one hide in each room. The first was under a mat, then under some weights, then in the handle of a trash can, then in a toilet paper roll, then on a crate door. Hops was one of the faster dogs for all the hides, some he went straight to and downed! Wow! I cannot wait to trial with this pup!
As usual, Hops had a training session for his dinner. We started with backing onto a two inch high box and worked up to backing about six feet to it. He had good duration tonight, staying with his back two feet on the box about two thirds of the time. He did great if I put a cookie out of reach, staying on the box until I released him. Then we worked on going around a bigger stool than last night. The behavior really seemed to click for him tonight. He was easily able to move eight feet away from me to go around the stool. I started to name it around by the end of the lesson. I grabbed the metal dumbbell next and he did great taking it from my hand, then I switched to a lighter one and worked on him picking it up from the ground. He made more progress with this, lifting it up over a foot to my hand about a third of the time. He took it in his mouth every time, it just did not always get as far as my hand. Then we practiced some pushups, in heel with me standing, then roll, then say hello. Whew! We ended with shaping heeling with distractions. I put him on leash, put some kibble on the ground near him and waited. When he moved toward me (he did not do this right away!) I said yes, rewarded by my side and took a step. In the beginning he immediately started staring at the treats again but I just waited every time for him to move closer to me. When he started to move toward me sooner I started taking a step before rewarding him by my side. If he gave me a really good response I rewarded by my side then released him to eat the kibble on the floor. He is a good puppy!