Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Teach around the skill

We spent last weekend at a disc dog training camp with Pawsitive Vybe. Learned a few things and had a great time!

Jun did her very first flip this weekend. In two years of disc dogging she has never done a real flip, and suddenly she's decided to do it! (Kinda like what happened with her vaults--she wouldn't do them, then one day she just decided to.) I also asked Ron Watson to help me with Jun's backing up. I've been working on it lately and have not been able to get her to back up more than five or six feet. She stops and lays down and won't go any further. Ron had me work on backing up to a rear-foot target. Jun is loving this "new" game so far. I don't know why I never thought of that. Ron said something that really stuck in my mind : "When a skill is hard, don't teach the skill, teach around the skill." That's exactly what's going on with the back up. Rather than continuing to try to get a back up, I'm teaching around it. Jun's not backing up anymore--she's rear-foot targeting and the back up is just incidental. Very interesting stuff.

Elo had a big break-through this weekend! We've been working on the windshield wiper reactivity kind of sporadically, just here and there when I get a chance. On the way home from the seminar it started raining REALLY hard. I didn't have any treats. I didn't really have a way to restrain Elo. I held out as long as I could, but eventually HAD to use the wipers. I worked single-wipes for a little while, marking with a "yes" and rewarding with praise, which was all I had. Elo barely batted an eye. Then I finally had to turn them on high in order to see at all. I knew Elo wasn't ready for this. I grabbed his collar and just held him back. He was fine for a couple seconds, then started reacting, as I figured he would. He wasn't nearly as bad as he used to be though, and didn't redirect on me at all, and then . . . he stopped!! He chilled, laid back down, and was FINE!! Totally fine. So I guess my work there has paid off! One trigger down, six gazillion to go. We worked some reactive dog stuff at the seminar that I am going to continue to try to implement.

What am I going to do with Lok? His newest thing: turning and walking in the other direction when I call him. (His recall used to be PERFECT.) Refusing to lie down. Basically, just generally tuning me out anytime I'm not throwing a toy for him. I get frustrated and correct him, even though I know it's not helping any. No idea what to do with this one.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on all the breakthroughs!!! I really like that saying a lot and hope to remember it when in times of need! Sorry about Lok, no suggestions just hope it's a phase.