January turned out to be quite a good training month for us! We didn't accomplish everything I meant to, but we made some good progress on our goals.
Elo took the BA test. In his defense, he doesn't get to go places very often and hasn't really worked his skills anywhere other than the house. We did get one practice session in at a training facility. We forgot to practice the leave-it while walking and Elo did not even make it past the first three steps, where two balls were placed at either side of the path. I could not even get his attention as he ping-ponged back and forth between them. Oops! The rest of the test, he did fairly well at. He was a bit distracted for LLW, he had trouble with waiting at the door, but the rest of the tasks he performed brilliantly! We will try again another day!
Elo made some good progress on his back-up. I shaped it up to 10 steps in a row and started putting a cue on it. The video below wasn't his best backing up day, but I only had one shot to video, so there ya go. Cross paws is actually coming along! What ended up working for us was moving the target farther and farther away. He will now offer the cross without the target there, as long as we start the session with the target. I think this may be the most work I have ever put into a trick that didn't involve multiple steps, but now that we've gotten this far, I'm determined to finish it! I think it may be a long time before I attempt crossing the other way though.
Nails . . . when will I learn that there is no point to putting a "number of days per week" that I will work on a goal? Five days a week didn't happen. I did about twice a week, and he is still letting me clip 4-5ish nails per session, though not terribly happy about it. Oh well, I don't need happy, I just need willing I guess. That's on the video too, with some interference from Jun who LOVES getting her nails clipped (or at least the peanut butter that goes along with it).
Jun decided to be a little genius this month! We got bored in reactive dog class, so I shaped her to figure-8 around two cones. We got up to two 8s. I think that's good enough. I'm not going to put a cue on it or anything. Jun also learned to balance a treat on her nose, and we finally got her bow on cue!! Three tricks in one month, I think that's more than we were able to finish in the past year!
Scent articles? Nope. Didn't do them. Ok, I did them twice and since we hadn't done them in so long, Jun stopped sniffing and just started grabbing again. We'll try this again when I can get up the motivation to do it every day. There's just so many props, I hate it. We did work the directed retrieve in a couple different locations with different articles. She's doing really well with this skill and I'm not sure what else to do with it, so we'll give that a rest for now.
February goals coming up next!