"And how was your week? What did you focus on in your training?" These questions were asked by Linda, our instructor, during our Tuesday night V2 class. She explained the concept of flooding, which is working on one specific thing all the time until the dog really knows what he must do, how he must respond to a particular cue, command, stimulus, etc.
Our focus this past week was on the Down exercise. I began this training like I have been doing all my focus exercises. Jack really works for his food. The way I started it was to place Jack in a down (I use the command - Floor). I would then proceed to fix his meal. I would set his food dish on the floor. During the first meal session I did not go out of sight, but I had him lay there and wait until I allowed him to get up and eat his food.
During each subsequent session, I started to go out of sight for progressively longer durations. Also during these sessions my roommate would be watching Jack to see if he moves from position. If Jack moves out of position, my roomate lets me know and Jack is totally surprised when I "catch" the "oops" and correct his position. So far, we are up to one minute out-of-sights and Jack is staying put.
Now, on to what we worked on in class. The first thing we did was our "Short L Practice", which is the smaller version of the Novice Heel pattern. We "offer, but do not lure" a cookie after each turn. If the dog isn't there to get the cookie, "Oh well, better pay attention and be there the next time." We did that well. Jack missed his cookie on the left turn just once. After that he was right where he needed to be to get the cookie. Three cheers for Jack!
The second exercise was Stand For Exam alternated with Sit-Stay and Down-Stay. Jack performed his "Sits and Downs" wonderfully. His Stand For Exam needs more work. Time for another trip to PetsMart for more "flooding" with this exercise. That will be my focus exercise this week.
Our third exercise was Directed Jumping. The distance between our jumps is increasing. The distance between me and Jack is increasing. We are both "getting it". One time Jack did not go over the jump. Oops! That was not Jack's fault. I forgot to look where I was pointing Jack to go. I was looking at him, so that drew him away from the jump. I have to remember to look where I am pointing!
Finally, I have to brag about Jack's Leave It response. When we were going into the ring for the "Sit-Down-Stand" exercise, I dropped my treat bag and some of the treats hit the floor. Yikes!! Jack is a vacuum cleaner when it comes to what is on the floor!! Well, I told him to leave it and he did! He watched me pick up every last piece and did not eat any of the pieces!
Tomorrow is Prep-To-Show.
Walking in Obedience!