Saturday, March 24, 2012

Still here

Yes, Im still here. Just busy.  On Monday and Wednesday Im teaching classes.  Its just kicking my butt. Im not getting home until 9pm and Im just worn out. Sad huh??  LOL  Then Ive been sick again starting Thursday. Sore throat and just achy all over. Ugh!!  Im not sure how Ive made it through the last two days of work.  I get home and just lie on the couch. Poor dogs, they are wondering what the heck is going on.  I did work Java's running contacts on Thurday but after that I was done, no walks.

Ive been struggling with Java's running contacts. Im not sure what the problem is. Every time when we practice, the first run over the board is perfect. She is right in the contact with both back feet, good separation.  But after that its lots of misses with some hits. So I went to the field on Wednesday to teach a beginner class.  I lowered the dogwalk for Java but also for the class.  Same thing happend with running the dogwalk. Perfect the first time and then lots of misses.  After class I took her out again, and tried again. All of a sudden ,she got them all. Wow, I dont know what happened and why she was getting it.  Then next day at home, with the board 2 inches higher then the field, again ,she got all hits.  Im happy about it but I have no idea why she is getting it. Maybe she is understanding about hitting the bottom of the board. I dont know.  I have changed to a stationary target, instead of throwing a toy. ( thats the progression per ST class).  Im using a Treat and Train. I know a lot of people dont like the T & T but I do. Its little and fits in my bag to take with me.  I can put really high value treats in it.  Java really likes baked chicken.   I should sometimes video a miss but just put the camera on the T &T. She gets mad, flipping is over, smacking it. Then starts offering behaviors to see if that will make it open. Poor dog.
So here was our success on Thursday. Dont feel you have to watch it. Its boring. I just wanted a record of it.  After Java chewed up that one video chip and I lost all my video , Im trying to load more on to YouTube.

Then there is Miley's circling behavior.  I did realize how bad it was.  I not controlling it at all. Usually when I work her I've always called her to me so she cant circle. Ill put her leash on. So Ive been controlling the behavior. But I need her to control the behavior. So when I practice with her,  I dont control it at all. If she starts circling, I stop and wait for her to come to me and stop circling. Then reward.  I saw a couple of times I should have rewarded on the video and didnt. Then she started circling. Im not sure if this is the right thing to do but will see if the circling decreases over the next few weeks. Again the video is more for me to document Miley circling behavior, so dont feel you have to watch.

Something exciting is happening in a few weeks. Loretta Muller is coming for a seminar.  Meagan posted it yesterday. I printed out my registration form and took it to the post office that day. I sure hope I get in!!  The first day is on "building Drive" and "foundation skills".  Im so excited about the "drive " one. Ive been wanting to hear what Loretta has to say about this and how she teaches it for a while now. I signed Java up for this day. The second day is on  tight turns and Master handling. I signed Miley up for this one.

Java really likes to chase squirrels.  For a while I would let her do this but then   I started thinking it was self rewarding behavior and I wouldnt let her do it anymore. But then  one day she pulled the leash out of my hand to go get a squirrel and she wouldnt come back to me.  I finally had to go get her.  I got the impression she thought this maybe the only time she gets to chase a squirrel and she was going to make the best of it. LOL  So then I thought I better let her chase squirrels and work on recalling and then sending her again.  This has been working pretty well. So the other day I had sent her 3 times and recalled her. No problem, she did awesome. But the last time, she took off and didnt come back. The trees and brush have leafed out , so now I cant see her bouncing through the forest. She wont come, I cant see her. Great, what have I done. I start walking to go find her and all of a sudden the squirrel comes running out of the wood, down the path to me.  It looks just like that squirrel in Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation.  If you have seen that movie , you know what I talking about.  They way the squirrel was running, the look on his face, could have been a stunt double. I couldnt help but crack up laughing. Im not sure why the squirrel didnt just run up a tree.  But with the squirrel running like that I figured, the dog couldnt be far behind. Then here comes Java.   But instead of continuing to go after the squirrel, she came right to me. Thank goodness.


Chris and Ricky said...

I saw that Loretta is coming to NC! That is so exciting! I love her and I have really been enjoying her videos with Mia!

Hope you are feeling better today and can enjoy your weekend!

Sara said...

LOL. Poor squirrel!

Hope you feel better soon.

Priscilla said...

Java sure had some fun with the squirrel. LOL!

Hope you're feeling better now.

Kathy said...

I had to use the premack for Lizzie and gophers that were popping up on the agility course where I was practicing at one time-it was such a cool thing because I think by using those gophers after my instructor had said Lizzie might have to go somewhere else to train because she couldn't work around the turned into a huge positive. The squirrels just remind of that. What about doing one rep of the running contact several times a day if she always gets the first one right? Maybe even a few sessions of a huge reward and close to perfect will jog something. Cricket will get all goofy headed and will almost never fix something but if we stop it is almost always fixed next session- you would think I would be an expert now and realize that but noooooo.....Hope you are feeling better that has to be so hard working long hours like that not feeling well.

Nicole said...

hope you feel better soon!
both Java & Miley look great :)

Catalina said...

Hey that's awesome! Loretta is my teacher :) She's GREAT!! You'll have so much FUN. I'm actually very jealous, because I would love to go to one of her seminars. An hour lesson is never long enough!

Dawn said...

First off, it sure is fun to watch Miley run again! And is that Java barking in the background, jealous or what? The squirrel thing would worry me because I'd be afraid the dog would chase the squirrel into somewhere not safe, but I"m a worrier anyway. Glad you're going to have a class, that should be a lot of good information...

...and lastly...I hope you are feeling LOTS better!!!