Ella's training log

Discussion in 'Your Training Logs' started by Emily, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Now that I've had the baby and I'm properly mobile for the first time in a few months, it's time to get back into training Ella. I've been a bit all over the place in the last month or two so I've spent a bit of time working out the key areas for us to focus on in the coming months. The following are made up of formal exercises we are struggling with at training as well as practical bits and pieces for everyday life:

    1. Maintaining a loose lead near distractions. Ella's loose lead walking is generally very good but she struggles around distractions, especially other people and dogs. Prior to having the baby, we had progressed to walking past people calmly, as long as I used lots of treats. I've had to take a step backwards with this now that I have the pram so we've gone back to moving to the side, putting the brake on the pram and stepping away, before getting Ella into a sit and 'watch me' as the distraction(s) pass. Then treats of course. She is good around some distractions but some are still too exciting so this will take time before we move to the next step.

    2. Drop and drop stays. We've always struggled with this one at training but we'd been putting quite a bit of work into it and we were starting to see improvement. Unfortunately this one has regressed due to my lack of training. The main issue is that Ella will drop when ask but generally stands immediately after. I've had more success if I ask her to drop, crouching as I do the hand movement, and remain in a crouch beside her. Hopefully I can start with this and slowly move towards a standing position next to her. I also think that I need to start asking for a drop in more situations as I always seem to ask for a sit (e.g. before crossing the road, before meals, before going though doors, before releasing off lead for a play etc.). I believe the drop stay will come in time once we've improved the drop.

    3. Stand for examination. Ella can now perform this exercise (woo hoo) but we are a very long way from proofing it. Honestly I think the main thing we need to do here is practice, practice, practice. Lots of different people and places.

    4. Nail clipping. I think we'll be working on this one forever. We have made some progress but we still seem so far from being able to trim her nails. We have just bought a nail file and the worlds supply of sardines so we'll keep working on this one.

    There are hundreds of other things we could work on but I think these are the top of the list at the moment.
     
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  2. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Sound like good things to be working towards - although what exactly do you need a drop and drop stay for? Isn't a sit just as good? Just wondering, if you only have a certain amount of time to devote to training, then I would spend more time on 'stay', rather than necessarily 'down and stay'. Stand for examination is a good one; wish I'd spent more time training that!
     
  3. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    The drop and drop stay are for our obedience classes. The stand for examination started as being for our obedience classes too but I have realised how useful it is/will be for many other situations too.
     
  4. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Oo! I missed Ella's training log! Boo! Found it now though.

    I too wish I'd worked harder on stand for examination, it's very much Charlie's weak area and I'm struggling to do much about it....
     
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  5. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    @JulieT don't worry, you haven't missed much yet!

    We've had a reasonable amount of success with the drop/drop stay during the week in a variety of locations. However we had obedience training yesterday and it was completely useless! She either wouldn't drop or she'd drop and stand up straight away. From the moment we turn into the driveway at training she's very excited and whines.

    This week I'm going to try and do a training session each day at the club where we do obedience training. Obviously there won't be anyone there (or only a couple of people) so I'm hoping I can start to reduce the excitement levels a little and reinforce that this is somewhere we come to work.
     
  6. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Oh, it's a weak area for Ella too. She just doesn't understand why someone would walk up to her, run their hand down her back and not want her to bounce around and jump all over them :rolleyes:

    Most of the trainers refer to her as "Ella. Everyone's best friend" :rolleyes:
     
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  7. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    There are worse things to be. :)

    When I was at Clicker expo, a trainer informed me that Charlie "was very much in love with the whole world". I said what I've just said to you "there are worse things....". She said "no, there isn't anything worse than a boy who loves everything". I honestly SO wish I'd said "how about a boy with a loaded gun (or 42 very sharp teeth) that hates everything?". But I thought better of it, I had to spend the next 2 hours with her.....:D:D:D
     
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  8. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Oh yes, Ella is very much in love the world too. I'd imagine her and Charlie would get on very well :D

    Sometimes it can be frustrating when I see all of these people with dogs that aren't bothered by other people or dogs or even an exciting leaf that decides to blow by :rolleyes:. On the other hand I love that she's so easy to please and always seems so happy :)
     
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  9. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Do you know anyone with a Train and Treat? An automatic treat dispenser, that you could borrow.

    If there were any such thing as 'cheating' at dog training this would be it for a down stay. I honestly couldn't believe it, instead of 'oh! where has mum gone? better get up to see!' treat and train turns down stay into 'ok, I lie here and get fed treats! Cool....'. Plus, it's the best thing ever for 'C&T' for quiet in the car....
     
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  10. SteffiS

    SteffiS Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I bet they're not chocolate labs :D:D
     
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  11. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Wow, just googled the Train and Treat. At $200 I see why you suggested to borrow one! I don't think I know anyone with one but I'll put the word out at training tomorrow night to see.

    It could be a really good way to reinforce the "settle on your mat" when we have visitors over. Currently she likes to settle on the mat, followed by a subtle shuffle forward, followed by a roll across to her other side that conveniently puts her right at our visitor's feet! Then, of course she feels more comfortable sitting, and then "oh well, I'll just rest my chin on your knee now I'm here" :rolleyes:
     
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  12. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    You're only allowed to say that because you have one too ;)
     
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  13. Newbie Lab Owner

    Newbie Lab Owner Registered Users

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    Dexter gets excited to meet everyone, every dog, anything that blows by too. We are a work in progress ;)
     
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  14. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    They are a bit pricey, alright. :( Perhaps there are a few students that might be interested to share one at training? I've never seen one second hand, but I bet they would be easy enough to sell on ebay after you're done with it. Although I keep finding new uses for mine.....

    There is a review here. There are some more expensive ones too....:eek:

    http://www.thelabradorsite.com/electronic-treat-dispensers/
     
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  15. Newbie Lab Owner

    Newbie Lab Owner Registered Users

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    Check around @Emily, I found mine on eBay £103.27, elsewhere they were £145 or more. One of the best things I've bought and use it for lots of different things. Now when I vacuum, Dexter will come and see me, sniff the vacuum cleaner and trot back to his place instead of attacking the vacuum. I don't mind him moving for this as was looking for calmness around it and I'm manually working the treat & train. When I do music practice, he happily stays with me whilst I play bum notes :eek: and he gets the odd munch on treats (kibble) :D.
    Would be great if a few of you could club together to try it out and share it.
     
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  16. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    So we did our first bit of training at the empty dog club grounds. Ella's drop and drop stay were about as useless as they are when we're at training. Funnily enough I was really pleased! I'd struggled to replicate the issues I was having in any other location so I'm really pleased that I've narrowed it down to the location and can get working on it now :)
     
  17. SteffiS

    SteffiS Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Strange the things that make us lab owners happy ;):D
     
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  18. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I can't count the amount of drops and drop stays we have done this week but I'm pleased to say that, while we still have a long way to go, we're seeing progress!

    We had our formal training session today and I really saw some improvement.

    Stand for examination - we had two really good ones today and one that was a bit dodgy :rolleyes:. The good news is that the bad ones are no where near as bad as the used to be. Again, I think this one is just down to practice as it seems to be steadily improving.

    Drop/drop stay - I took everyone's advice and introduced some extra yummy treats (roast chicken) that I used only for the drop and drop stay in training. I rewarded for dropping and remaining down for 5 seconds while doing heel work and 15 seconds in a drop stay. After a slightly rocky start, Ella was great. We'll try the same next time and, if successful, we'll increase the times in the following class.

    Loose lead walking around distractions - a lot of new people have signed up at our dog club (I think its a new year, new dog type thing) so we had to walk through about 20 loony dogs between the car and the training ground. I decided to give treat streaming a go so called Ella to heel and went for it. I'm amazed how well it went! We had one minor brain fade when an excited pup lunged at Ella but other than that she was great!

    Like I said, we have a long way to go but I'm feeling pretty good after today :)
     
  19. Cath

    Cath Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Good girl Ella
     
  20. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Glad you are happy - sounds like good progress!
     

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