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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    Yep, until next time when she decides to be a loony choccy again ;)
     
  2. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    You sound amazing for someone who's had a baby only a month ago!
     
  3. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Ok, some developments in the drop/drop stay and stand for examination.

    The drop and drop stay have improved dramatically since introducing some more yummy treats and increasing how often we work on it. We got through a full minute drop stay yesterday in class even with the distraction of a loose dog running through! (the classes above ours are off lead so you get a runner from time to time - always a little amusing hehe). I've noticed that Ella seems to struggle the most when I ask her to drop straight from walking at heel (without a sit in between). Not sure if it's physically difficult, if she doesn't understand what I'm asking or if she'd just prefer to sit instead :). Hmm..

    I've also had a little breakthrough on the stand for examination. I've discovered that her success seems to depend on the side that the examiner comes from. When I'm standing directly in front of Ella, she has a tendency to move her bum to the right (my left). So, if an examiner comes from that side, she stands still (she did one perfectly yesterday, didn't move a muscle!) but if they come from the other side she swings her bum round. My trainer and I spent a while trying to work it out and we think it may have something to do with my treat bag. Typical hey :rolleyes:. I have my treat bag on my right hip so we think Ella focusses her eyes there and moves her bum the other way. We've decided to try pushing my treat bag around behind my back to see if this makes a difference.
     
  4. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Sounds like training is going really well Emily. Love that Ella swings her bum round to keep her eye on that treat bag - she's no fool :D Well done girls! xx
     
  5. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Sounds like it's going well, especially with the distraction of a loose dog!

    I got a little caught with the sit-before-down thing. I worked through it by going back to basics, sitting on the floor in front of the dog and luring between stand and down a few times, then fading the lure, yada yada yada, like you would do with any other behaviour. Then gradually working on standing up, then distance etc. I found my ready...steady... game has made a big difference to their reaction to the cue, too, once the behaviour was in place.
     
  6. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Sounds like a good idea. I'd been so focused on the walk to drop that I didn't even think to break it down further and go right back to the stand to drop. I'll give that a go, thanks :)
     
  7. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Oops, it's been a while since I've updated this but we have had great progress in all areas. We have been working really hard but I also think that Ella's new found sensible side has made a huge difference.

    1. Maintaining loose lead near distractions - after reading about the LAM vs LAT on another thread, I made a slight alteration to my approach. Rather than saying LAT (because I haven't trained it so Ella would have no idea what I'm asking for) we now just step to the side and sit but I no longer say 'watch' (my cue for LAM). Ella has adjusted well and now sits and looks around/at the approaching person or dog/sometimes at me and I reward as long as she remains sitting and calm. It's been a huge success. We still have trouble when the distraction is unexpected (a dog suddenly running up or coming round the corner to find a person right next to us) so I think the next step will be to get Ella to remain calm while still moving, rather than in a sit position.

    2. Drop and drop stays - This is now nearly our best exercise at training! Honestly I can only attribute the improvement to lots and lots and lots of practice in different places and different situations. Thanks @snowbunny for telling me about your 'ready...steady...' game. I used this to help Ella's drop and now do a quick, slightly less exciting version, of the game when we're getting ready to start working as I find it really helps Ella to switch on. Ella's drop stay is now so solid that I always do it off lead at training (I know this sounds simple but we are in a field of 100 or so dogs all training) and can confidently put her into a three minute drop stay and stand in front of her, with my back to her, behind her and a combination of these. I'm happy enough to put this one on the 'maintain' list :D:D:D

    3. Stand for examination - We took a small step back with this one but I think it has really helped. One of the trainers at our club suggested that I use the trainers at the club (that aren't in the middle of a class) to practice. Over a number of weeks we went through the following steps, not progressing until I felt that Ella was successful with any trainer:
    - Walk Ella up to and ask her to stand beside the trainer so she is standing in between me and the trainer. The trainer would completely ignore her.
    - Repeat the first step but, when standing, I would then 'leave' Ella and stand in front. The trainer would still completely ignore her.
    - Repeat the above two steps but, when standing in front of Ella, the trainer briefly touches her back and then removes and ignores her.
    - Have Ella stand a small distance away from the trainer so that they then take a step towards her, stand beside her and then perform the exam
    - Full stand for examination
    This has helped immensely. Ella has really improved in this but I still wouldn't say we've proofed the exercise. I find this the hardest to practice as I need another person to help me. Oh well, we'll just keep going!

    4. Nail clipping - We've changed strategies on this one. We've discovered that, while Ella's nails appear long, they do sit above the ground so are actually fine. Given this, we're spending our time getting her as comfortable as possible with us handling her paws and are leaving the clippers alone for now. We still keep the clippers on view and randomly pick them up and move them to a new spot so she no longer reacts to them at all. I can also pick them up, open them and touch her paws with them but we are not making any attempt to cut her nails at this stage. For now, we are just improving the handling and I'm happy with that.

    Tomorrow will be our first time in our new obedience class so I'm sure I'll have some additional items to add to the list!
     
    snowbunny and Stacia like this.
  8. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    No training on Sunday due to the coughing incident :rolleyes:

    I'll update again next week. Hopefully
     
  9. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Sounds like you're making good progress with Ella, well done :)
     

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