Jul 10, 2010

Today's dinner session

I'm going to try to do better about blogging about particular sessions, at least most of the time. I try to train with at least one meal per day on average - kibble is high enough value to Potion to work with enthusiasm (especially at meal times) and it keeps my more "interesting" reward options much more special when they're available.

Today we worked on stand and down on verbal cue up on a grooming table (not necessarily a specific reason for the table, other than it minimized movement and made it a bit easier to see more clearly what she was doing). I picked these two to start since she has some issues trying to throw in sit between stand repetitions. I've left it alone for a while and worked on other things - I prefer to leave things alone for a bit when I run into a problem that is going to take some thought to solve, and come back to it once I feel I have a different approach that may be more successful. Beating away at it session after session isn't going to make progress.

Interestingly enough, I did not observe Potion throwing in a single sit in the table sessions. I think we'll need another session or two on verbal discriminations between stand and down (as well as building duration in each) and I will probably move from the table to the floor in 1-1.5 sessions. Since the table seems to have made a difference in her throwing in sits, I see no reason to mess with what's working ;) and is apparently encouraging her to not rehearse the behavior. I will probably wait until stand and down are very strong behaviors before adding in sit into the discrimination, to hopefully alleviate the issue of tossing it in at random.

I have to say I'm going to have to get quite creative to keep her occupied with mostly non-agility stuff for at least the next 6 months. I really want to hold off til she's at least 10 months before beginning any "serious" agility, since the methods I intend to use (Linda Mecklenburg's Developing Jumping Skills and Susan Garrett's 2x2 Weaves) progress fairly quickly to full height/difficulty. Both recommend waiting until the dog is ready for the full height/difficulty work before starting due to that. Potion's certainly not making that easy with how quickly she powers through things though ;)

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