Week 4 Homework

    Experiment with different favorite games: Now that we are getting into more and more technical training it is time to confirm that you have some fun in the equation. For most herding dogs their favorite thing to do is to herd. In my dogs case they typically prefer to herd sheep, but will accept ducks as a happy substitute. Even shepherds with access to sheep all the time cannot herd all day so it is nice to know what a dog’s favorite game is in the absence of livestock. Rey loves to chase and pounce toys and then bring them back for a game of tug. In agility she will race the course and then fly back into me for game of tug. Right now Finn is in a chewing phase  and he likes to gnash and gnaw on things. Because his teeth are still baby teeth tugging hurts. Right now I would say Finn’s favorite game is chasing soft treats across the floor.
    Back up onto a different surface. Gradually make it higher and higher. “Mark” when their back feet hit the new surface.

 

    Take your largest box and ask the dog to walk up and over it. “Mark” when their front feet hit the ground and reward in that position. This is the foundation behavior to teach a stopped “contact” in agility or two on/two off.
    Here is another video with Tight/Wrap and and 2on/2off.

Finally for the last thing to work on is “stay” using the 300 peck method. Positive training yields great rewards if we make the reward as random as possible. The 300 peck method does this without much fuss as you push your dog until it fails and then you return back to your 100% spot. This can be done from any position. I like to use the dog’s default position to start. Finn’s default is sit. A typical session might look like this:
sit – 1, click and treat
sit – 1,2, click and treat
sit – 1,2,3, click and treat
sit – 1,2,3,4, click and treat
sit – 1,2,3,4,5 – fail
sit – 1, click and treat
sit – 1,2, click and treat
sit – 1,2,3, click and treat
sit – 1,2,3,4, click and treat
sit – 1,2,3,4,5, click and treat
sit – 1,2,3,4,5,6, click and treat
sit – 1,2,3,4 – fail
sit – 1, click and treat
sit – 1,2, click and treat
etc…

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