Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Puppy Class - Week TWO!

Guess who got a SKATE BOARD!!!


Our Floors and Base Boards will NEVER be the same! G

Night Two of Puppy Class was action packed!

First off, a review of the first 3 Phases of Crate Games.
It sounds like several of you need to spend a little more time on
Phase I – Building Value for the Crate.

Seeker did a Demo of Phase 3 – Yer Out Yer In and the ‘Collar Grab Game’.
You should all start playing this as soon as you have graduated through Phases 1 & 2.
Remember not to play too many back to back games of ‘Yer Out Yer In’.


We moved on to our “Clicker” Training/Shaping behaviors.

Key things to remember –

DO not try to help the dog! What I mean by this is mindless chatter while the dog is 'thinking'. He should be working out what you want by trial and error. He'll know he's right when he hears the click and gets the treat. Think of it as if you were trying to figure out a math problem in your head, and someone is continuously chatting at you and asking your opinion. It would be hard to focus, right? The same is true for your dog. Let him think!

Shaping creates a better problem solver.
It also creates a confident and happy worker.

Split the behaviors into their smallest components. (vs. lumping it all together)

• Body awareness (yours and your dogs)

How will this help Agility?

It will help your dog learn -
• How to get on an obstacle.
• How to get across and obstacle.
• Control body at contact. AKA – rear end awareness.
If something goes wrong you can split out the key pieces.

The Down side of clicker is that you can accidentally teach a behavior you didn't want.
Only the dog knows for sure what he thinks you are clicking.

Criteria – the more specific you can be, the easier the behavior is to define.

You can ask for 'more' from your dog, if you are getting an 80% success over 2 consecutive training periods. If less than 80%, give it more sessions and possibly ease up on the criteria. Sessions should be very short.

Too much work time without a cookie = a puppy that quit trying.

If your puppy is struggling, then you are probably asking for too much too soon.
You'll want to break your components down further.
You'll also want to get a behavior you can "PAY them for" to get them back into the game.


Our first exercise involved getting our puppies to put their feet in a container.

We had some pretty great success with this.
As your puppies become more successful, your box can get smaller!

Why do this exercise?
You get to interact with your puppy.
It’s a great relationship builder!
It’s a great shaping behavior!
Body awareness for your dog.
It’s fun!
The most obvious reason for me...
I've got 5 cookies, 30 seconds and a clicker...and...
….Because YOU CAN!

Seeker can actually get into a smaller container!
He likes this game.
He's funny like that.


Next we played our Dumbbells.
No, not the weight lifting kind!

We began shaping the behavior of a dumbbell retrieve!
These puppies did BRILLIANTLY!!
It was so EASY!

Why pick up things you drop on the floor when you have a perfectly
willing 4 legged friend that’s able to do it for you!
Not to mention they are closer to the ground than you are!


We also played another Susan Garrett Game.
It’s Yer Choice.

What a wonderful way to teach Impulse Control.
It fits in so well with Crate Games and the whole ‘getting your dog to think’ process.


Finally we ended the evening with some chase games.

Remember to work on your tugging with your puppy.
Be careful not to over power them and be careful of the puppies that are teething.
We don’t want them to associate tugging with pain.

Remember you need to have a NEW trick ready to show us next week!

Seeker will be demoing his Skate Boarding Skills!

Seeker says,
"This would be easier if I could just chew these round things OFF!"

Have FUN with that PUPPY!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Seeker should come to my neighborhood with his board - kids have little ramps a couple doors down. He would love it. For some reason - this board and Seeker look very natural together. What next??? I'm ready for video!