lauantai 30. lokakuuta 2010

Kumma 7 months

My puppy is 7 months, time is flying! He weights 16.5kg, need to check his height. Here is this week's training update.

2-on-2-off: we have practiced in three locations, at home with stairs, and at Purina and Sporttikoirahalli with a dogwalk ramp on the table. Kumma is offering 2o2o position really well, my position is still close to him or in front. I can move around, spin, jump, and Kumma is holding the position. Next I plan to change my position gradually, move up and down, as well as increase lateral distance. No cue yet, I haven't decided when I will introduce it.

Down: this basic behaviour has not been so successful this week, distractions are affecting performance. Will take a step back and reinforce in familiar environment with no distractions.

Recall: we are playing daily the games that are building value on recall. Kumma's recall is pretty strong, and works with many everyday distractions like people and other dogs. Does not work with major ones like squirrels and super interesting smells.

Cars: Kumma wants to chase cars... Especially if they are passing by very close. If I ask him to focus on me, he does that and ignores a car. If I let him walk on leash without focus on me, he may or may not jump towards cars.

Crate games: at home we have practised with a door bell as a distraction (and IGs barking). More sessions needed. Today I took the crate to Sporttikoirahalli, and did some basic training and Changed My Mind there. That was fun!

Jumping: set point exercise. I took this on video, and for my unexperienced eyes Kumma's jumping looked relaxed and good. A toy target is an excellent reward for him.

Tire: adding a cue.

Teeter: made some balance training with a puppy teeter, a board with a piece of plastic pipe on bottom. First time for Kumma, and he got surprised by a moving board. I let him stand in the middle, and rewarded any small steps to either direction. Very good and brave puppy! We've done different kinds of balance training at home, so he had some foundation.

Back up: first sessions yesterday. I love starting to train new behaviours, it is so much fun to observe a dog to figure out what is wanted from him. I reinforced any movement backwards, and very soon Kumma offered steps backwards. Good to continue from this. With this behaviour I noticed again how much easier it is to shape a BC compared to IGs. BC is moving slowly, one leg at a time, easy to catch and reward small movements. IGs are so much faster, thanks Hoppu and Neeo for teaching me to react fast :)

maanantai 25. lokakuuta 2010

Monday stories

Heard some strange noises last night, Kumma was vomiting. Some cleaning, and back to sleep. Shouldn't have given him anything to eat in the morning, easy to say now. He vomited some more. He has been drinking and playing, so I hope that he will be better tomorrow.

Kumma felt well enough to run around and around in the woods, and went to get some awful smelling thing on him. I had to wash him, trying to hold my breath .

Hoppu and Neeo had a vet check today, rabies and kennel couch vaccinations. Rabies is valid for three years, feels strange to think that this might have been their last one. Both should have their teeth cleaned soon. For Neeo the vet recommended an eye check. Hoppu weighted 7.4kg, Neeo 7.0kg.

Days are getting shorter, evenings are dark. Here is some sunshine, the little hurricanes 10 years ago :)

keskiviikko 20. lokakuuta 2010

Puppy agility and veteran fight

There were 6 puppies in the class yesterday. I started by playing with Kumma, asking for fast sits and downs in between. He focused nicely, but showed also interest in other puppies moving around us.

Tunnel: a U-shaped tunnel, starting from a sit as well as holding a collar and directly from play. All worked well.

Chute: supporting by lifting a fabric, just to make sure there is no hesitation and speed decrease. Next time I think it is not needed anymore. Could try food target with this one.

Tire: reinforcing going through, no cue. This was a puppy tire without a frame. Fast and 100% success rate. Next time could add the cue.

2-on-2-off: a dogwalk's ramp was placed on a low table. After some trying Kumma took 2o2o position and I reinforced and released. Repeated two times. I was very pleased to see that he offered the 2o2o position with this new equipment and with all distractions.

After the class Kumma played with the other puppies outside. Love to see him interacting with others, so far he has been very social with both small and big ones.

The IG veterans caused some headache today. Kumma teased Neeo in the garden. They run around and around, Neeo with his tail up and trying to show Kumma his place. Then Neeo came inside and did not allow Kumma to come further. Hoppu was close, and Neeo turned his attention to him. Hoppu didn't like that and there we had veterans fighting. I wanted to get Kumma in his crate and then went to separate the IGs. There was some bleeding, and I thought Neeo's eye was hurt. Once I got closer look, the eye looked ok, even if there was some blood under it. Didn't find anything, so hope it was just a small scratch. Hoppu and Neeo have done this a couple of times, only once we needed to visit the vet... Neutering them decreased tension, but as Neeo is a macho and Hoppu is not able to relax and leave it, there is always a possibility.

To relax myself, I took Kumma and Neeo, and we had a nice evening walk in rainy weather. Will separate the small hurricanes for the night (they share a big crate), just to be on the safe side. Tomorrow they will be again best of friends.

torstai 14. lokakuuta 2010

Training update

Two agility training sessions with Kumma this week, one was a puppy class and one on our own.
  • Tire: almost on the ground, just reinforcing going through, back and forth. Today we used for a first time a standard tire with a frame, and Kumma offered going between the frame and the tire. I just ignored and reinforced correct choice.
  • Table: first introduction. Reinforced jumping on the table and staying there, then releasing. Went really well. Need to think what would be the position on the table.
  • Closed tunnel: first introduction. Lifted the fabric a couple of times, then Kumma went through without any help. Some hesitation, fabric was rather heavy. Today 2nd intro with lighter fabric. Wow, he was great! No hesitation, full speed to the toy target.
  • Tunnels: different colours, shapes and distances.
  • Jumping: grid work. This was too much in the class, need to do it without distractions first. I have finally plastic pipes at home, only sawing needed...
  • 2-on-2-off: position training at home, with stairs and mini A-frame. No cue yet, only reinforcing the position.
  • Games, games, games!
Hoppu and Neeo are sensing the winter is coming. They are not eager to go outside. They try to hide under blankets, pretending not to notice leashes in my hand, Hoppu even ignoring cookies. Once I have pulled them outside (coats on for sure), and their muscles start to warm up, they survive. In fact they enjoy, though not admitting it to me :)

tiistai 5. lokakuuta 2010

Autumn days

Last week I took Kumma to his first puppy agility class. Five puppies were there, Kumma was the oldest and the biggest. I had no idea how he would focus having other puppies around. For sure he was extremely interested in them, but as soon as I asked his focus, he gave it 100%. I played several games with him, and trained basic behaviours like sit and down. We did some tunnel work, and also I introduced him to a puppy tire. This is an adjustable tire without a big frame around it. I've used a bike tire at home, holding it myself, and rewarding going through. It took Kumma only a couple of seconds to offer going through the puppy frame. Next time I can add a cue. At the end of the class puppies had a nice play session together. I was surprised to see how bossy Kumma was, suppose he used the opportunity being the oldest.

Some days ago I decided to weight Kumma. Trying to do it, I realized that he was too heavy and big to be taken in my lap. I went to get some cookies, and only after a couple of tries he was standing still on the scale. That was a piece of cake having used all kinds of balance boards and boxes in training.

Kumma 6 months: 16kg and 51cm.

I'm using crate games for a new purpose now. Kumma's crate is pretty close to the front door. I've given up retraining the oldies, so I put my energy to training Kumma an acceptable doorbell behaviour. I've used both food and toys as distractions, but now I'm adding opening and closing front door as well as doorbell to the list. I'm thinking that finally I'd like the sound of the doorbell to be a cue for Kumma to go to his crate, and stay there (with the door open) until released. This would make life so much easier!

We have enjoyed sunny autumn days by walking in the woods almost daily.