An interesting morning. We start with the dumbbell in hand. This goes very well, we have a pretty consistent 3-second hold and occasionally up to 6 seconds. She’s much steadier with the clicker.
Then I put it on the floor. Arghh! The default Down is back, and brings his friend Go To Mat. She lies down on the dumbbell. She sits near it. She sits ON it. She covers it with her paws. I start WAY back, with her looking at it, and click X 30 for approaching it, BEFORE she has a chance to do anything with it. Finally I let her approach it and she targets it with her nose. Three of those and we quit.
We move on to the Get Lost game. She finds my eyes with no trouble at all, even with me standing. Contact X 10, then I get contact and turn my back on her. She runs 270 degrees around me, plunks her butt down and stares at my ear. Huh? What’s THAT about? I turn my back on her, and she runs 270 degrees in the other direction, Sits and stares at my back again. I try getting hysterical, and she’s running joyfully to answer, but keeps overshooting. Finally she Downs behind me and puts her head down with a little sigh. OK, I’m slow, but I get there eventually. I sit down and do some easy stationary eye contact. She’s very happy to do it.
I’ve never seen this problem before. Maybe I just need to remember that she’s 12 weeks old and my eyes are 5′ above hers. At any rate, we’ll give this a week or so of sitting and standing Contact before I try turning around again.
We end the session with random Sit and Down by voice cue. 15 reps, 1 error. Holy cow, this is one smart puppy!
When we come back in the house, Ron’s in the living room in his farmer clothes, with a pair of work gloves stuffed in his back pocket. She aims for them and with a mighty leap, she hits the back of his knee, falls on her back and bumps her head.
Not much more training today. I took my llama team out for a 3-hour drive around the farm – a very productive afternoon but about an hour past MY stamina limit. Stitch and I go for a walk to see the guys running the big truck, auger and tractor – lots of noise, and a person she’s never seen before. The leash is loose all the way out. She doesn’t mind the noise, but when she sees the stranger IN the noise, she Sits and watches the situation. I giggle at her and tell her what a good time we’re having. Then she decides she can giggle at the stranger and jump up on him. Partly I wish I could get her out to meet a lot of people right now. Part of me thinks this is a good time for her to stay home and work on her confidence and trust in private.
The most common comment on her when anyone meets her is “Wow, her tail sure works!” It reminds me of a propeller with the tips painted – all you can see is the white blur on the end.
Tonight she figures out how to jump on the couch. She’s been here before but it was by accident. Tonight she jumps up five times in a row – and gets put back down five times in a row, as she’s jumping up because I’m eating. Nice try, small and persistent!