19 Weeks 1 Day- Testing Level 3 Behaviors

Nov 19, 2004 | Stitch's Story

We start with some testing this morning. She nails the Finish – holding contact while I pivot left. Then Go To Mat from 5′ away. She lies down automatically and stays there without fussing for 1 minute (AMAZING!). We try for the right about turn with contact, but she can’t do that yet without looking at the floor to see if I dropped anything without clicking first…

We try the 30-second, 20′ SitStay, and she does very well up to 20 seconds, then comes over to visit.

She gets the Front Ray diagram with no trouble, 3 out of 4, then 7/8.

Nose targets 4 articles without a second thought.

I signal toward her paw target and she trots purposefully out to whomp it.

And she does the Down from Sit and Sit from Stand from 10′ – then I realize we need to do that with no treats around, so we’ll try that later. So she’s passed 5 of the Level 3 behaviours. What a good pup. Next week in the parking lot at class we’ll try the Level 1 On The Road stuff.

We’re going to need a shaped trick, and she’s not picking up on the lured Stand very well. I like to teach most things three different ways to be sure the dog and I are talking about the same thing at the same time, so I think I’ll use Back Up for my shaped trick and, as a byproduct, use it to teach her to Stand.

I sit on the couch and click any backwards motion of any paw. This was a 10-click behaviour for Song, a 5-minute behaviour for Scuba. Am I getting worse? We use 200 kibbles to begin. I get a lot of extraneous movement. She turns her head to her right and any backwards motion is accompanied by sidestepping. I ignore this X50, then start weeding it out. I put the kibble in my right hand, feed from my right, and stop clicking the worst sidesteps. X50 and the head-swing is mostly gone, along with most of the sidestepping. We work on any backwards motion, no headswing or sidestep X50. With the final 50, I wait for two paws backwards. I get some headswing and sidestepping, but not much and they’re easy to beat now. Next session I’ll try to mobilize her back paws.