19 Weeks 2 Days- She’s never, never, never going to get this

Nov 20, 2004 | Stitch's Story

There’s something to be said for this not having time to train business. I’m training more this week than I did last week! Or maybe I’m just using the puppy to avoid “real” work, like packing for the show and finishing costumes and getting my kerflushinner gelding to walk a plank. (My training partner and I have been through about 20 different ways to explain this to him. She’s suggested I put a poster of a llama walking a plank on the barn wall and let him study it in quiet moments. I think we’re getting a little giddy. 7 days until the show.)

We did some testing this morning. Down and Sit, no food anywhere, on one cue from 10′ away – brilliant response. Stand from Sit, no food, one cue – I used a hand signal. The work on backing up that we did yesterday really lightened her rear end, she popped right up and stayed there (not a Stay, but indicated that she wasn’t going to drop right back into the Sit).

A few days ago on the Levels list, “Nita” wrote that she’d had a really nice success at something she’d thought her dog would “never, never, never” do. I’m finding that that’s staying with me and becoming part of my training life. As in “That kerflushinner gelding is Never, Never, Never going to walk a plank!” Or “Stitch is NNN going to keep eye contact on an about turn!” Just saying it helps me focus my attention on the behaviour and the fact that I need another way to explain it.

She holds contact when I pivot left. When I pivot right, she looks at the ground. OK, I start to pivot right. As soon as she looks at the ground, I “get lost” – start pivoting left. She has to realize I’m lost, and start coming with me to the left, which means she automatically grabs contact again. Click for contact, and start to the right again. She drops her eyes, I escape to the left. X6, and suddenly she’s got it. She’s holding contact so hard at one point she jumps sideways to hold on. Hmmm – interesting, she doesn’t know she can walk sideways in this direction, though the other direction was no trouble at all. Well, she’s figuring it out now. Thanks, Nita!

I try the go-around-pole from 4′ on one cue only, but she’s not quite listening to the cue yet. I have to step closer twice before she realizes what I’m asking. Then she whips around – in fact she whips around twice before she realizes that I clicked and she can come get her kibble.

Wow, she’s whipping off Level 3 MUCH faster than I thought we would! Wow!