Had to take the computer in for repairs for a couple of days. Very good learning experience. Without access to the blog or having to write it, I floundered around. I know we worked on stuff, I just don’t know what it was, and we weren’t really going anywhere, just playing around. Not that playing around with clicker training is a bad idea. I distinctly remember having ideas like “Mmm, I have to write THAT down”, but now that the computer’s home, I haven’t got a clue what THAT was.
One thing I did while it was gone was write out all the Levels behaviours in short form and make a small carryable copy of them that I laminated. This is an idea I got from PWD people, who have all the behaviours for each level of water trial on laminated luggage-tag-sized things so they can wear them around their necks while training in the water. I adapted the idea years ago to putting all the llama performance levels on tags, now I’ve got the Levels there too. I put coloured tape over each behaviour as I check it off, so I can easily see what else we have to work on.
I know we worked on retrieving. This has matured a lot while we weren’t paying attention. In one meal she progressed from trying to hold the dumbbell in her incisors (not easy when you’ve only got incisors on the top!) to gripping it firmly behind her canines (again, not easy when you only have canines on the top!), and from there in the same meal to taking it readily and holding it correctly while I took my hand away, waved it around a bit, put my hand back on it, and held it with her, not releasing it until I said YES! Very good.
And we went to class, and had a much better time with my headache nearly gone. She was still too excited to pee before we went in, but after ten minutes we went back out and she buckled down. Also I had no trouble getting her to focus on me when we got into the room and started working, and she came cheerfully and promptly when I called her out of a melee of people and dogs. She’s gotten brave enough to romp around after the Great Dane and Golden playing nasty-sounding growly wrestle games (and smart enough not to launch into the middle of them), and to grab one of the balls and gallop around offering it to people. I’m counting that recall as coming from a mess of dogs AND from a mess of people.
In class we tried 101 Things To Do With A Box. She sucks at this. If I left her alone in the room with the box, she’d be wearing it like a hat or riding it down the stairs, but getting clicked for it… hmmm, what on earth does she want? It was a pretty tall box for a short puppy. Once she reached into it and the box grabbed her elbow. As she pulled her leg out the box flipped over and tried to grab the whole puppy. We have some more work to do on 101.
I got the instructor to approach and touch her head while she was sitting – several times. I fed her a bit while she was sitting, but was really amazed at how well she did. Throughout, she remembered she was sitting and staying. During class she’s been greeting this person with a flying knee-tackle, so I was very happy with her.
Going home, I may have taught her to stay where I put her in the car. Since my car wasn’t working, I drove Ron’s truck. Stitch had to sit on the back seat. I put her on the back seat, closed the door, opened the driver’s door, took her out, put her on the back seat, closed the door, opened the driver’s door, took her out, put her on the back seat, closed the door really fast and opened the driver’s door and jumped into the driver’s seat – right on top of her. Well, she wasn’t there when I STARTED the jump. If you’ve seen me you might suspect that she’ll be a tad more careful about landing in my seat just before I do in future.