Raising Ragnar 10th Instalment

Training Diary Day 401 to 433
11th December 2018
Raising Ragnar 11th Instalment
11th December 2018
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More training out on our morning walk today.  We made more progress with the down, we got to the point where he was offering to lie down with no lure whilst I was crouched down.

We did a bit more training at the training barn and progressed to me being able to stand up and Ragnar would still offer to lie down.  I also started to add a cue and did a bit of cue discrimination between touch and down.


We did more training at the park today, adding a cue to the down in a second location and then adding in cue discrimination between touch, sit and down.  We did some more play and hunting.  We then finished off the walk with about 200yrds of lead work near to other dogs playing.


Continued working on cue discrimination between sit/down/touch.  I have been doing more on lead exercise with both dogs walking together.  I have also been working on taking the boys on separate free run walks so that I can continue to work with Ragnar on giving up toys.  He finds it easier when Erik is not around but still really struggles unless I have a really high value treat.

I have managed to get him to want to play with a squeaky tennis ball and he was happy to play two toys.  I need to get some more value in this and possibly tug and release so that the release becomes better value.


Ragnar had his first quad bike ride, not terribly impressed!!!  Couldn’t work out where to sit but settled eventually, he didn’t appear too bothered by it.  I took a ball on a rope to play with when we went out for our final walk and playing tug seemed to help with Ragnar letting me get closer when he has a toy, so I will work on this further.


I took a different toy out to play with today.  Ragnar is not very interested in new toys to start with but if I play with him eventually he will play with the toy.  I tried with a new tug toy and once he was happy to play with the toy the tug seemed to work.  I will see how things go tomorrow.


We have had a busy week this week.  I have been working hard on getting Ragnar to want to swap his toys to make it easier to play with him.  The penny has finally dropped and he will now play two toys even with Erik around – Hurray!  I have managed to teach him to want to play with lots of different toys not just his puppy wubba.  He will now play with balls, squeaky and non-squeaky.

I have also been working on playing tug and he is happier for me to approach him when he has his tug toy.  He still would prefer to sit with it away from me but doesn’t get up and run off all the time when I approach.  Improvement there also.

Ragnar has joined in two crate games group sessions now and is getting the hang of it.

I have continued proofing his sit/down/touch discrimination in more different places.

Yesterday I did some cooking and worked on getting the dogs to stay out of the kitchen whilst I was working.  Both of the boys did really well, most of the time relaxed and lying waiting outside the doorway.  Ragnar seems to get the boundary things very well now.

This morning I started to teach him sit at heel on the left side.  We were in the park and a Jack Russell kept coming over to try to get Ragnar to play.  He was a bit distracted for a short time and then decided working with me was a better idea.  Love this puppy, he is able to concentrate and learn new things in distracting environments.  Will keep working on the heel position.


Ragnar’s two toy game is coming on well and he will now drop the ball on his arrival back to me sometimes even if I don’t have a second ball.  Sometimes I throw the second ball and sometimes I pick up the ball that he has just dropped and throw that so that eventually we will be able to play with just one ball.  He is also playing better with Erik around and is not so interested in bashing Erik with his ball and barking whilst running around which is a big plus for both Erik and me 🙂

We went to the local National Trust place and had a good walk and then went and sat in their dog friendly café for tea and cake.  He coped well, no noise but quite wriggly.  Poor Erik couldn’t lie down as Ragnar kept stepping on him.  Hopefully things will settle down on that front, but I can see that I need to do this very regularly to help with his training!!!  Oh the hardship!

Ragnar also did another crate games session and he decided that lying down was the way to go.  Excellent, as the previous two sessions he sat up throughout.  He seems to be getting the idea that nothing will be happening for most of the time.

He is generally good when I am training with other dogs when he is out in the carpark in the back of the car but every now and again he will whine a bit so we will need to continue to work on the watch without commenting, very hard for him as he really would like to meet and greet everyone.

I have been continuing with his ‘sit at heel’ training and also generalising his other cues.  We are working on being able to lie down on cue when I am holding a ball.  It takes a bit of working out at the moment but he is getting quicker.


Ragnar has discovered that he likes blackberries 🙂

We have been working on cue discrimination when I have a ball in my hand it is getting better.

We have also done some more work on sit at heel.

Mostly we have been working on playing with two balls and moving to one ball and also working on Ragnar not losing the plot and jumping on Erik.  As Ragnar is getting more enjoyment out of playing ball with me he is focusing on Erik less which is great as Erik was getting a bit battered for a while.  Ragnar thought that the best way to play was running at Erik with a ball in his mouth and barking whilst jostling Erik.  Erik has been very patient but we are finally starting to have more success where I am now the focus of Ragnar’s play. 🙂  Big sigh of relief as I was wondering if/when this would happen.

We have also been doing some bits of hunting and that is going well now that Ragnar is keen on working for a toy and will give it up relatively easily, not on cue yet and sometimes still needs the sight of a second toy but generally he will put it down so that I will throw it again.

I need to start teaching Ragnar a retrieve now that the penny has dropped regarding it is OK to let things go.


We have had a few good long (for Ragnar) walks including a trip to the Quantocks with friends.  Ragnar is getting the hang of walking with a big group of dogs and was more confident this time.  He is learning how to locate me among the group and to stay out of everyone’s way successfully.

We have also managed a few training sessions and have been working on sit at heel near a wall and away from the wall.  I use the wall to help reduce the ways to get it wrong.  I can then let Ragnar work out where to put himself to earn the rewards.  In the training barn there is a nice long wall so we were working on me taking one step forwards and stop, rewarding Ragnar for putting himself next to me and not shooting off because I moved.  Good progress made on the first session.

We have also been working on learning to get into heel position and I added staying for a short period before being released, and then come back into heel position again.  Some good progress, I even noticed a bit of moving into heel position on his sit this morning when we were in the park and he shuffled closer to me when I was waiting for him to offer a sit to be let off the lead.

The ball play continues to get better and I am continuing to work on response to cue gets me to throw the ball.

I have booked Ragnar into a friend’s puppy class so that Ragnar can get used to working in close proximity to other dogs.  He is fine working in the park when dogs are not too close by so this will be another good learning opportunity.  It is also good as it will make me raise my training schedule to keep up with our homework 🙂  We start next week, I am looking forward to it.