February is progressing well and I have managed a couple of crate games sessions with the boys. Erik is doing really well having the door open all the time and being quiet. The first session the working dogs were just doing heelwork so not too much distraction there although at one stage I forgot that his door was open and I left him in the training cabin whilst I help someone take their crate back to their car. He was still in the crate when I came back 😊
The second session was outside and I used the car crate which I haven’t done before. Erik coped really well even though at some points I was throwing dummies and toys around and he didn’t move. He was curled up in the back of the crate, I think he really understands that it is nothing to do with him when I am teaching and he is in his crate.
I will need to take his raised bed soon so that we can try that.
I haven’t managed to do much other training so far this month as Erik was a bit uncomfortable through his back, due to being run into by Ragnar. He has been to have his back treated and so we will be able to get back to more training now.
More crate games sessions and Erik has continued to settle in the car crate with the door open and the presence of thrown toys, squeaky toys and dummies. He has also managed to stay put when I have had Ragnar’s door open and he has come out to stand on the bumper.
I have also managed to do a bit of retrieve work, Erik did a nice blind to a post through the sedge grass area where he usually hunts, and I have also been able to do some heelwork with dummies lying around on the floor. I moved this exercise out into the field and this made life a lot more challenging for him so I will continue with this for a while before increasing the difficulty.
I have been doing some retrieving with both of the dogs together. This is mainly to work on Ragnar’s steadiness but also it is good for Erik to wait his turn. Once I can get this training solid in Ragnar’s mind it means that I will be able to practice this a lot more and Erik will have regular practice of waiting for another dog to go for a retrieve, which can only help with his expectations and frustration around waiting for his go.
We had another session training with friends and I had Erik out whilst two other dogs were working. He could hang out and wait whilst I threw dummies for the others and he was only noisy once when we had put out some dummies for blinds for the others and he wanted to go for those. He managed to sort himself out though and then he was sent for a blind that someone else had put in a different place.
I have also been working on increasing the value for heel position. This was very interesting as he found it difficult just to sit next to me while I fed him. He though he needed to do something else and so started offering other behaviours which was quite interesting. I need to work some more on this so that he doesn’t get so frustrated/confused.
Photograph by Farlap Photography, Erik demonstrating parking!