Training Diary Day 75-89

Training Diary Day 68-74
13th November 2017
Training Diary Day 90-98
7th December 2017
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Day 75

Today we continued consolidating run/don’t run when I go to throw the ball.

Also I noticed that Erik is starting to offer lying outside the kitchen when I am working in there. Sometimes he still needs to be told to go out of the kitchen when I am cooking but it is getting less often.  It is so easy to forget to reward these behaviours after I stop ‘actively’ working on training them and they are moving more into the offered/default category as I tend to expect them to happen.  So I am on purpose now being aware of what he is doing and remembering to reward the behaviours to maintain and increase the frequency that they are offered.

Day 76

Whilst working on consolidating the run/don’t run behaviour today a realised what I am trying to achieve. Yes, I know it is 5 days in to looking at this and I am only just finding out the critical elements!!!  So what I am trying to achieve is :-

  1. Change the visual cue of me starting to throw from run, to don’t run
  2. Replace the visual cue with a verbal cue to run

Therefore I can use the ‘new cue’, ‘old cue’ technique to strengthen the run cue. Always say the word before starting to throw and then never throw if I haven’t said ready.

It is a quite complex behaviour that I am trying to work out and I find it easier if I can define exactly what I am trying to achieve. That way I can approach it in a logical manner.  Sometimes finding the solution to a training problem takes a lot of thinking and observing to find the key components.  I then start from there and work back out to the edges.

I now realise why I am so tired when I come back from a walk, my brain has been working overtime!!! When people see me in the park all they see is me throwing a ball for my dog but in actual fact I am doing loads of training and investigating, little do they know 🙂

Erik also practiced duration staying in the crate with the door open today. He was very distracted by one of the dogs in the group and came out so I put him back and closed the door.

Day 77

We continued consolidating the run/don’t run and stop whistle today

Day 78

We continued consolidating the run/don’t run and stop whistle today

Day 79

This morning we were out beating again. Erik managed to stand quietly being ignored whilst I chatted to a friend for about 10 mins before we set off.  He started to be a bit fidgety and so I then walked him around a bit and then stood still again.  This is a huge improvement on previous weeks.  He was also quiet on the way to the first drive in the beaters wagon.

He didn’t chase any birds today and managed a slightly better delivery of a hen bird that he came across whilst beating.

I was very pleased with him today 🙂  It looks like things are starting to move in the right direction.

He also participated in another group session, this time managing to settle with the crate door open all the way through. Erik made a small amount of noise when the other dogs were playing with toys but nothing too major.

Day 80

Rest day today

Day 81

Consolidating the run/don’t run work

Day 82

Consolidating the run/don’t run work. Erik waited quietly for about 15 mins as we started his morning walk when I met a friend and had a chat.  No nagging from Erik 🙂

Day 83

Consolidating the run/don’t run work plus another crate games session. This group of dogs is much more of a challenge for Erik as they are a bit more exciting.  The other dogs had moved on to playing with toys and he finds that a lot more exciting, I had to cover him up as he got a bit noisy but he managed to settle down and worked through it.

Day 84

Consolidating the run/don’t run work.

I also noticed today that Erik hasn’t been whining on his way to the park which he had started to do again about 6 months ago. He didn’t make any noise on the way to shooting last time either.  I think things are gradually moving in the right direction 🙂

Day 85

Consolidating the run/don’t run work.

Day 86

Erik had another session with the Crate games group. He was a bit squeaky whilst the other dogs were playing but he managed to be quiet when I shut the crate door.  So it was obviously just too difficult to manage not coming out to join in the game and keeping quiet.  I am going to try the next session with the door shut and see if he can be quiet for the whole session.  In the evening Erik came out to a local Italian restaurant and he was quiet and settled for the duration of the whole meal even though I had forgotten to take treats with me.  Erik also had a massive success as later we went to visit my parents and my mum threw a toy for him and he didn’t run for it until I gave him permission.  I was so surprised that I almost forgot to give him permission to get the toy.  I think that he is starting to generalise the default don’t run 🙂

Day 87

Consolidating the run/don’t run work and working on blinds and stop and redirect.

Day 88

Consolidating the run/don’t run work.

Day 89

Consolidating the run/don’t run work, including throws whilst Erik was hunting. He had one mistake but then worked very well.