Note to self, I tend to escalate things too quickly. If Erik is sure about what he has to do and I don’t make too big a leap then he is quiet. If I get carried away by the fact that his body can stay in the crate and up the difficulty too quickly then he starts to squeak. So we did some consolidation work today on working with the donkey toy around but not using it as a reward. Also noticed that movement escalates Erik’s arousal so when he is doing the collar grab game he will have a little anticipation squeak. Need to do several reps where he doesn’t leave the crate before releasing out to do another collar grab game. So I think this is going to have to be very tiny steps to work through this.
Interestingly he can control his body easier than he can control his emotions. Need to tattoo ‘TINY STEPS’ on the inside of my eyelids!!! Also reminding myself to reward attitudes not just behaviours, learned this with a previous dog but need to be even more careful with this one J
We did some stop to shot and thrown dummies today, towards the end of the session Erik manage to offer stops without being cued, which was good. I was rewarding the stops immediately and not asking for any duration.
When other dogs were retrieving I went and stood with Erik and rewarded him with food very frequently so that he didn’t start to squeak, which was mostly successful.
We had some group training planned. Erik was wired to the moon today. A combination of two fairly boring days for him as I was running a workshop and he only got to come out for small amounts of time and we also had people and dogs staying meant that he was already squeaking before he came out to work.
Not a great session as I couldn’t concentrate on his training but he did manage to retrieve out and back through water and not come back round the lake. He also did some good retrieves on land with a water dummy distraction out. He was fairly noisy for the whole time and struggled with his steadiness but there were some patches of good work. He finished on a high with some nice hunting and stop when asked. We were trying to work with a bolting rabbit but he looked away just as the dummy went so it was an easy stop whistle!!!
A combination of brain dead handler and wound up dog made for not much success on the noise front but we did have some fun and Erik had a good play in the water so not all bad!!!