Keeping it short tonight because bed time for the human kids is turning into a thing (toddlers, I swear). But Scarlet is doing great. We REALLY pushed recall hard today and we are taking the leash off again tomorrow to see if she is any less nervous. I am going take Ace out to be her buddy and reassure her that it's okay. Her obedience is pretty good and she doesn't have any major issues other than spooking a little when off the leash. She has come a long way so far!
Scarlet is SO CLOSE to being off-leash officially. She is still a little flighty and I don’t trust her recall quite enough yet. We have done some Heel work and other close obedience work without a leash but she was acting nervous and skittish today so I didn’t let her run long without a leash on. I want her turn around to be a little sharper when I call her and for her instinct to be to return to her handler if something startled her (at this point she runs to the car which won’t do). The work she did do off-leash today was fine. She broke command a couple times when she got nervous but she was easy to get back. For some reason she was extremely nervous when I took the leash off. Possibly she was unsure what to do with herself. We will try again tomorrow. With practice she will get more sure of herself. She worked hard today and tomorrow we will see if we can let her really enjoy some off-leash running time. For now she is curled up by my chair, snoring.
My pal Hank goes home tomorrow. He has done well and I look forward to helping his owners move him on to a more obedient lifestyle and to help him live comfortably with limited vision. He has been a fun dog to work with and he seems to have enjoyed the training.
Scarlet finally seems to have seen the light about the Down command. She is no longer fighting me on it and today my 20 month old daughter was able to come up and pet her while she was in a Down Stay without getting clobbered. She is really throwing herself into her training now and seems to enjoy it. I plan to take the leash off early next week and move her on to off-leash training. She is still a little squirrelly so I want to make sure she knows what to do before we take her leash off, especially in town.
They both had great days today.
Hank’s time with me is almost finished. He has worked hard and I have enjoyed teaching this sweet boy. He wants to please and he enjoys praise and having a job. His owners are very attentive to his needs and so I am sure they will be successful after he returns home.
Scarlet, on the other hand, gets to stay for another week still to complete her advanced training. She is so close to being ready to transition to off-leash but I want her recall to be a little cleaner first. There is no denying that Scarlet can be a bit stubborn but if you embrace her sense of humor, training her is a lot of fun. She is learning well and when she isn’t pestering Ace she is being a very polite puppy in the house.
Hank had a decent day today. He was a little sharper on his commands. Down he still needs some help with but he isn't fighting me on it. His leash manners and come command are fine. In the house he has been a polite guest since he arrived. For the first time since he arrived I had to get after him for trying to counter surf a little. He is sensitive to correction. We are still working on his attention span and his ability to remember what he is doing. He has an easier time with single commands ("come," "sit," "down") than with commands that have a sequence ("Come" with an autosit that becomes an implied Stay). He does better being told what to do as each action changes.
Scarlet had a MUCH better day today. She was happier working, didn't throw a single pouty fit, and was better about Autositting. Her down isn't perfect yet but she only needs a tiny bit of help to get there. Her leash manners are fine and her Implied Stay went really well today. Tomorrow I am moving her to a long leash and asking her to perform her commands with 20 feet of mistake making potential. This is the first step towards taking her leash off and so its an exciting transition.
All the dogs are sleepily lazing about right now chewing on toys or, in Hank's case, pacing around. Tomorrow should be a productive day for everyone.
Baylee had fun today. We spent half the day at the farm working on off-leash recall and obedience commands. She was responsive and reliable most of the time. There was one instance where she tried to bolt away instead of listening but I was able to correct her back. I was lucky enough to catch the mistake on video so I can show it to her folks as an example of how to handle it when she makes this kind of mistake. Her off-leash Heel is pretty good. She sometimes tries to walk on the wrong side. Her autosit is great other than occasionally laying down instead of siting. Really she is right where I would expect her to be so far in her training. She isn't perfect and she makes puppy mistakes but she knows her commands and she knows what it means when she gets corrected. For a soft natured girl like her it is important that corrections aren't scary or confusing so it's important that she understands what they mean and I think she is pretty much there. She still gets overwhelmed if she thinks she is going to get into trouble but her vocabulary is growing and it's easier to get her focus back.
Tomorrow we are going to work in town again and see if we can get her focus better around cars and neighborhood distractions.
Poor Scarlet. Today I canceled Christmas. Yes, today little Scarlet's world changed forever. Today we put her remote collar on in the morning after breakfast and she wore it all day long until after dinner (minus time in her kennel which she still can't get out of much to her chagrin) and she realized I was able to correct her for every single little thing she did regardless of where she or I was. Now her corrections were fair and so don't worry that she was mistreated but she was pretty sure that there was no greater injustice than me being able to correct her for jumping up on the door while I was on the opposite side from her. I'm afraid she spent much of the day pouting but by early afternoon she had moved on and was playing as usual. Her workouts were difficult today but that's typical for the first day they wear their collar all day, especially for our more spirited puppies. She did fine but you could tell she was frustrated that her normal tricks weren't working. I think today was probably the most constructive day we've had so far even though she didn't really enjoy it. Tomorrow will be easier for her and she learns that this collar is all about giving her MORE freedom, not less. Though she was pretty miffed that I corrected her for counter surfing.
Hank had a decent day. We are still toiling with Down and I wonder if a little bit of it has to do with his minor balance issues he doesn't like laying down where he didn't choose to. Of course he could also just be stubborn. But he is fighting me a little less today. He prefers Placemat because he can choose to sit or stand or lay down on the mat but he does still sometimes get a little foggy about staying put. He is calmest when he is pacing. His leash walking is going fine as is him Implied Stay unless he is feeling nervous for whatever reason. He can get very clingy to me if something is scaring him. I'm not sure if this is because of vision issues or what but I am working on him trusting that I won't leave him somewhere dangerous. He is working hard.
Tomorrow is more of the same with Scarlet. We are going to push her obedience and make it harder for her. I hope to take the leash off by the beginning of next week but first I need her recall to be more reliable. I am letting Hank set the speed for each day but we will continue our work with him and move forward with his skills. If anything he enjoys the attention he gets while working and he loves praise.
Baylee's day was so/so today. Her first workout she really struggled with not ducking and bolting away because she didn't want to work. Especially for the Down command she would try to spring away and then would have to be corrected back to her spot and asked to perform the command again. This is probably her biggest problem right now is that she thinks she can run away from work when she is feeling contrary. However, the beauty of these collars is that she can't actually get away from the corrections. It is important that we make sure she isn't frightened but so far she has been easy to correct for this. This boltiness has kept her on-leash when we work in the street however so we will make sure we sort this problem out before she goes home. Even so- it will be my recommendation that she wear a leash for a week or two (or until her owners feel confident in how to use the remote and in how to give her commands) ALONG with her remote collar on walks to make sure her training has transitioned home for her before taking the leash off in a busy neighborhood or anything.
Her other workouts today were much better. She wasn't as flighty and she was more focused. Her Heel/Autosit command is almost perfect other than every so often she lays down instead of sits. Her Down is pretty good other than wanting to lay down on my shoes instead of where I parked her. Her come command is good when she has her remote on. It's decent without her remote but you can see she is tempted to run around. Wearing her collar whenever she is outside will help with this and her owners can relax with it once they have not needed the remote (even though she was wearing it) for a while. Her Implied Stay is getting better. It really depends on her distraction level and her mood. She knows what she is supposed to do so it's easy to correct but she does still make mistakes here, usually trying to follow me when she should stay put. On Placemat her Implied Stay is solid, which makes life in the house easy breezy. Tomorrow she is coming out with me to the farm for the first half of the day and then the rest of the time we will in town working on her reliability in a neighborhood setting.
Hank and Scarlet had their first real work days today. We still have them both on prong collars and just did basic Heel/Autosit, Implied Stay and Come commands today. Hank also started Down.
Scarlet did pretty well. Every so often she gets defiant and throws a temper tantrum or she decides to pout before snapping out of it and enjoying training again. She is a pretty tough little girl and she takes a stronger correction than some pups her age. But she is a love sponge and LOVES praise so she is easy to motivate. She is impatient and gets frustrated easily so she learns quickly but she gets bored. Keeping her feeling challenged will be the real trick this week.
Hank seems to know most of the commands I'm giving him. He fought me HARD on down. He is very strong and will lock his elbows if he doesn't want to lay down but he started to understand what I was asking him to do after his second workout today. An issue I've noticed with him is that on top of his eyesight being poor he also seems to forget what he is doing from time to time. His memory might be taxed from his controlled neurological issues but I can't quite tell yet. But I have noticed that on any command that asks him to remember what he is doing for more than a few minutes he does seem to lose himself after a while and he will just wander off. But since he doesn't do anything specific (like he isn't finding a smell or a sound or anything) and is just wandering off absentmindedly I do wonder if he is just getting distracted or if he is actually having trouble remembering what he was doing. He paces a lot inside like he forgets where he was going so maybe this is something he deals with all the time. But he is a special dog and he is working hard. He clearly has a vocabulary already so I do think we will be able to give him a better understanding of his words. I'm glad it is warming up this week. He was a real wimp about the cold today and I felt bad making his shiver outside when we work.
Tomorrow we are doing more of the same, adding commands and complexity for Scarlet and continuing to see if we can expand on what Hank already knows. Both dogs are doing great.
After a weekend of light training we were back to the usual grind today with Baylee. She is right on track and getting more reliable every day. She knows her commands well and gets the right answer most of the time. Today we stayed in town so we worked on the long line and her remote for most of her workouts. Tomorrow we are back out at the farm and so she will get more practice off leash. If that goes well we will start being off leash in town as well.
Her Placemat is going well unless her friend Scarlet is out of he kennel. It is very hard for Baylee to stay on task with a boxer jumping on her but when they are both calm it goes fine. Baylee is a good worker and since she knows her commands so well already we are using this week to really practice and proof her reliability in normal distractions. She is still very puppy and her distractibility is what we are working on now.