All in all, I am pleased with today. They did well even though a lot was asked of them.
A big day for these two because their remote collars arrived. They got part of the morning off because it was raining and their collars were charging but in the afternoon they were introduced to their ET-300 remote trainers. Stella proved to be quite sensitive and adjusted well. She was a little confused at first which is to be expected but we ran through Sit, Down, Come, and Stay without too much trouble. Sparky was very put off by the collar at first and he tried to avoid working. He did not like that even when he walked away from me that I could still hold him accountable. But eventually, and with a lot of goofy voices and encouragement from me, we went through all of his commands and he begrudgingly did them. We will work on improving his attitude tomorrow. Usually it just requires some play time and they feel much better about everything.
All in all, I am pleased with today. They did well even though a lot was asked of them.
Sparky and Stella worked HARD today. We went on a walk and we worked on their double heel around the neighborhood. Other than deciding they wanted to switch who was on the inside about halfway through the walk they did fine. A friendly neighbor came over to say hello and all progress halted while they celebrated their new friend (note to self: work on jumping up tomorrow).
They also had workouts in the yard and training room where they improved greatly on Down and Come. Come is pretty good. They are both toiling with Down because once they are down they want to pop right back up. But it's only day 2. We have plenty of time to work on this.
I am happy with what we got done today. Their remote collars should be arriving tomorrow and that will really change the game, especially on their house manners.
Good job today, kids!
Lab mix, Sparky, and Lab, Stella, arrived Sunday afternoon for 2 weeks of advanced obedience training. I worked with these two briefly right before my maternity leave and I am so pleased to see their happy faces again.
Today was mostly review. I am happy to see that, when given proper direction, they have retained Heel/Autosit nicely. We started Down today and Stella picked it up quickly while Sparky was a little nervous and didn't really want to cooperate. He eventually understood that Down can mean a belly rub and he saw things from my point of view from that moment on.
Their Come command is also decent.
I will do a bit more basic review and intro tomorrow but I think these guys will pick everything up nice and fast. Their collars are on the way and I hope to be ready to introduce the dogs to their new collars by the time they arrive.
Right now they are exploring the yard (supervised, of course) and playing with my Ace and Kylie (Ted is being grumpy under my chair).
These two will be fun to work with and they already seem to really enjoy working and learning.
Hazel Board and Train day 9
My friend Hazel goes home tomorrow. I am pleased with her progress and how well she has adapted to her remote collar. I think she will do well moving forward and eventually not needing a collar at all in the future (though she does need it now, especially if she will be off-leash).
She is still Hazel and will toil in certain areas if the rules are not followed. We have been very strict that any food she gets either comes from our hands or her bowl. She isn't allowed to eat anything off the ground (or counter tops or tables) even if it is dog food. We have done this to help with her "leave it" command.
Hazel threw us an interesting twist last night and she absolutely destroyed her bed. I walked out this morning to discover her curled up in a nest of foam. Maybe the storm upset her or she got bored because the rain kept us from being able to spend as much time outside yesterday as we normally do. Either way, she lost her bed privileges until she gets home.
I will miss Hazel. I said on day one that she was a dog after my own heart and that's still true. She has been a good buddy these past two weeks and I look forward to hearing how she is doing in her career as a therapy dog.
Hazel Board and Train day 7
Hazel is moving right along. She improved every day and has become comfortable off-leash. She stayed on Placemat for over an hour today and only needed a correction once because she tried to follow the toddler's snacks out of the room (she is his shadow).
Her trouble spots that have shown improvement are bad brakes with the Autosit. When I stop she is sometimes thinking about other things and continues walking for a few steps. She also sometimes gets a smell in her nose and wanders off but she is very easy to recall with just a tap from her collar. She has a few days to really throw me a curve ball but she is doing a good job and is a hard worker.
Tomorrow I hope to take her down town to practice her skills in an urban environment (because of proximity to cars she will be wearing a physicial leash). I am sure she will gain a few admirers on Mass street.
Hazel Board and Train Day 6
Hazel is back for her second week of training. Over the weekend she passed her therapy dog test, so we are all proud of her for that!
Today we had her on her remote trainer all day and she did very well. She was out at the farm (no tethers, no fences) without bolting or failing to come when called. Her obedience was pretty good but we definitely have some work to do to clean it up. Her worst habit is a tendency to try to just walk off instead of doing what is asked if her. But she is quickly learning that that doesn't work anymore.
Tomorrow we are cleaning up her obedience and working more on her Leave It command, which is where she really toils.
So glad to have this pretty girl back. She is such a nice guest.
Hazel Board and Train day 4
I was quite busy today and ended up in KC for a good chunk of the afternoon but Hazel still did great. She had a couple workouts off-leash with just her remote. She only needed vibration warnings twice for trying to walk off during the Heel a couple times and she returned to my side without an argument.
She also had about an hour on her Placemat while I did some housework tonight. She stole a nylabone off of Ace's bed and happily occupied herself with it the whole time and did not need any corrections. All in all, she had a great day even though she got much of the afternoon off. To be honest, she has earned it.
Hazel Board and Train day 3
Big day for Hazel. We introduced her to her E-Collar Technologies ET-300 remote trainer. I started easy with just some Sit and Down work so she would understand that the static sensation (similar to a tens machine) was coming from me and that it meant she had made a mistake. We then went to the back yard and practiced the Come command. I used the vibration (tap) button to let her know she needed to come back and would also use the tap to steer her if she started veering off course. She doesn't really like the vibration so it offers some very gentle incentive to pick up her feet and return to me when called. She figured out the game very quickly though and eventually just stuck close to me to save herself the trouble of having to walk back and forth. Clever girl.
Tomorrow we are going to do more with the remote. We are going to use it to really work on Leave It and we will use it with her walk. I would like to use a long-line with her tomorrow to give her more mistake making opportunities but I will hold off if she is toiling with her basic obedience now that she has her fancy new collar.
For now she is teaching us the song of her people by howling in her kennel. Much like my toddler, she would rather not be put to bed just yet. Her howling is definitely prettier than my toddler's bedtime shenanigans.
Hazel Board and Train day 2
Today was a good work day for Hazel. We did some more Heel work and practiced the Implied Stay in both a Sit and a Down. She toils more with the Implied Stay with the Sit because she tends to anticipate a Heel command where there isn't one. But with Down she settles right in and is ready to stay put for a while. She let me walk in circles around her, step over her and I was able to step fairly far away from her before she showed signs that she was going to get up.
We also worked on the Come command more heavily today and she is slowly improving. She really drags her feet with this command. She is getting small corrections if she stops entirely before getting to me but we are mostly working with happy voice encouragement at this point.
Hazel is way too treat motivated at the moment so we are not using any food at all during her training. She gets food at meal times and a milk bone here and there because I like her and we are friends. But for her work she has to work for physical praise.
On the behavior side of things we started working hard on Leave It today, both for begging and for going for food dropped on the floor. My 2-year-old human child decided to destroy the house with trail mix this afternoon and so we had lots of temptation for Hazel to pick food up off the ground. She only managed to snag one peanut and that was fairly early in the exercise. She caught on quickly but we did have to watch her carefully for sneaking.
Tomorrow her remote trainer should arrive and so we are going to take her Come command to a new level as we introduce the collar. She is a soft girl so we are going to be careful not to scare her or overwhelm her with the remote collar. I will speak more on how we use a remote collar for sensitive dogs as we go further with Hazel.
For now Hazel is pretending to murder one of her toys as Kylie the Akita watches with mild interest (Kylie is far too dignified to play with the boarders but she enjoys watching).
Hazel Board and Train day 1
Hazel is a dog after my own heart. She is a sweet and soft natured, cow spotted, collie mix and she is such a joy to have around. While her behavior is good in general and she has a foundation of training she received through the prison dog program, her owner wants her to be advanced in her obedience because Hazel is going to be a therapy dog. Also Hazel has a bad habit of ignoring the Come command.
Our game plan for Hazel over the next 2 weeks will be to bring her obedience training up to a more advanced level and to get her to respond well to a remote training collar. The remote trainer will allow us to get her attention when she is out and off-leash without yelling and it will give her an incentive to hustle instead of drag her feet. I am also working on correcting the habit she has developed of running (or simply sauntering) past her handler and not stopping.
Today we started reviewing the very basic of basics. Walking on a leash, sitting when we stop, laying down on command with a hand signal, and coming when called. As I said, her foundation was there and it only took about half a block for her to pick up my hand signals and voice commands and figure out what I wanted. She is a very bright girl. One thing that is interesting about her is that, like many collies, she doesn't make a lot of eye contact when she works. She looks around at her surroundings. This may give a handler the idea that she isn't focussed on them when in fact, she is, she just isn't looking at your face. If you watch her ears, she usually has one on her person and is listening for a cue even if she is looking away.
I can tell that we are going to have an enjoyable couple of weeks with Hazel. Ace is in love with her and has been following her around the house. Tomorrow we are going to continue her obedience review and start Placemat as well.