As we prepare for Wrigley to wrap up his time with us I realize just how smoothly his training has gone. Other than some goofiness (he IS a lab afterall) Wrigley's work ethic is really quite good. He enjoys work and he absolutely LOVES getting the answer right. He loves it So much that sometimes it leads to a mistake because he is celebrating too much. But he has been a wonderful house guest and student. So long as his people are prepared to be consistent, firm with directions, and at the same time calm but genuine with praise he will do fine. You don't have to throw a party for this dog whenever he does a good job. Wrigley will throw the party for you. Tomorrow we will just work on clean up and his response time with Place. He understands Place but he really really wants to be able to see his people. So he can be a little slow to return to his bed if he knows he won't be able to be in on the action in the rest of the house.
Well my pal Rokko goes home tomorrow. He has been a fun and challenging dog to work with. Fun because he is a high caliber, intensely smart dog and difficult for the same reasons. He catches on very quickly to new skills but his wheels are also always turning with his own ideas of what he should do.
We spent the past few days really working on Place and Down/Stay. He will park it and stay but sometimes he argues a little. The most important thing is that his owner hold Rokko accountable and make sure that he gets a correction for getting up.
Really the ticket with this dog is understanding that he is a thinker and to have high expectations of him. With firm direction and well timed praise Rokko will continue to develope into a wonderful adult dog. I will miss this big lug!
Wrigley is just so stinkin' happy. He will be doing an off-leash Heel (while wagging his tail so hard that he walks in a c-curve) and if I tell him in too excited a voice that he is doing a good job I will absolutely lose his focus while he celebrates. He knows his commands well, it's just his celebrating that gets in the way a little. We are really trying to drive home that "good boy" does not mean "you're finished."
Other than Wrigley being a dorkball he is a super star. He just needs practice at this obedience thing being his way of life and not just a means to get to celebrate.
Rokko is doing great. His in motion commands are cleaning up. His Stay is great (best indoors but we are still practicing outdoors). His walking is basically a joy. Really I just want to proof his commands up a little and get him on a field trip Down Town. He is a very bright dog and if his dad makes obedience a way of life for him Rokko will only continue to improve and improve.
After a weekend of only light work (and insisting on decent house manners) we are back to the grindstone with Mr. Wrigley. He had a decent long-line walk today. He walked in a Heel with a 20' line trailing behind him. Lots of room for error but he only needed an occasional reminder.
this week we are polishing his skills, removing the leash and pushing Stay in a busy, outdoor environment. Good job Wrigley!
My striking friend Rokko is back for his last 5 days of advanced obedience. He is such a high caliber guy I am enjoying working with him. Today we rehashed last week and tomorrow we will challenge him with some high distraction Stay work. I am also planning on giving him a long walk at the river to work on his off-leash heel.
It's nice to have him back!
Wrigley is doing great. He has had some off-leash workouts and other than getting a little sloppy with his Heel he does very well. He sticks close but isn't as neat in his off-leash Heel as we would like him to be (it's only day 4, remember).
He is doing awesome on his Down/Stays and his Placemat command. He is catching on a bit faster than most of my labs do which is saying something because while they are derpy, labs can never be called untrainable.
He is going to get a bit of a break tomorrow because I have a full day of lessons but he will get his walk and a lot of playtime in the sun. For now he is snoozing in his kennel waiting for his "last chance" potty break.
Rokko had a very goofy doofy day today. He did fine during his workouts but he did everything with a little extra enthusiasm which sometimes led to minor mistakes. But other than a slight excess of personality he did great.
Rokko is now home for the weekend to chill with his dad. On Monday he will get put right back to work to clean up his obedience (we started working on Motion Commands yesterday, like going from a Heel to a Sit or a Down while the handler keeps walking). But he is already exceeding expectations and so I know that next week will be full of good things. Rest up, Rokko!