After lunch I had Gunner be my little helper during a lesson with another client (we needed a "distraction dog") and he did very well. He was happy about the new people and his obedience was impressive considering there was a strange dog he was not allowed to say hello to.
His last workout was almost perfect. He only made a few mistakes and was very responsive to only verbal corrections.
I also introduced one of the special requests his owners made. I started teaching him to shut a door. I decided the most time efficient way to do this is to use a target and marker. I have a big darkly colored (red) dot that I taught him to touch with his nose. Whenever he touches it I "mark" the action with the word "YES" (clickers are unnecessary). As soon as he is reliable with that I am going to teach him to walk to it and touch it. After that I will place the dot on the door and praise him for any kind of movement he causes the door to make. I will take this as far as I can with the time I have and will send him home with instructions for his owner to continue the training with him once he is home.
I would now say we are in full "practice mode" because he now knows all of his commands and he just needs proofing to make sure he is reliable. I usually like to take a field trip into town for some major distractions but I am afraid that my schedule may not allow it. There is a possibility that I may be able to take him in on Friday afternoon and I will try very hard to make it happen. If I can't get him into town he will be subjected so some very difficult situations out on the farm. This will include- having toys thrown around him while he is trying to work, having a stranger act very happy to see him while he is supposed to be holding a command, and having a group of people saying hi to another dog while he has to stay put.
All in all, today started difficult and ended on a high note. I am very pleased with where he is right now. Tonight we are due for a thunderstorm and I will be keeping an eye on him to make sure he isn't stressing out due to the thunder and the electricity in the air.