Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teaching Brit

Brit is scary smart. I mean, she is just so operant that she catches on to things uber fast. It has been a test to my training ability for sure as I have already found that even if my timing is just a fraction wrong I end up with a whole different behaviour. She has been a very fun dog to train and I've succesfully taught Brit a whole load of fun behaviors already.
Stand on a board
Pivot on a stool
Sit Pretty

All the while we've been working on making the above behaviours solid we've also been working on Tugging.

Tugging is something that I think is important for agility training. It's not 100% neccesary and lots of agility dogs don't like toys and tugging. But *I* want her to tug. I like to train my dogs when they are "high" and a tug is a great way to get that and reward "in action" so to speak. Besides, for me it's weird to only rely on food to reward. I don't like it. lol

As I've talked about before, Brit came to me with little interest in toys. We started teaching a fetch right away and she is 100% solid now- bringing whatever item I've thrown to hand. And she's excited about it too. It's not just a boring behaviour. We've made it into the most fun game so she is pretty amped up during the retrieve. She actually has taken a few detours to play by herself with the toy a few times. I was pretty happy about that. :)

The next step is the Tug. It's been a bit of a process but tonite we had a breakthrough!!! I started with fleece tug just in my hand. C/T for any interaction until she was grabbing it. Then I upped the ante. Only C/T when there is a solid grab. Tonite I made it even more difficult by withholding the reward until she pulled backwards in frustration. C/T JACKPOT!!!!! Woohooo!!!! Three times in a row I got a fierce tug and quit the session. I am super excited about the progress tonite.

I can't wait to try again tomorrow. :) Once I have drive and excitement for the tug then I will start more serious agility foundation training. Fun!

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