July 22, 2005


We are not learning anything really new at the moment. I'm trying to add duration to cues that Dusty already knows, though she is a great believer in instant gratification. So instead of click/treat the moment her bottom hits the ground after I say sit, I'm waiting for a moment or two. Not always getting harder, but asking for longer and shorter sits before rewarding.

We are also concentrating on life experiences. I'm taking whatever opportunity our day offers to let her experience walking on beams, going through tunnels, climbing ramps, standing on moving surfaces.

Another incidental thing we are doing is building self control. Following Scott Lithgow I'm using play sessions to move from excitement to control. He suggesting building a 'hunting relationship' where puppy follows your fingers (he says, "you will finish up losing a bit of blood") or a dragged toy. He suggests using your encouragement signal during the game - 'swit, swit'. You build up the excitement then stop the game with a 'that'll do'. You can also introduce a 'steady' as a pause during the game - stroking the pup to get her calm yet attentive.

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