Sunday, November 18, 2007

Clicker training, session 1

No new pictures today, because I can't find my memory card reader and Chuck (my coworker) still has pictures to send me.

During the Cowboys game, I decided to introduce Scorch to the clicker. I'd been using "good" as my marker word, and I'd done some preliminary clicker loading, but this would be our first working session.

This is the first dog I am seriously free-shaping.

Sit is no problem, of course. I've been free-shaping that for the most part, but luring as well to get a tuck-sit instead of a rock-sit. I started luring into the down, and clicking for elbows touching the ground to get him started. Then I lured back up into a sit, click.

Then I started clicking when he looked down. It took a few reps for him to start deliberately offering the behavior, but then the lightbulb went on. I lured every few tries, just to keep giving him the idea. I'd already been marking any laying down he did during classes, so he "guessed right" a few times.

I want to free shape the weaves (and lots of other behaviors), so I'd like Scorch to be proficient at it. So far, I'd say our first session went well. :) He sits for his raw meals like a champ, and sits with great attention any time he wants love.

I'm being extremely careful to make his stealing objects not a big deal, knowing BCs' tendencies towards stealing items and making off with them, plus resource guarding. So far, I've been letting him have socks for a few minutes, then repeatedly trade other items back and forth, so the sock does not become a big deal.

He's a smart little bugger. Only one accident, on day 1 when I took a nap while he was uncrated (my fault). He actually ASKED to go out today, which I praised heavily and I hope he will repeat. He urinates in small amounts quite often, so I'm going to have a urinalysis done, just in case.

First bath at 5am this morning, when he decided to roll in godknowswhat outside. He didn't appreciate it, but it wasn't awful.

I'm smitten with the little pooch.

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