Sunday, February 21, 2010

Field work

Today, Scorch and I walked out to the train track field in our neighborhood. His loose leash walking in the neighborhood isn't where I'd like it to be, but it's not a constant battle at least.

- Initial on-leash heeling took some work. He was distracted and I was impatient. I realized I was expecting too much and backed down my requirements, as well as upping my treats.
- 1st long line recall: perfect stay, seemed to be heading right towards me, and then blew past me. He got a stern verbal correction/reeling in, then I led him back to where he started and firmly told him to stay. I went out about 20 feet instead of 30 and called him. He came in slowly but accurately, and I CR'd and treated heavily. Subsequent recalls were good. I have begun weaning off of directing him with my hands to "front" and instead am keeping my hands at my side. At first, he would veer towards my right hand and sit crooked. I backed up repeating fronts until he sat straight, then CR and treat. At the final recall, he came in fast and sat straight, so I jackpotted and ended it there.
- Long line stays went well. I had his focus and he didn't get distracted by the scents around him. The first time I went around to return to heel, he got up, but after that, he held his stay. I did several returns without releasing him.
- Heel free: I felt confident enough to remove his leash. Heel free went better than leashed heeling. He had excellent attention, maintained position pretty well, and shined on the figure 8s. We'll work on heel free more often and I'm going to work on correcting with the leash less often during heel on lead.

What today showed me is that I need to focus more on short, frequent sessions. We're going to work by the train tracks as many days this week as possible. Our goal will be training in that field at least 2-3x a week, and adding one new location at least every other week to begin generalizing.

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