15 July 2009

Quick Training Update

Last night I did a short eye contact session with Molly. I used hot dogs as treats but didn't film it. I limited the length by limiting the number of treats to 10.

Today I did an approximately 3 minute session with Shawnee on distance and a similar session with Molly on finish. I filmed both sessions, but I think I want to do a few more before I post anything.

I am moved from the kitchen to the living room, so that I would have a new environment for training. Both girls have worked in the living room before, but I had been using the kitchen because it has more space. I had to move a rocking chair and the dog basket to get anywhere near enough space for the session. The chair for Molly's training does not roll well on the carpet. With Shawnee, however, things went better because treats did not bounce as much.

I use a timer set to a little over three minutes but started it before I started the film. I was shocked when the timer rang because I thought I would have more time than that. This proves to me how badly I need to limit my sessions, because obviously I've been training most of the time for far longer than I realized.

The shortness definitely paid off. After I told Shawnee, she was free and turn off the camera, she went twice around the object to try to get me to reward her again. I did give her one treat, but then I quickly took things up so she wouldn't do it again.

With Molly, I had trouble maintaining concentration for the entire session. The problem was that Shawnee outside suddenly found something to bargain and that dragged Molly away. While she was barking, the timer rang. I called her back and did a quick repeat then quit. I don't want her feeling like she decides the length of the session, but I also didn't want to keep going when she wasn't fully focused.

Despite her lack of concentration, Molly did very well moving when I did. It shows that I really was wrong about how well she understood the behavior. My continued repetition of eye contact made things worse because it made her bored. I thought I need to do it because she wasn't understanding what I was doing. Now I am confident that we will have this behavior mastered soon.

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