Thursday, April 21, 2011

Alone Training In Ferguson's Mind

Over the past few days, Ferguson's remedial alone training has been going well.  He has also trained me, in the sense that I know now how his brain works, at least a bit better than before. 

As it turns out, Ferg is fine being alone, as long as it is according to plan.  So, in the morning, after he has gone out or walked, it is perfectly acceptable to him to be left at this point.  It has been our routine in the past that I would practice alone training with him at this time of day, so it continues to not be at all problematic.  He has been left for an hour and a half so far at this time with no complaints.

However, if I attempt to leave him, say in the evening after we get back from work, then we run into trouble.  My dad and I went out to eat, being gone for barely longer than a half hour, and came back to a standing, panting Ferg (in his crate of course).  The answer, I suppose, would be to practice repetition of him being left at this time increasingly as well, but because my parents are home 99% of the time at this hour, it probably won't work too well.  (Whenever just me leaves and they stay home, he's fine and just goes to sleep).

Though I know I'll have to do lots of remedial alone training again once I move in August, I think it will be better for Ferg in a lot of ways, and won't take as long as it first did.  His crate will be up in our bedroom, secluded from the rest of the house where the structure and routine will be a bit more rigid.  As in, he will learn to be in his crate unless he is with me or with Eric, and that is how it always will be.  Here, things are less pronounced, and I messed it up for the first month and a half.  Now that I know what I'm doing better and Ferg has made strides in being by himself, I think we can master it in a new given scenario with a blank slate.  Until then, we'll just plug away at increasing the time so he doesn't have to come to work with me quite as much.

On a final note, "sit" is going quite well.  Ferguson will now sit on hard surfaces he doesn't want to, and is doing it faster than before.  He still will hesitate and contemplates how badly he wants what I'm using to motivate him, but always ends up doing it anyway (not that I'd let him walk away and ignore the command anyway, but still).  So, we'll keep working, and hopefully get him to take a CGC test in the near future, so I can feel better about becoming a certified evaluator myself.

Two more days of work until a day off!

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