Saturday, April 30, 2011

Long days of work, less time to train

Today is day 3 of 4 days working, but today and tomorrow's shifts are especially long (today, 6:45-5:30, tomorrow, 6:30-4). I, of course, am beat, but Ferguson seems to be in good spirits, despite the fact that he's had to come to work with me three days in a row for longer time periods.

Shortly after we got home, we had an especially nice training session with a little help from our friend, the elephant dog toy with rope ears. The toy was admittedly a present intended for his birthday, but I think the training and work we got out of it today was worth the early meeting.

With the elephant, we were able to practice alternating reinforcements, as well as teaching "off" and "okay" discrimination. In mid play, Ferguson will drop the toy, and was rewarded with lots of praise and a kibble. Additionally, we could work on our "sits," "downs," and "stays," (the most important commands and ones required for the test), while allowing him to break to run a few strides with his pachyderm friend. It was one of those training sessions where he did everything enthusiastically, with motivation, good spirits, and caught on quickly to each request.

Of course I didn't get it on tape >_<

We even practiced "stay" while I was out of site (for about 15 seconds) and he did well, looking in the complete other direction when I started to return. Hurray :D. CGC test, here we come!

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