Friday, March 12, 2010

Mat training

Its funny how life works sometimes.  I got the email about mat training Grace and got some help from all of you- (thanks by the way), and I did start working with Grace on the mat. Since Magic and I are trying to keep up in the trick class though, we were working on those this week. Failing, but still trying.  Magic just cannot understand that I just want the front end down, and that back end drops first every time- but I digress. So I am sure that we are going to be the only ones at class having trouble with this, yup we were. However, we probably had the most distance of the class on the go touch exercise.  At home I can get Magic to go almost the whole length of my house, kitchen to livingroom which is maybe 35 feet.  At class of course it isn't quite there but he would do 10 easily. 

But class progressed, and last night we worked on teaching your dog to pose, allowing you to move a foot or tail, and of course a bit on expressions. Then we worked a bit on spins. I need to decide what to call those.

Every night at the end of class the instructor gives us a 5 minute challenge.  You have 5 minutes to teach your dog to do whatever the challenge is.  Last nights challenge was to be able to send your dog to a mat from 5 feet away and get a sit.   Guess what, Magic was able to do it in about 3 and give me either a sit or a down.
What a good boy.

Our homework for the week- see if we can get the bow and head down to click.  Work on the distance touch/send with both the mat and the touch toy on the road.  Practice posing, put a name ot any cute expressions we want to maintain. For Magic I want to see if I can get ear movement. I already get up ears if I say ears I need to reward that now, its always been something he has just done, but I would like ti to be more solid. Also if I can get a airplane ears on command that might be fun too. Maybe a head tilt?

If I only had one or 2 dogs it would probably be easier to catch and click normal behaviors, but with 4 maybe not.  As soon as they hear a click they all come running and I get mobbed. I know I should have trained better manners when the girls were young-bad me, but we are working on staying and letting me work one at a time. Crystal had posted how she is starting to train 5 mini sessions a day. I have been doing 3 with Magic and one with each of the others, but maybe more short sessions with everyone would be a good plan.  Over the weekend we will test that.

Good training Everyone!

1 comment:

Sharrie said...

This has been my week to train the command "circles" because I need to get the mud and water off of the dog feet. The cardi's can do it together sometimes.......for treats, of course. The collie has learned to just do it on command. It helps with the quantity of mud they bring in the house. Your class must be interesting.