Sunday, January 3, 2010

A snow day marker training session

So today we are shoveling out from quite a bit if snow here in Mid-Coast Maine. Yesterday it was all beautiful and lightweight and easy to shovel. This morning gave us high drifts and heavy harder to shovel snow. Not my favorite. I hate driving in slushy snow after having a couple of accidents in it over the years so I rescheduled the client I was going to see today. Fortunately this worked out in her favor as well. As much as I love my work I'm not into risking life and limb to get there.
To give you an idea how much we got this is Jack standing in the part of the yard that didn't get any drifting this morning. Poor Missy got stuck in a drift twice trying to get outside to pee. She was not impressed.

I also spent last night reading more of "The Thinking Dog" again and it clarified some things for me with the marker training I already do. For anyone thinking of clicker work or marker training I can already say BUY THIS BOOK! It is fabulous and is so clearly written it will only sharpen your skills if you already use the principles. If you don't do any type of marker training it will certainly make you reconsider.

This combined with having a free day to myself and my own dogs gave me the urge to work with Jenny for fun. Back in July I had gotten a fabulous deal on some dumbbells and scent article dumbbells. Even though I don't currently show in obedience venues I thought they would be fun to work with. Plus teaching her to pick up stuff will come in handy for our tracking training. (scent article on the track have to be clearly found, either by the dog sitting, going into a down or picked up and brought to the handler)

Here is a short video of after our 20 minute session. (Next time I will try to remember to get a before video.)

Things for me to work on are: keeping my verbal "yes" reward marker more consistent and to stop saying good dog so much. "Take it" will be my verbal cue in the future so I attach it now.

How cute is she??


JulieandCaleb said...

Yay, Jenny! She's so smart (and very cute)!

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Teaching a dumbbell retrieve to a greyhound that didn't even play with toys is what sold me on clicker training. Jenny looks great.

Katie said...

I taught the pointedly non-retrieving pit bull the dumbbell with the clicker, too. She learned it so quickly. That was my first attempt at honest shaping (instead of luring) and I was thoroughly impressed by how well it all went.