Monday, October 7, 2013

Bogie's third training session

There is a stage when you are creating a stained glass project where it looks horrible, and you think it will always look horrible.

Bogie's training was at that stage before our third session.

This third session was closer to what I expected when I enrolled.  Shawn trained Bogie and I observed so we could practice at home.  

At first Bogie was confused.  The hand gesture for Down is similar to the one I had used for Shake.  But with some pressure on his collar - and Shawn's weight on his back, Shawn got Bogie to do his first Down.  Enthusiastic praise marked the accomplishment.

Shawn worked with him probably 3 sessions in total.  Not only did Bogie Down, but he had fun doing it. Shawn's assistant, Corey, did a handful of Downs with Bogie as well.  Apparently, when more people participate in the training, the behavior is more strongly reinforced . 

I'm still unsure why we don't use the verbal command until the behavior sticks.  I have to resist saying Down.  I'm just thrilled we got the behavior.  Shawn believes the training will be easier from this point forward. 

Bogie was exhausted and slept most of the way home.  Once there I made myself a sandwich and split a slice of turkey between the two dogs, as I always do.  

Without thinking, I did Sit, then Shake.  As I said, the hand motion for Shake is similar to Down.  Bogie looked at me.  I could see the confusion.  Then he offered his paw.

I was devastated, furious with myself that I could ruin a successful training session by being so careless. 

In fact, I lay awake part of the night worrying about it.  

In the morning, I had barely gotten out of bed, when I tested Bogie on Down  - even without treats.  I tried to make it seem like play and got him to do the Down.  Hurray!  I made a big deal out of it and petted him a bunch.  Then Angel, because she deserves attention, too.

We did several, very short sessions that day.  And Bogie easily did the Down when I put pressure on his collar.  In his mind, that seems to be the key difference between the Down and Shake.  But I have resolved to do no more Shake until Bogie is thoroughly trained.

Last night I dreamt that Bogie escaped.  When I called Here, he came right back to me.

I plan to make that a reality.

Top Dog Boarding and Training.

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