Since I didn’t get much sleep last night, today was tough. However the girls were pretty sweet. They complied with the rules to let me in without too much fuss but were a bit unruly in anticipation of going for a W-A-L-K…so we didn’t.
See how we trainers are?
They were not compliant on the rules on the perimeter gate so the window of opportunity closed. When shaping a behavior there are times when a time interval has to be established. If a response does not occur within a certain time–they lose the opportunity and we move on to something else. They lost the opportunity for a walk because the required behavior was not there.
This is where a lot of people fall short in their behavior maintenance. Exceptions only lead to worse behavior. There dogs MUST be manageable or they will not have a good life at home. These are the foundational rules which need to be ingrained on every gate and every entry and exit.
Don’t feel sorry for the gals, I only had to leave once during this boot camp when they were not learning at all.
So, instead of going out the gate, we went into the play pen. I left the girls to prep a few things and they refused to wander and explore.
What did they do? Pine at the gate for me.
Honestly, they watched my every move. This is sad on many levels because they don’t exhibit normal patterns and I had hoped they would play together…but they are progressing and so I can only hope. Remember they never played when we started boot camp–and now they love fetch and chasing the kick ball.
Since they adhered to the gate rules when I returned, so we played kick ball again and the fetch game. They don’t have to bring back the kick ball–the main idea is to get them running and listening to what I say. Playtime is for blowing steam and having fun BUT also I do integrate behavior modification and training into the session.
The interesting thing that happened today is that dog “B” actually sat down to chew on a synthetic chew toy. This is GREAT since they have not shown any interest in chew items.
Chewing and destruction happens to be a big problem–forget toys they will destroy their beds, and anything else that is around. They have ignored other items so I will get them some new chew toys on Monday and introduce them.
I don’t know if I told you but I just learned that the dogs never had any kind of contact with humans until recently. They were so wild that the original owner kept away from them and slipped their food bowls under the gate.
They both are so entrenched with the ballistic patterns it is tough to get the right response 100% of the time. However, we are at about 80-90% –so that works for now. I have a couple of weeks left in the intensive program and anticipate success.
We did not have any distractions like yesterday since everybody else was in for a while as the camp owner was gone. Dogs are able to focus and comply easier when the distraction level is minimal. The conditions today were good for learning a new behavior.
The one left in the pen did not move away from the gate once we moved off to work. BUT upon return neither tried to escape through the gate. This is a very good sign. They forget but they do get it and with practice should only continue to get better.