Quick update! With two weeks left to go, here’s what I’ve gotten done so far:
- All of the basic behaviors are at a decent level of fluency
- I actually did drive to the trial location in Barrie and did a class there, just to see if Petey could work in the environment. He can, so we’re good.
- I have been training all around town, including training right in front of the house where there is an understimulated Doberman that barks incessantly, and also training right next to dogs playing fetch and wrestling.
So, finally, I am going to work on actual stations and signs. I started with Weave (four pylons) and magically I noticed that for this station, Petey started doing strange things with the first pylon. He jumps it, bumps it, bites it, paws it, you name it. All the stuff I have done so far always involve the pylons on my right, so I guess this threw him off.
To address it, I just broke down the weave station into walking through gates of pylons and then slowly closed the angles off.
Also, I came to realize that Petey also has limits. You’ll notice in the videos I start with two distractions. One is a tupperware full of beaver urine. The other is a stainless steel food bowl full of rollover. In the beginning of the training session, he pays no attention to them at all. By the end (last part of the video) he starts smelling and pulling towards them. I’ve got to ensure he stays rested and I don’t overwork him. As mental stamina fades in training, so does willpower!