After Bea’s yard escape earlier this week I’ve been thinking about my training goals with all the dogs. It’s been a while since I’ve set any. (So long that I don’t even remember what they were – oops!) I am a firm believer in having a plan, as it keeps us on task and working towards the desired result – our goals. This seems like the best place to keep track of progress, which methods are working, or what needs to change. Here are just the things I’d like to work on in the next few months.
Let’s start with the most complicated dog, Beatrix. She has emotional control issues and is reactive, which makes everything harder, and in my eyes, more important. I’ll admit the recent snowy and bitterly cold weather has been an excuse for me to say “Nah, not today!” when it comes to working with Bea, as her two biggest issues must be addressed outside. (I feel really guilty about this.) No more!
- Mat work
- Continue to develop relaxing on the mat
- Introduce triggers slowly, as outlined in Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out (by Laura VanArendonk Baugh)
- Move to working outside
- Capturing going through/between legs
- Attach cue
- Teach a reliable recall (this will have to be on course with the mat/trigger work to be truly reliable)
- Capture a play bow
- Attach cue
- Incrementally increasing the amount of time she can have her nails dremmeled
Dio is an anxious dog. He often gets “stuck” in training sessions. That’s not to say he isn’t VERY eager to work; he’s typically raring to go! So thankfully he’s happy to work, but he is having a hard time transitioning from guided training (me helping him figure out what to do) to clicker training. It wasn’t helpful that he was afraid of the noise the clicker made for a long while.
- Mat work
- Orienting him to the mat
- Relaxing on the mat
- Slowly introduce triggers
- Capturing a play bow
- Attach a cue
- Work on targeting
By far, my easiest dog is Coal. Though just because he’s easy and older doesn’t mean there aren’t things that could be improved upon!
- Trigger work on the mat
- Diminishing the tendency to bark impatiently and constantly when he wants something
- Refresh recall
- Refreshing heel
The other thing I’d like to do is think of new names for some cues that I feel are poisoned. They’re from my pre-clicker and +R days. The names need to be similar to what the action – don’t want to confuse the humans! It would be fun if they could also be humorous, too. In emergency/stranger (in other words, times when the person using the cue either doesn’t know the one we use, or perhaps they do but are flustered and say the wrong word) situations the poisoned cues would most likely be effective. Hopefully!
You have my permission to (read: PLEASE HELP ME!) suggest alternative names for the cues “sit”, “stay”, and “back up”.
Are there goals you’d like to achieve with your furry friends? Have you ever renamed a poisoned cue? What word did you use to replace it?