Tonight Ike and I had a semi-private with Katrin. It went REALLY well. I am VERY pleased.
The main thing I wanted to work on with Ike are his down-stays and sit-stays.
I mentioned how manic he gets at home, offering behaviors. Katrin suggested I need to work on his duration and make him understand that STAYING in the down or sit is exactly what I want - nothing more.
Katrin suggested dropping cookies on his head. At first I bent down to hand him the cookie and of course he popped up. She re-iterated - "No, I meant drop cookies on his head!" This was quite successful, except when I dropped poorly and Ike went scurrying after the cookie!
Ike was offering super quick downs. Then he started offering them willy-nilly, so I mixed it up with some halts and Halt/Walk Around Dog. He did super. I hesitated to do Down/Walk Around Dog tonight. I didn't want to blow his brain and things were going well. I am pleased with how well he did in a new-ish location with a happy FCR in the room.
Katrin and I had discussed whether or not I should use a NRM with him or not when he pops up from a down. To date I have been saying "oops," and essentially starting over/trying again. She suggested trying a NRM. I expressed some concern that Ike might 1.) freak out and shut-down; 2.) think it is part of the behavior chain. Katrin doesn't feel that will be an issue with Ike given the way his brain works.
Katrin had me put Ike in a Down-Stay, walk away and toss a treat at him. The first time I walked back toward him to toss his treat, he sat up. I said "eh-eh" and WAITED. I did not repeat the cue, I was a very good handler and waited. Ike returned to a down. Good boy, Ike!!!
All in all, an excellent lesson and I feel like I have some specific things to practice that will be very helpful. We plan on meeting again next Monday.
2 days ago