I have been really busy and missed blogging about Performance Puppy #5 and Puppy K this week.
In Performance Puppy # 5 we started class by working on our nose target. Irie’s nose target has been weak to date. She mostly sniffs the lid, doesn’t actually hit it. Kathleen said the way she taught her girls a really strong nose target was to hold the clicker on the back side of the lid. This way every time they hit it hard they would actually be causing the click (on two levels). I saw an almost immediate improvement with Irie’s nose touch using this method, but we still have a LONG way to go.
After working on targeting for a bit we broke into two groups. Half of us revisited the buja boards and the other half worked on the contact trainer and 6” x 6’ raised boards Kathleen had placed around the training facility, and then we rotated.
Irie had a bit of a head start with the contact trainer/board work since Katrin and I put her on the dogwalk, teeter, and A-frame at Katrin’s house. This was a great way for me to reinforce that positive experience and after feeding Irie in the contact zone I released her to tug. She thought that was fabulous.
We ended class with an advance “It’s Yer Choice” game. Kathleen asked us to give her some low value treats and get out some high value treats. She put our low value treats on the ground between her and the handler/dog. Once your dog was able to pay attention to you, you walked them past the low value treats, on a loose leash, and fed them with the high value treats. We did this three times. The first time Irie really struggled, which I find funny given how awesome she is at “It’s Yer Choice.” I will have to get John to work this with me as she found it really challenging.
In Puppy K this week Katrin asked us to bring our puppy’s breakfast and bowl in order to work on handling and preventing resource guarding. For me this meant I arrived with a fork and a bag of raw lamb and cottage cheese!
Katrin had us put a small amount of food in the bowl, and while our puppy was eating, lift their feet. We added more food to the bowl and handled their tail while they ate. We added more food to the bowl and “bumped” them gently so they had to move their body out of the way while they ate. Finally we handled their ears and touched their face while they were eating. In true corgi fashion, Irie could have cared less – she was eating!
We also worked on “Sit” and “Down.” I am happy to say Irie has learned “down” using the “capture” method. I was going to cheat and lure it because I am lazy, but I decided not to. So, pat on the back to me for not cheating! I am adding the word to it because she is offering it pretty quickly. We also worked on loose leash walking and Katrin commented on what a natural heeler Irie is. Right now she is better than Bug!
I really liked the “handling” exercise while puppy is eating and I have been doing it about once a day. I think it is a great preventative exercise.