Thursday, December 17, 2009

Trick/Skills Update

We have continued our daily training sessions and Secret is still impressing me with how fast she picks things up! After learning to shake, it was a short step to teach her to "high five." She's doing very well with "roll over" (though still in the luring stage) and seems to have clicked with "bow." Neither of those are really ready to start showing off for people yet, though. We also started to teach "spin" in both directions, as well as "sit pretty."

In summary, the tricks that are proofed for public performance are:

High Five

And hopefully soon we can add to that:

Roll Over
Take a bow
Sit Pretty

Going forward, I'd like to start to work on "weave between the legs." I feel as though I have to document all of this here on her blog so that I don't forget what I've already taught her! lol

Last night our touch stick came in the mail. We'd already had our training session for the night when I opened the box, so I only showed it to Secret briefly and click/treated a few times when she touched it with her nose. She seemed instantly drawn to it, so I feel it will be a handy little tool for our shaping exercises!

The training exercise of the evening involved plank work for the first time, as I managed to somehow drag my teeter down to the basement. I propped up one end on the landing so that there is a very slight slope down to the floor. I was surprised at how hesitant Secret was to go on the plank at first. We worked through it, though, and by the end of the session she was doing a very nice two-on/two-off (with a lure) and was walking the full length of the plank. Not bad for her first session!

I introduced Secret to tennis balls last night and I believe we've found a winner! I haven't gotten much interest out of her with the frisbees yet, which is unfortunate since they are the easiest to play with out in the snow. We tossed tennis balls around the house for a while last night and she even brought them back (most of the time)! We will continue with (limited) ball play in the house to keep building her fetching skills. I might have to lock Luke in a different room so as not to destroy my house, though....

We are still struggling with finding the right balance of food fed during meals and with training. In short, I think I'm feeding her way too much during our evening training sessions, so I'll likely have to start trimming the duration of them to keep this in check. Secret's a pooping machine at night from everything she's getting during training and I believe this is the reason why we're still having to get up once during the night for her to go outside (this morning it was 4 a.m., so we are getting closer!). She goes immediately upon being put outside, so I do believe that it's quite necessary to continue getting up when she starts to whine.

Secret has two big "firsts" coming up today! This afternoon is her first appointment with our vet (Luke has his Addison's appointment, so I added her onto it for Dr. Randy to meet her) and then this evening I will be leaving her at home for the first time while I go out. My plan is to move her crate next to the couch in the living room and hope for the best!

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