Thursday, June 3, 2010
"Success" With One Jump?
First things first -- Secret is still made of rubber. I don't think she received the memo that 21" dogs are not supposed to fit under an 8" bed.
The other evening, I watched Susan Garrett's training video, "Success With One Jump." It quickly became clear to me that I would be able to do none of what I saw on the video with Secret until her drive & motivation are built up, so last night I set out to work on that.
The unfortunate part about pretty much everything that Susan Garrett does is that it is very, very toy-based training. Sigh. We know how that goes.
So in an effort to bring together Secret's food & toy drive, I brought out the "Tug-It" training toy, filled with Natural Balance food roll pieces. I used the Tug-It a few times when I first got it and Secret did, indeed, go nuts tugging on it -- To the point of ripping it, so I admit to pretty much abandoning it after that. I also find it a giant pain in the butt to clean.
My original plan was simply to use it as a treat dispenser, hoping that Secret would chase it when thrown, knowing that food comes out of it. Let me tell you, that game didn't last long at all. She ran after it a couple of times, then just sat and looked at me when I threw it. Sigh.
I offered it to her to tug and once she realized what it was she went practically rabid. Success, right? Well, no, not for the task at hand. When I threw it over the jump she would trot towards it and hesitantly sniff it -- A far cry from the exuberant attack I would hope for. When I would pick up the Tug-It and wave it in front of her face she would latch on and go nuts (ripping the hole a bit bigger, I might add), but this delayed reaction is going to do nothing to build happy association with the jump obstacle, itself.
The premise of the SWOJ video is getting the dog to drive over the jump towards the reward. I cannot, for the life of me, find anything that will make Secret do that. She seems to think that if I'm not going to move, neither shall she. I can't even follow Susan's instructions for Stage 1 because of this. :o(
Secret ended up shutting down on me during these exercises (no surprise) and completely turned me off. I took her back in the house and put her in her crate while I brought the boys out to play. It's worth noting that Secret had a VERY bad "bratty teenager" day, overall, and this may not have been the absolute best day to work on such things.
When I came back in with the boys, I took Secret back outside with her squeaky Kong ball. There was no setting up in front of jumps, but I tried to direct her over them on her way to chase the ball. This worked for approximately two or three jumps before she figured out this was still "training" and not just "playing." Then she shut down again and ignored me. Back inside and into her crate.
I let her sit there for about 20 minutes or so with all of us in the living room. Then I took her back out again with the squeaky chicken toy. I threw it for her once, tugged with it, sent her over a jump after it, tugged some more and then we were done. I just had to end on something positive with her still wanting to play.
We absolutely, positively need to build up more toy drive and jump drive before we can continue with any part of Susan Garrett's training. For now, that means running with her.
Meanwhile, I really have to get serious about continuing to build Secret's toy drive. Admittedly, when I "gave up" and switched to food, I more or less stopped trying with the toys. I absolutely, 100% want to use Susan Garrett's 2 x 2 weave training method with Secret, so I have a couple of months to work on it. Since we are working on grass, I really have no other option. Secret's ability to find food treats in the grass is next to nil.
Coming up this weekend --- We are traveling to a conformation show & weight pull in Le Center, MN. This is an "all-Kaiser" weekend and Secret & Luke are just along for the ride. There is typically quite a bit of down time at these shows, so I will pack the toy bag and see if I can get Secret to play away from home.