Monthly Review: April 2021

How Did We Do In March?

I failed miserably in updating the blog. Keeping up the blog updated with videos is becoming more tedious. This is because I had to watch the videos a couple of times to edit out the portions to keep the video interesting and short. In order to speed up my editing, I’m planning to follow the following steps.

  • Watch the video the first time to edit out the unnecessary portions.
  • Speed up the balanced break portions.
  • Write any comments, improvements, suggestions beneath the video in the blog and not on the video (i.e using the video editor)

Goals For April

Max

  • Max should walk nicely on the leash.
  • Improve personal play with Max.

Laika

  • Improve personal play with Max.
  • Take Laika in the car at least once in a week.

April 05, 2021

What I like?

  1. 0:01 I’m happy that Max is associating that the eye contact is what begins the work. He offers a generous two-second eye contact to tell me that he is interested in what we’re about to do together.
  2. 0:14 I’m happy that I’m able to bring Max’s arousal up with just personal play.

What Can I Improve?

  1. As soon as Max reaches to me from his “SIT”, I should reward him outwards so his but swings in. This will help him to stay close to me.
  2. Max ran to the water bowl before I gave him the “All Done” cue. I should keep tab of his quest for water in summer and release him earlier before he opts out.

What I like?

  • 0:35 Laika leaps looking at the tug toy. This shows that she is starting to like tugging and I’m happy about that.
  • 1:22 Laika disengaged by hearing the squeaker and engaged back very quickly.
  • 1:36 Quickly she understood that the squeaker only delays her reward.

What Can I Improve?

  1. 1:18 I should only reach for the cookie after I click and not before.

April 06, 2021

What I like?

  • 0:06 Max initiated the work by offering eye contact for a second and that made me engage with him.
  • 0:36 We engaged in personal play before we began the actual work. The highlight of the personal play is his jump which is my personal favourite.
  • 1:46 I like how he positions himself on my right. This behaviour is becoming reliable and I’m yet to name this behaviour.
  • 1:52 I’m happy that I’m intentional about my hand positions.
  • 2:26 I’m rewarding him outwards so his butt swings in. This was in my yesterday’s improvement list. Do you remember?

What Can I Improve?

  • 0:18 Each time I try to induce the opposition reflex, I distress Max a bit. I should find a way to do so without hurting him.
  • 1:40 I don’t mind Max stealing the toy here. I’m sure this behaviour of his will fade away eventually.
  • 2:57 I should reward Max outwards on my left. That way I can avoid him swinging outside on my left.

Session 01
  • 0:37 I let Laika acclimate before beginning the session. She initiated the session by offering eye contact and I engage back using personal play.
  • 0:42 But the crows cawing seem to be her highest distraction in this habitat. So I stopped engaging with here and let her acclimate.
  • 0:50 She disengages from the distraction and offers a two second eye contact. I then engage back wit her and again she quickly disengages.
  • This back and forth engagement and disengagement tells me that she is so bothered with the environment and no learning can take place. So I stopped the training.
  • I’m sure the habitat isn’t the problem but the crows cawing is bothering Laika. I would desensitise Laika to crows cawing if this repeats often in the future.

Session 02

What I like?

  • 0:42 I let Laika acclimate and initiate the training session when she is ready by offering eye contact.
  • I liked how she re-engaged each time after taking a treat.

What Can I Improve?

  • I wish I had taken the clicker.

April 07, 2021

Though loose leash walking is our focus, yet we are training for building focus outdoors. I don’t have a yard at my place and I had to train with what I have. Note that the structure (“Down” cue on a raised bed) is to allow Max to take in information from the environment in a limited manner.

What I like?

  • The down time between repetitions is very less. This is good because Max is finding value for focusing on me.
  • 2:42 Max likes to use his nose a lot. I was quickly able to change training directions without much frustration as a trainer along with not upsetting the dog.
  • 3:49 The placement of the bed away from the car allowed Max to focus more what we were doing together.
  • 4:50 Usually I forget to end the session with the “All Done” cue. However, I managed to remember this time.

What Can I Improve?

  • I could have paused for a few micro seconds after I mark each time.

Personal play with Laika is very challenging. That is because I’m yet to identify what she likes. From the recorded video, I could see there are two things that seem to get her amped up — a visual cue asking to spin her and a bit of back and forth running.

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