February 10th 2013 6:40 am
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I have this rock. It's not particularly pretty, but it is distinctively unusual. It has fond memories of a loved one no longer with us, attached, and I think of her everytime I see it, and speak to her everytime I touch it. My husband found it this week and pitched it in the yard.
With two Search and Rescue dogs in the house, who also train as Article dogs, and are always looking for something out of place, it showed up in the house, when Bob came back from a ride, and presented his finding to me.
I discussed it with my husband and told him the history of that rock, and how pleased I was that Bob had found it. So he knew that rock had meaning to me.
I was feeding the horses. when I was attracted to Bob's barking. I went to see what he was up to, and he was very attracted to something on the other side of the fence in the neighbor's field. I went to look, but couldn't see a thing. Bob was transfixed. So I took Bob out of the pasture, out in front of the house, and he raced to the road, turned down the neighbors fence line, and headed to the back field. I couldn't begin to catch up, so I went back to the pasture and watched, as the little Search dog honed in on his target. I saw him pick up something, and race around back to the road as if he were a greyhound on a lure course. I met him out front, and stuck out my hand to see what the prize was.
It was that rock. At first, anger welled deeply inside that my sentiments had been violated and that rock had been willfully pitched away. And then I smiled. I have two Search dogs. I triumphantly placed that rock at my husband's place at the table where he would surely see it, and posted a note... Look what Bob found!!!!
Surely he knows where that rock was cast. So surely he will comprehend what a feat this was that the rock was returned.
Maybe now I will get to keep this rock, when he realizes he was busted, and the significance of that rock to me.
September 17th 2011 3:38 pm
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I just returned from a week of Search and Rescue Camp. Everyone thought I was awesome. No, I didn't certify, nor try to. My 4 month old puppy brain was just adding new tools to the tool belt. I DID leave camp with a CGC (Canine Good Citizenship award)
In 3 days, I start puppy classes. New friends, and a new adventure!
July 27th 2011 10:27 pm
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Retrieve training video
Bob is doing a puppy series of training documentation. Mostly on facebook but also here in his diary.
Today we are training the retrieve at 11 weeks, old, in case someone wants to follow along
This is the next building block to Bob's Future. The Retrieve. We started with an aspirin bottle perforated and meat chunks inside. He could smell it, but needed thumbs to open the lid. so when he picked up the bottle, he was rewarded with an approving marker reward and then exchanged with a treat, while we explored the contents of th...e bottle, and he got a piece of meat. The exchange immediately on giving the bottle is to keep his attention while the bottle is opened and explored. Then dropping the bottle at increasing distance and now we have substituted a ball. This is an orbee ball from Planet Dog, that is durable, intriguingly bouncy, and pleasantly squishy to the puppy. Again, as soon as he returns with the ball, the exchange for treat (already in hand) is made. Because a puppy's attention span is so short.
As you can see, most of Bob's training thus far has been collar and leash free. I am shaping his training by encouraging desired behaviors through structured play. When the desired behavior occurs, he receives a verbal audible marker of approval, and followed by a reward as quickly as it can be delivered. Because he chooses these behaviors, and is rewarded for the desired effects, he thinks these play/training sessions are his idea. He is being molded slowly into the performance dog, for which he is destined.
Precursors to this stage:
Timing in being available for the trade and then giving the marker on time, and then making the switch/reward is Key. If you first work on getting the chase. That's the first step. This was done with Bob as a young puppy (No interest in picking anything up at the time) by dragging a toy on a rope and using his chase prey drive. He followed me, and pounced on the toy. This was Step 1 in building the retrieve. Getting him to Pick up the toy was step 2. He got a reward marker. and treat for picking it up. stuffy toys are helpful for this. Step three was to try to make a switch, toy for treat. Then step 4 is adding distance.