I think today was the first day where I’m really noticing changes in her responses. We’re about a week and half into the the program. She likes to respond to the dog walking upstairs. It is an older lab who makes a lot of noise when she walks. Gypsy would generally just bark and maybe bolt off the couch to find the spot directly below the dog and bark. Since yesterday, she hears the noise and looks at me!! I give her rewards!!! She has made a small bark and looked at me which is also a big improvement. In this case I’ve been reinforcing with “yes” since she decided to look back to me, and a head pat or ear scratch. She gets the treat when she doesn’t bark, rapid fire!
We did a fun round of crate games in the backyard after work tonight. She is feeling much more confident because she has much more drive and speed back into the crate. It’s almost comparable to her drive and speed inside. I play a lot of Yer In/Yer Out and Change Yer Mind Game, plus holding her collar and sending her in from about 5 feet or so depending on what else is going on in the environment. Tonight’s crate games was the best so far in the backyard in terms of focus, drive, self-control and fun. She ran into the crate, turned forwarded and sat perfectly. She didn’t break the line at all!!
We played more chase games in the yard too, off leash, so she wouldn’t trip or have a leash dragging. She got a high rate of reinforcement!
We also did some more Leave-It games, methods 1 and 2 that Dr. Yin outlines (first blocking then throwing just out of leash range). I used a lower value treat for the one to leave and gave higher value for what I gave her. We were able to walk across a pile of food on the floor with her focused on me and got a huge jackpot and me hand-feeding a few of the ones on the floor. She did great with this and we’ll soon move it to the backyard.
Apollo had agility class tonight. Tonight I am thankful for being able to play with my old doggie who warms my heart.